Strategy check on breeding, fertilizing, culling, etc. (Coturnix)

Discussion in 'Quail' started by gilpinguy, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. gilpinguy

    gilpinguy Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 4, 2015
    Gilpin County, Colorado
    I'm new to this and have a few questions as far as my plans go. I have 17 hens and 3 roos, all Coturnix. All are in the same cage right now. Eggs started to appear about 10 days ago. At this point I'm getting 5-7 eggs a day (they are delicious). Males are obviously trying to mate with females. There seems to be no carnage or injuries inflicted on anyone so far.

    Here's my plan. Please tell me if I am on the right track.

    I want to have about 20 more hens for eggs, plus a few roos to continue breeding in the future. I have a separate cage that I plan to transfer some hens and roos to so I have better odds of collecting fertilized eggs for incubation.

    I plan on taking the 2 biggest roos and 8 of the biggest hens from the existing flock and putting them in this separate cage to do their thing. I'll probably send the 3rd roo to the freezer. I'll collect about 50 eggs from them and incubate for the new flock.

    Once eggs hatch I will brood and grow them out to maturity. Males will be whacked and frozen, except for a select few.

    I plan on doing this a few times so that I have 4 or 5 cages with about 20 birds in each. Once I get all of the cages full of birds, I will dispatch the oldest birds to the freezer and fill their cage with new birds. Then the process will start over.

    The idea is to eventually have a good supply of eggs and meat for the family and maybe sell some of the extra.


    How long should I wait to start breeding? They only started laying about 10 days ago.

    Am I wasting my time with a "breeding cage"? Are 3 roos and 17 hens in one cage good enough to get a good amount of fertilized eggs?

    In the breeding cage, is it OK to have the 2 roos and 8 hens together or should I just go with 1 roo and 4 or 5 hens?

    Should I keep a few roos from each hatch to breed with hens they hatched with or does it matter what hatch they breed with?

    How many generations can I go before seeing some problems and need to get some variety of lineage?

    What am I missing?

    Wow, that's a big post! Thanks for any advice - this forum is awesome! I've learned A LOT here.
  2. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

  3. gilpinguy

    gilpinguy Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 4, 2015
    Gilpin County, Colorado
    DC3085 - thanks for the insight! Building a brooder and the second cage this coming week.

    I'm also getting 9 eggs a day now. So cool!

    I got one yesterday that was all membrane - no shell at all. That was a little strange. It felt like a soft, underinflated rubber ball. All other eggs normal, so I'm chalking this up as an anomaly and not something to be worried about.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  4. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2013
    Tempe, AZ
    X2 on what Don said. I have one of my cages with 9 hens and their great grandfather who is 2 years old. I incubated just that cage's eggs after collecting for a week and only one egg failed to develop. He is plenty potent enough to keep 9 younger hens fertile, even at his age, which is considered quite old for a coturnix. It was a fun project and just shows that you don't need as many roos as most people think you have to keep to have good fertility. Of course they are getting a good diet too and that helps. No low protein, meant for chickens feed.

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