Talk to me about your favorite quail!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by MissMarple, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. MissMarple

    MissMarple Songster

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    I've been bitten by the bug now and as my fine, feathery friends are growing up nicely, I'm already making plans for the Spring. These plans are looking like they're going to include quail. So, all you quail-lovers, tell me a few things...

    What are your favorite breeds and why?

    Hatching eggs vs chicks? What's your preference?

    Do you eat them? (I understand that you can, I'm asking more out of a curiosity as to how many of you that raise quail do actually eat the birds themselves)

    What are their space requirements to keep them comfortable and happy?

    How often do they lay? I've noticed in many recipes (I'm sure because they're much smaller than a chicken egg) that it tends to call for a dozen or more eggs per recipe so I wonder what the average yield is per day/week in your experiences.

    I'm sure I have other questions but these are some main ones. I can do all the research on each breed but nothing beats personal experience, in my opinion!
     
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  2. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    I love the coturnix because they are so docile. Many other breeds require a lot more space as well as being more highly strung and aggressive towards others of their species (not that coturnix can't be aggressive if the mood takes them). As long as you do your research and set up their environment correctly they'll do just fine but it's important to know how best to keep them.

    Hatching them is fun and the coturnix are probably the easiest to hatch (though I've hatched Buttons too and they were very easy as well). Shipped eggs will have a lower hatch rate.

    I'd love to be brave enough to eat the extras but we only ever hatch a few so we get to know them all.

    Coturnix hens will give you an egg a day, if receiving sufficient light (at least 12 hours a day), from around 6 weeks old, and they usually lay late afternoon. You can supplement their light to make them lay all winter but I like to give mine a break.

    It's easiest to form a content group if they have been raised together and you can just keep hens or a group of at least 4 hens and one cock (some boys need a few extra girls - it all depends on their temperament). It's best to stick to one cock per cage unless you give them a lot of space and hiding places.

    Hope that helps some.
     
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  3. MissMarple

    MissMarple Songster

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    Super helpful and informative!! Some friends of ours have Bobwhites and my husband is in love with the sound they make. I've noticed a lot of BYC'ers raise Coturnix so I like hearing about y'all's experiences with your favorite breeds!

    Very interesting to learn about the cock/hen ratio! I was wondering about that. How about the noise factor? We have chickens (34) at the moment and they're much quieter than I expected them to be. 1 confirmed cockerel (a CX) and at least 2 other possibles but only the CX "crows" and I don't think I'd even consider it a crow. His is very deep and quiet. It's weird. The girls can get chatty sometimes but for the most part, it's calm and quiet out there. How noisy are Coturnix? (Not that this would make me change my mind about them, honestly, I'm just curious :D)
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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  4. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    If you search on YouTube you'll find a video of a coturnix male crow. It's definitely not as nice as the Bobwhites, more of a funny warble/trill, but not very loud. A happy male should only crow at dawn and dusk to remind everyone that it's his territory and his hens.

    You can keep an all male pen if you have extra boys and they can be a bit noisier calling to the hens if they are close enough to hear them but as long as everyone is getting along, and they can't actually see the hens (which can lead them to beat up on each other) they aren't overly noisy.

    The hens can be quite loud if parted from other members of their flock, or a favourite mate. But again, if everyone is getting along they are quiet.

    They are so docile they'll be standing in your way as you try to clean out their pen! We have Button quail too and they are pretty but they are also very flighty and terrible escape artists. We've lost quite a few after they've snuck past us and taken off (they are small enough to be good fliers). The coturnix might fall out of their cage by accident (if you have an elevated one) but I've only had one fly off, and he came back the next day.
     
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  5. Quailobsessed

    Quailobsessed Chirping

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    I'm new to this forum but I've been keeping quail for almost a year now. I have four different species; coturnix, king, california and bobwhite.

    I think they're all good for different reasons. I don't eat my quails so meat isn't a consideration for me.

    I have had the king quails for the longest. Yes they are flighty and I've had two fly away. I keep them in pairs inside rabbit hutches which are inside aviaries. They are sweet to watch and over time have tamed enough to eat out of my hand but that's about it. They are generally a hands-off pet. I do however have one who is very tame. She was rejected by her parents when she hatched so we hand-raised her alone in a brooder. Because we spent constant time with her as a chick she has become the friendliest, tamest, cuddliest quail. she is an adult now and lives with her sister (who was also rejected by their parents at two and a half weeks old) but she still loves cuddling and makes cute chick noises.

    Coturnix I think are good too as they are quite like mini chickens. They can tame easily and their eggs are a decent size (they're small but not king quail small), mine lay an egg a day and rarely miss one. Even my broody coturnix with four chicks has started laying again (I have no idea why). They are also less flighty which makes them easier to handle. I keep mine in the bottom of my aviaries. I keep one trio (1 male, 2 females) in one aviary (well until one girl went broody, I separated her but I will put her back with them after the chicks grow up). I bought four young females for my male, but three ended up being males. I now have three males together in a large aviary (I'm keeping an eye to make sure none are injured). I have the other male and the female together as they were being bullied by the other boys. I am going to make an enclosure for the two of them.

    I have a pair of californias and a pair of bobwhites together in a coop with my golden pheasants. I have read that they can get aggressive to each other but they've been together for months with no dramas. They are good as they are very pretty and their calls are pleasant (better than the coturnix). I don't know about other peoples' experience but mine haven't laid eggs and show no interest in breeding. They may start up as it is spring for me. I keep them in an enclosure I built which is 2.4 by 1.8 metres. Mine are also flighty and are not tame.

    I've bought all mine as adults and bred my own chicks. I parent-raise mine.

    I love all the different species of quail (I am quail obsessed). I think the coturnix are probably the best to keep but I do have a soft spot for the king quails. I can't give you all the answers as I've only had quails since December but I am happy to share my experiences and opinions.

    Hope this info is helpful.
     
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  6. muddy75

    muddy75 Free Ranging

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    I chose coturnix because they are relatively docile, don’t require much space, and are prolific layers given the right conditions.
    The other factor in my choice is that coturnix are not typically regulated the same way as other birds in “most” cities/states. (Best to check state permit requirements prior to making final decision)
    I currently keep a “colorful covey” of approximately 50 birds of varying ages/colors and collect approximately a dozen eggs per day. We put approximately 15 in the freezer per month. I incubate either purchased eggs or homegrowns as needed.
    It’s a great bird for feeding a hatching and collecting addiction!!:gig
    They can get noisy if you have too many males but to me, the crows are not as annoying as “roosters” and relatively easy to process for meat and can be processed indoors!
     
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  7. Nabiki

    Nabiki Crowing

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    I'm new to quail keeping, but I chose Coturnix because they don't require a permit. I'm still waiting for eggs from my current covey, but I have eaten my four extra roosters.
     
  8. MissMarple

    MissMarple Songster

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    Loving all the info, y'all. AR Game and Fish website talks about how we used to have lots of Bobwhites in AR but don't anymore. There are programs that will help you develop your land (thoughts to ponder since I do own land out in the country that we farm for now) to bring the Bobwhite population up. Very interesting reads. Then I started searching through the laws. Coturnix are unrestricted and need no permits but nothing lists an other breed of quail as requiring a permit but I may not be seeing it. No other breed is on the restricted list either. I'm fairly certain I want Coturnix anyway so anything else may be moot. I do like reading about everybody's experiences with each breed on the off chance I decide I want to take any extra steps to get anything else if it turns out that it's necessary. Our city's only requirement for any bird is that they be penned/caged or otherwise confined to a backyard with a fence. Our 8ft fence and locked gate suffices for my flock to "free range" within the confines of our backyard (I wouldn't want them out front anyway because I trust no one in this neighborhood) and their coop keeps them safe if someone has to come in the backyard or for sleeping at night.

    Y'all actually answered some of my next questions. Aviaries. Seems like some sort of enclosure within an enclosure would be the best bet to keep the little Houdinis from getting free. Here's what we're working with (at the moment. This is subject to change based on what we decide to do) : we have a 5'x10' dog kennel that's predator proofed for chicks/chickens. We have moved things around, added things to it, made it more secure and, as of right now, have 11 baby chicks in it. We were discussing using it for quail come Spring. By then, the smaller chicks will be integrated with the larger flock (youngest are 5 weeks, oldest are 12 weeks right now) and what used to be the temporary coop for everyone will be free to use for whatever we want. So. Quail enclosure inside this coop, just this coop alone, quail enclosure separate from all of this? I'm totally willing to build something apart from the chickens. Smaller coop is sat right next to the permanent large coop but they can't see it from inside the large coop.

    Very helpful, everyone!! Thank you so much! I am itching to hatch something...... Which is why I'm following your HAL @muddy75 ! Spring can't come fast enough.......
     
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  9. Serin

    Serin Songster

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    I have a pair of buttons. I like that they're small enough to keep as house pets.

    1010191345c.jpg
     
  10. MissMarple

    MissMarple Songster

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    SO cute!!!!
     
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