time to cull

bdpost

In the Brooder
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Jun 13, 2012
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I have 6 males and 7 female bobwhites in a communal cage. The males are starting to get aggressive with the other males. I can not really seperate them, so I am going to cull. I am just not sure which ones? There are a few males that I know of for sure as they have been shunned from the rest. Think I could cull all the males and leave him with 7 hens? Or should I reduce the number of hens as well. They have done great together in the pen over the winter but as it is warming up, some have got to go. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Thanks

Got my first egg today!
 

TwoCrows

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After a year old, you can not keep breeding Bobs together. They need to be paired off at this point, one male to one female.

You could always keep all the females or all the males. Generally the males will get along with each other if they don't see or hear any females. Same with the females...you can keep them together as long as they do not see or hear the males. There is always an exception to this rule when somebody has a screw loose.

Bobs need about 4 square feet per bird to keep them mentally together. Any tighter and they are going to kill each other.

If you are going to cull Bobs, keep the least aggressive and calmest birds and cull the rest.
 

bdpost

In the Brooder
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Jun 13, 2012
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I had not thought of that Two Crows. That might be my best option. I want eggs. They would still lay without a male, right? I have a pretty good size pen, but not the ability to pair them off. That was a mistake I made in my first attemp with quail. I could keep the females untill they stop laying in the fall, then have a second cull and start over with a breed more suited for a group setting.
Thank you!
 

TwoCrows

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You do not need a male around to get eggs...females will always produce eggs.

You could always get Coturnix quail later on. You can keep more of them together.

Good luck!
 

DoubletakeFarm

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Feb 23, 2013
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Quote:
So twocrows, how do YOU do it? I'm asking because I see pics of your setup and that's kind of how I want mine to be (aviary style). Do you only keep one breeding pair of bobs? Some of your photos have multiple birds; do those get culled or separtated?
 

TwoCrows

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So twocrows, how do YOU do it? I'm asking because I see pics of your setup and that's kind of how I want mine to be (aviary style). Do you only keep one breeding pair of bobs? Some of your photos have multiple birds; do those get culled or separtated?
Trust me, it is a pain in the rump. LOL I have 3 aviaries, a 10x10 a 10x20 and a 10x30 feet. At the moment I have 15 pairs of Bobs, however I have had near 50 pairs not including any young or hatchlings. All the birds are kept in the 10x10 for the winter where they have access to winter shelter.

However come breeding season, the pairs are separated into these other aviaries. I use the extra large wire dog crates, and flip the top of the cage off to the side. I flip the entire thing over so that the birds have access to the dirt. For some pairs, ones that need more room, I will add baby gates to the back to add another few square feet. I line these cages up in the aviaries and some birds, (young or extra females) are allowed run of the aviaries together.

I have never taken many pics of this set up, but I have a couple of pics that will give you some idea...(these pics are not recent and I now use sand to cover the aviary floors and grass hay in the cages for nest material)







Sorry these pics are not that great, but it gives you some idea. Then come fall, all the birds are transferred back to the 10x10 to spend the winter together. I try to always keep the pairs together each breeding season and because I have had this group for so long, (they are getting old) I can usually recognize them enough to get them properly paired off.
 
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DoubletakeFarm

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Feb 23, 2013
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So it can be done, very interesting. You should really do a write up on raising bobs, you have valuable experience that I can't find anywhere! Don't mean to hijack this thread, but a few more questions: So they get along in the winter, just not during breeding season? How often do you replace those branches you have in there, don't they die pretty quick (the branches)?
 

TwoCrows

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So it can be done, very interesting. You should really do a write up on raising bobs, you have valuable experience that I can't find anywhere! Don't mean to hijack this thread, but a few more questions: So they get along in the winter, just not during breeding season? How often do you replace those branches you have in there, don't they die pretty quick (the branches)?
LOL...a TON of trial and error to get to where I am at for sure! LOL Now that I have finally figured everything out, I am thinking of getting out of the quail thing and getting into pheasants or maybe chukars. I will probably let these guys die off before I start any new ventures however. I have considered culling them all, but then I get to thinking how much I would miss having them around. Some of these birds are only 3 years old and some are 7 years. They just keep going and going and going! LOL

Yes, fortunately they do get along thru the winter months. I have never had ANY fighting during the off season and because these guys have been raised together, there is never any blood shed even during breeding season. They will chase and rip out feathers during breeding season if somebody gets loose in the aviary, but never is there any brutality. During the winter months, it is so dang cold, that all these birds do is hide under the brush piles, snuggling up. They also have another 15 square feet of coop space in the greenhouse where they will often be seen lined up, nearly piled up on each other trying to soak up sun and heat. LOL I have tried to breed out all the aggression from these birds and now have some really calm, no flush, docile Bobs.

I don't use real branches much anymore and have switched over to fake christmas trees. Kind of like this...




It was constant work changing out dead branches, leaves all over the place. But the thing that really got me to switch was I had an issue with leg scale mites for several months and all I could figure was the mites were coming in on the branches. So Once I switched over to fake foliage and got the leg scale cleared up, I never had a problem again.

I too am so sorry to have helped in the Hijacking of this thread...please forgive!!! :)
 

bdpost

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 13, 2012
11
0
22
No worries! This is all great info! I am starting my trial an error phase. I hatched right before Thanksgiving and all mine got along famously over the winter. It has just been in the last week or so that things are heating up- so to speak. And I have to do something, quickly. I never thought of going all hens.
Two Crows- your system sounds really impressive!
thanks for the info!
 

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