Stupid Quail Question

Me & Jack

Songster
10 Years
May 31, 2009
395
23
123
NC
Okay, I meant that the question is stupid, not the quail, themselves!

Someone gave us to quail eggs yesterday to hatch out. We know nothing about quail, having only ever had chickens and ducks. Do quail need to be caged? Will they fly away if they are not caged in? Can they free range for any part of the day?

I'm not even sure how big they'll get, but I am assuming they'd remain small enough for our cats to get them? Can't keep my cats out of our chicken yard (they like to sleep under the coop), and so far it's never been a problem -- the chickens don't seem phased. But a small quail -- now that would worry me.

Also, is it true that quail make good pets, or is that someone speaking in relative terms to a flighty breed of chicken?

Anyone point me to a good link, something along the lines of "Quails for Dummies"?

Thanks so much!
 

navasima

Songster
8 Years
Aug 6, 2011
600
3
109
New Mexico
Well - you've found a great source of info. here at this thread! Welcome! Now : What kind of quail? This will determine the answers to all of your other questions.
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The only answer that will remain consistent regardless of type is - yes, they will be cat bait. You definitely need their living space (cage, pen, whatever) to be absolutely cat/any predator proof. If you're not sure of which kind of quail - post pic of the eggs!
I'm a newbie to quail myself, but there are a lot of folks on here with alot of experience and knowledge!!
 

mhwc56

Songster
9 Years
Aug 5, 2010
1,688
18
186
my house in maryland
Me & Jack :

Okay, I meant that the question is stupid, not the quail, themselves!

Someone gave us to quail eggs yesterday to hatch out. We know nothing about quail, having only ever had chickens and ducks. Do quail need to be caged? Will they fly away if they are not caged in? Can they free range for any part of the day?

I'm not even sure how big they'll get, but I am assuming they'd remain small enough for our cats to get them? Can't keep my cats out of our chicken yard (they like to sleep under the coop), and so far it's never been a problem -- the chickens don't seem phased. But a small quail -- now that would worry me.

Also, is it true that quail make good pets, or is that someone speaking in relative terms to a flighty breed of chicken?

Anyone point me to a good link, something along the lines of "Quails for Dummies"?

Thanks so much!

First of all ...(Quail are NOTHING like chickens)...what species of quail? That makes a difference.
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Yes they need to be caged. Most folks keep them in a rabbit hutch style cage(with the exception of Button quail b/c they have to be indoors .they are tropical birds which will die of cold at 45-55 degrees ) There is a post or 2 on here where lots of folks have put up pics of their quail housing you can look at.
ALSO..wanted to add that 1/2 " Hardware cloth is really the only safest wire to use with quail as anything else allows for predators to access them .NOT a good think to be greeted with in the morning when you go out to feed...
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You do NOT want to expose quail to chickens as chickens are frequently carriers of diseases that quail do not have any immunity against and will die from. Also, cats and quail do not mix well. Quail run from a couple ounces to around a pound live weight size. Coturnix for example are in the approximate size range of a soda can when fully grown
SOME quail species make okay pets and others make terrible pets b/c they're too high strung.
Quail need a high protein diet( of 25-30 %...sporting bird /gamebird starter feed) and it should be UNmedicated since their systems don't respond well to many poultry meds.
THIS SITE is the BEST place to get quail info.There are stickies at the top and many knowledgable people with much experience to offer you.
For hatching quail ...they need slightly higher humidity during incubation and Lockdown.The final couple days it should be in the high 50% to 60% range. Incubation is 15-23 days depending on species.
Quail are LITTLE ( as in the size of the 1st 2 joints of an average woman's thumb)when they hatch and you need to have their feed ground to the consistency of cornmeal in order for them to be able to eat it without choking.​
 
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Me & Jack

Songster
10 Years
May 31, 2009
395
23
123
NC
This is great so far. Learning lots already.

I was told these quail are white Texas A&M coturnix. Curious to know what difference the breed makes.
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Mibotsu

Songster
8 Years
May 23, 2011
1,345
11
133
Balbriggan, Ireland

navasima

Songster
8 Years
Aug 6, 2011
600
3
109
New Mexico
Me & Jack :

This is great so far. Learning lots already.

I was told these quail are white Texas A&M coturnix. Curious to know what difference the breed makes.
smile.png


Coturnix, Button (cbbq) and Bobwhites have big differences in how they are kept.

Mibotsu is dead on with the links. It's true that quail are a whole different ball game from chickens and ducks. Read on McDuff!!
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wbruder17

Songster
9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
1,661
17
153
Portland, OR
They definitely can't free range. My chickens hatch out my quail for me and they do fine, but quail do not need a momma the way chicks do and my hens get confused about why their babies don't need them and fly at a week old! The quail are not very "petlike", at least mine aren't, but I can catch them pretty easily with the enclosure we have and they deal ok with being held for inspections.

This is my enclosure. It has hardware cloth all along thhe bottom and aviary wire all around the rest of the run. They have a very large "coop" that they really enjoy. I filled the enclosure with a sand, gravel, dirt mixture and keep dried leaves, shavings, stray and the sand/dirt mixture in the coop. They get grass clippings as treats and the highest protein feed I can find (which is only 22%, which I am not happy about, but I'm stiill hoping they will lay allright.). They love to have pine tree branches in the run to hide under and climb around on. They are also housed with 2 chukers and all get along well.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/59865_2011-12-16_14-23-08_765.jpg

This
is my 3rd attempt at quail. The first 2 times ended in massacre (rats? Weasel?) But this time I made the enclosure totally predator proof and we havent lost one yet!
 

aprophet

Songster
10 Years
Jan 12, 2010
3,798
43
239
chesapeake Va.
Quote:
the A&M's were jumbo Pharohs that the white Phenotype was added to to get the lighter flesh that everyone wanted me I skin my birds this does not matter
 

Me & Jack

Songster
10 Years
May 31, 2009
395
23
123
NC
Thanks for the great info folks. Those links were particularly helpful.

Not sure whether we'll keep these babies once they hatch or if we'll sell them after a few weeks. We've now learned there will be more to looking after them than simply having them "move in" with my Silkies. Since I don't plan to breed them and sell them for meat or eggs, would you say they're still worth keeping as pets? Can you interact with them or do they have to stay in the cage for you to do so? Guess clipping wings would be a good start to at least ensuring they don't fly the coop the first chance they get. If we clipped wings would we be making the birds less or more appealing to someone who might want to buy them down the road?
 

bfrancis

Songster
9 Years
Mar 30, 2010
1,235
107
161
Okmulgee Co, Oklahoma
Me & Jack :

Thanks for the great info folks. Those links were particularly helpful.

Not sure whether we'll keep these babies once they hatch or if we'll sell them after a few weeks. We've now learned there will be more to looking after them than simply having them "move in" with my Silkies. Since I don't plan to breed them and sell them for meat or eggs, would you say they're still worth keeping as pets? If by pet you mean something to watch and take care of. They're not going to cuddle with you.Can you interact with them or do they have to stay in the cage for you to do so?They may tame down some, but aren't so touchy feel-ly. Guess clipping wings would be a good start to at least ensuring they don't fly the coop the first chance they get. If you only open the enclosure/pen/cage for feeding, the random egg collection, and cleaning you won't have to worry about them flying the coop. If we clipped wings would we be making the birds less or more appealing to someone who might want to buy them down the road? I think if you clipped the wings it would be less appealing to a potential buyer down the road as well as undue stress on the bird

Just my opinions...
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