Thinking of getting started with quail...

Discussion in 'Quail' started by WallTenters, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. WallTenters

    WallTenters Songster

    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    So these little buggars have caught my eye. I love the look of the Mountain Quail, but I keep reading how difficult they are to keep and I don't think I'd want to start out with something like that having never owned quail before. So instead I was thinking of Manchurian Coturnix. Any feedback on these birds is appreciated.

    I'm mostly interested in them because we live in town and can't keep as many chickens here for me to get my chickie fix, so our chickens are at a friend's house. Because the quail (from what I've been told) are not as loud and don't have the same space requirements as chickens... [​IMG]

    I do have many questions, but I'll start with these...

    If housed outside, would they need added heat in the winter time?

    Do folks on here have better luck with wire, shavings or even sand?
    ... I just think wire may only contribute to the heating problems.
    If I used shavings, how deep should the litter be? What about with sand?

    I've really fallen in love with the nipple waterers for our chickens. Would the quail do well with these, do you think?

    Would it be better labor, etc. wise to house them in a colony type environment during the winter? If this were the case, I might be able to move them into our shed/garage and have a heat lamp in there (would they also need a regular light?) and that would solve the problem with the heating. Any thoughts on this?

  2. Well for starters keep in mind you are in very cold country. My folks lived in Terrabonne for many years. Deffinately keep them enclosed in the winter. Not just from the cold but from the wind. The advantage of wire floors is that it is more sanitary. Not nearly as many disease problems. One thing you may try is weather or not you put your birds in for the winter is mounting your heating lamps upside down under the flooring of your coop with an additional screen so that the poo doesn't affect it. Just a thought.
  3. Rainwolf

    Rainwolf De La Menagerie

    Aug 4, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    First thing you want to do is check your local laws about quails. some places have licenses etc that need to be in place before you get birds.

    Coturnix do not need heat in the winter if they are full grown adults. They can handle down to 0F with no extra heat. They do need shelter that is weather proof. and I put a roof over entire area since they are not the brightest bulb sometimes and will sit in the rain. I also add some corn to their feed in the winter if they want it. (separate feeder)

    Floor: I use 1/4" hardwire clothe this allows the droppings to be under the cage and not in the cage. I would suggest placing some areas inside where they can get off the wire. I use cardboard flats from the stores (costco), put sand or shavings in the flat and watch them have a blast. when box is falling apart I pull and place in my compost pile and put a new flat in the cage.

    Water: Mine will use nipple waterer as well as pop bottle waterer and trough waterer. I use the pop bottle ones the most since they can not accidentally bathe in them. They do with the nipple and trough ones some times.

    I have mine all in 1 very large cage in the winter and divide up into breeding colonies in the spring/summer/fall
    I do keep the cockerels in 1 pen and the hens in another. the large cage is used for grow out when the breeders are in their own pens.
  4. WallTenters

    WallTenters Songster

    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    Thanks for the replies so far, keep them coming! [​IMG] This last winter we had -32F in the morning for several days in a row.. our chickens are Dominiques, VERY cold hardy so they weren't affected.

    Bringing them in isn't a big problem. I can put them in the shed and just put some heat lamps out there for them. If they can handle 0F as adults I'll leave them outside until it's getting into the teens at night and then move them in, just to be safe.

    Also, what's a great source for quality, healthy birds? I'm not looking at getting them soon... maybe summertime at the soonest.
    As far as permits and such I've searched the internet but no luck, so I figured I'd just call ODFW tomorrow and find out what the cost is for the permit. I've had neighbors before that raised all kinds of game birds (legally, very nice setup) and they never complained about pricing on the permits, so hopefully it's not typical ODFW... in Oregon you have to have a permit to poo brown, and you better not do that near a river or stream.
  5. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

    Feb 6, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    I am always hatching my stock so I will have Manchurians available if you want them.
  6. peewee

    peewee Songster

    Sep 25, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    Well I just wanted to say "Welcome to the addiction" . I can vouch for quailladys eggs. I had a great hatch from eggs that she sent me. And I would also suggest that you look at JJ's eggs as well. I have not hatched eggs from his stock but I did get some full grown birds and I can say that they are BIG and BEAUTIFUL.

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