Thinking of quail

duckiemum

Songster
Sep 30, 2020
857
2,950
193
Small town in Georgia
Coturnix are your best bet. No, they don’t go broody. That said, there is a thread going on right now where someone actually does have a broody quail hen. What type does your store sell? They should know which breeds require a permit or are restricted, but don’t forgo your own research.
The guy I got mine from did have them semi free range BUT its not recommended. They are very flighty. Chicks are so stinking cute! Its crazy how tiny they are.
How many do you want to start with?
They have coturnix for sure, and sometimes different ones. Could you link the thread? And I 'm probably gonna start with 5 or so. Also, if flight is a concern can their wings be clipped?
 

Fishychix

Crowing
May 20, 2020
1,300
6,156
326
NE Ohio
They have coturnix for sure, and sometimes different ones. Could you link the thread? And I 'm probably gonna start with 5 or so. Also, if flight is a concern can their wings be clipped?
This is the one I was talking about, but if you type in Broody Quail in the search menu there are quite a few results.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/you-guys-i-think-i’ve-got-a-broody-quail.1414620/page-2
Honestly, I don’t know about clipping their wings, but I inagine it could be done, but a roof may be easier. Lol!
 

ArthurFleck

In the Brooder
Apr 14, 2020
44
33
39
Hey all! I'm thinking about getting quail soon, but don't know all that much about them. What breed is "best"? Is it better to get them young or matured? Also, can they live with chickens and ducks and free range with them? All help is appreciated, thanks in advance. :)
Coturnix quails are probably best especially if you plan on taming any of them. They are better for meat and eggs than most other quails too and you could sell them or use them for hunting. You probably don't want to keep them with chickens though because they are smaller and more fragile so if you do, you're going to want to keep them in their own separate coop but I do recommend getting them because they lay a lot more than chickens and ducks and they are pretty easy to care for . :)
 

MiracleHatch

In the Brooder
Apr 24, 2020
15
22
31
I’m a new quail keeper who was gifted 9 quail from a fellow chicken breeder. The last month has been a whirlwind of researching for me! Here are some things I’ve learned:

• Don’t mix quail & chickens. Quail being in contact with chicken poops can pass on some illnesses that are more deadly to quail.

• Quail enjoy cozy, predator proof coops. Mine are by themselves in a grow out pen I typically use for chicken chicks. Most people keep them in a wire bottom rabbit hutch or specially built quail hutch. You have to use 1/4 or 1/2 inch hardware cloth on everything without fail. Everything eats quail, including mice and smaller rat snakes. The roof should be 24 inches high or LESS so the quail don’t break their necks if they startle and leap upwards in a panic. An aviary (kind of like a chicken run) with a 6 foot ceiling is also safe. Quail coops are much easier to build yourself than chicken coops.

• We are building a very predator proof, ground contact quail coop *inside* a high fenced vegetable garden (so technically double caged) to keep our breeding stock quail in. Supposedly ground contact with natural grasses or straw around helps encourage broodiness in quail hens.

• Look at the different Coturnix feather & egg colors then select what you would like to have. Craig’s list has had multiple quail breeders with hatching eggs for sale. If you want meat and blue eggs, you need to find someone breeding Jumbo Celadon coturnix quail. These are a breeding project and not yet widely offered. If you want to only use 2 or 3 quail eggs to equal a chicken egg in cooking, get Jumbos. If you love the cute little eggs, get standard size Coturnix, which come in all the pretty colors. Celadon (blue egg laying) Coturnix are standard size unless specifically listed as being Jumbo.

I hope this helps!
 

duckiemum

Songster
Sep 30, 2020
857
2,950
193
Small town in Georgia
I’m a new quail keeper who was gifted 9 quail from a fellow chicken breeder. The last month has been a whirlwind of researching for me! Here are some things I’ve learned:

• Don’t mix quail & chickens. Quail being in contact with chicken poops can pass on some illnesses that are more deadly to quail.

• Quail enjoy cozy, predator proof coops. Mine are by themselves in a grow out pen I typically use for chicken chicks. Most people keep them in a wire bottom rabbit hutch or specially built quail hutch. You have to use 1/4 or 1/2 inch hardware cloth on everything without fail. Everything eats quail, including mice and smaller rat snakes. The roof should be 24 inches high or LESS so the quail don’t break their necks if they startle and leap upwards in a panic. An aviary (kind of like a chicken run) with a 6 foot ceiling is also safe. Quail coops are much easier to build yourself than chicken coops.

• We are building a very predator proof, ground contact quail coop *inside* a high fenced vegetable garden (so technically double caged) to keep our breeding stock quail in. Supposedly ground contact with natural grasses or straw around helps encourage broodiness in quail hens.

• Look at the different Coturnix feather & egg colors then select what you would like to have. Craig’s list has had multiple quail breeders with hatching eggs for sale. If you want meat and blue eggs, you need to find someone breeding Jumbo Celadon coturnix quail. These are a breeding project and not yet widely offered. If you want to only use 2 or 3 quail eggs to equal a chicken egg in cooking, get Jumbos. If you love the cute little eggs, get standard size Coturnix, which come in all the pretty colors. Celadon (blue egg laying) Coturnix are standard size unless specifically listed as being Jumbo.

I hope this helps!
It does, thank you
 

FloorCandy

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
1,228
2,106
228
You can clip their wings and it helps. Some youngsters can still heft themselves up and out of the pen even with one wing clipped very short, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Once they’re about 3-4 months old I find they stop trying to get out every time I open the pen, however if they get startled they will still flush up and sometimes over. When mine were younger I was constantly climbing into my neighbors empty pool husk to get them because the best grass apparently grows there lol.

Also, as far as free ranging, everything loves to eat them. Mice and rats will attack them as well as larger predators. When they’re lost or scared, they call to their friends, letting every predator know there’s a small bird in distress over there.

I keep mine in pens on the ground, I just can’t imagine keeping them on wire, it just seems harsh for them, but many people do it successfully. I like the idea of them having a more natural setting, it helps me personally with the culling of males. I feel like if I give them a great life for the time they have, I don’t feel as bad eating them later.

I find keeping quail to be very easy, as well as satisfying. I have dogs for companionship from pets so I don’t need chickens to snuggle haha. Quail only live 2-3 years, so if they become ill and home care and tlc don’t fix it, culling is an easier choice than with chickens.
 

Fenrisulfr

Songster
Mar 30, 2020
882
1,900
196
Germany
Mice don't attack quails, as birds ... but they like the quail feed and will carry diseases into the coop.

So they are no predator, but a pest, harming quail.
 

FloorCandy

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
1,228
2,106
228
Mice don't attack quails, as birds ... but they like the quail feed and will carry diseases into the coop.

So they are no predator, but a pest, harming quail.
I have too many hawks and stray cats, so I don’t know first hand, but I often see people claiming mice can eat quail toes, and even scalp and kill young birds, which is why I included them.
 

JacinLarkwell

Crowing
Mar 19, 2020
4,559
5,859
341
South-Eastern Montana
Mice will demolish quail chicks. Been there first hand sadly.

I would say the younger the better. I have 2 groups noe, one I got as adolescents and one as eggs. The ones I hatched are so nice and relaxing. The ones I got as adolescents are the ones you see me constantly posting about with problems. Not sure why since they still were raised together before coming to me, but that's the only difference they have
 

FloorCandy

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
1,228
2,106
228
Mice will demolish quail chicks. Been there first hand sadly.

I would say the younger the better. I have 2 groups noe, one I got as adolescents and one as eggs. The ones I hatched are so nice and relaxing. The ones I got as adolescents are the ones you see me constantly posting about with problems. Not sure why since they still were raised together before coming to me, but that's the only difference they have
I’ve raised all mine from eggs, and I only had one real male troublemaker, and he was more of a nuisance who I had to cull when he made a hen bonk pretty hard. I probably wouldn’t have culled him except he crowed constantly, so I solved 2 annoyances.

Most people feel they are friendlier when you raise them yourself, I don’t know how true it is tho, only my first hatch I really held and tried to tame. The other hatches I just fed and watered and since the weather was Hot, moved them out super early. I don’t see any behavior differences overall. I’ve combined hatches, and integrated 8 week olds into the main pen, with no intros, just ACV and I’ve had no fights afterward.

I wonder if it’s something about the housing or care they received for a short time before you got them? I always assume chicks from stores will be more difficult because stores are stressful to animals with all the touching and noise. But people’s homes can be stressful too, if there’s lots of people and guests etc.

Before I sold my chicks, I used a red heat bulb because there were too many for the plate, and the chicks were really crazy, day and night. After I sold most, I switched the keepers to the heat plate, which I always used previously and they calmed down and just spent most time under the plate, not running around screaming every time they turn away from the group and think they’re alone. Maybe the constant light made them agitated? Idk but perhaps long time exposure could have made them more aggressive? Just tossing ideas out there that could cause related chicks to turn out so differently.
 

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