Walk-in aviary with Corturnix, rabbits and giant pigeons

Discussion in 'Quail' started by SouthernAlberta, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. SouthernAlberta

    SouthernAlberta Songster

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Canada - Garden Zone 3
    Currently I have three female and two male Corturnix. They live happily with one large male rabbit.

    My thought is to get the rabbit a spayed female girlfriend for company because rabbit are social creatures. The rabbits would help to keep the birds warm in wintertime. A pair of giant, flightless pigeons could incubate quail eggs. For housing I have a dog igloo on the ground and a raised rabbit hutch modified with two nest/huddle boxes and a perch. The rabbit hutch has a wire floor that I covered with plexiglass because I don't think pigeons would want a wire floor. Ground in the aviary is gravel. Is this a crazy setup or a good one for pets with benefits?

    [​IMG]


    http://cdn.backyardchickens.com/7/75/751c9eeb_2012Mayrabbithutchchickencoop2.jpeg

    (I don't have chickens anymore and the wire on the bottom of the raised hutch is removable.)

    http://cdn.backyardchickens.com/6/66/66229b79_2012critterrunfinished.jpeg

    The run still has plastic deer fencing on the top, but the wire hardware cloth now goes to the top because the rabbit sits on his hutch and chews through it. The wood is all painted now, too.

    I wonder about feeding. Quail need high protein. The pigeons will eat mostly whole grains (12-15% protein) which, if large enough, the quail might not touch. All of the critters may eat alfalfa hay safely. I suppose the rabbits and pigeons may not do well on the higher protein quail food and so free-feeding might not be ideal and so mealtimes 2x per day are a better idea.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
  2. Bramsbirds

    Bramsbirds In the Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2013
    You can use fodder to feed them all I think. Great videos on youtube about using seed fodder for feed.
     
  3. SouthernAlberta

    SouthernAlberta Songster

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    Canada - Garden Zone 3
    Thanks for the tip. For now I feed twice per day. Each species initially feeds on their appropriate food and I'm sure there is no harm in them sharing leftovers.
     
  4. Bramsbirds

    Bramsbirds In the Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2013
    Where did you get your Pigeons? We intended to get some but the breeder fell through.
     
  5. SouthernAlberta

    SouthernAlberta Songster

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Canada - Garden Zone 3
    These are Show Kings, but pet quality due to the female being too small and the male having a deformed foot. They don't mate. If you are in Canada and this is the breed you seek, send me private message for contact information. In my search I did find many breeders on Kijiji and Craigslist or club members by Googling.
     
  6. Bramsbirds

    Bramsbirds In the Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2013
    Thank you, I will look out for adds.
     
  7. Weirdness555

    Weirdness555 Chirping

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    Firstly, you might need some more female coturnix. The best ratio is 1 male to 4 or more females, less than that will cause fighting between males and females who are stressed and potentially injured from over mating. Also, unless you're thinking of taking out the quail chicks as soon as they hatch, then pigeon incubating might not be a good idea, as quail chicks are precocious, meaning they can walk about and feed themselves from hatching, where as pigeon chicks are born naked and blind and need their parents to do everything for them, which the pigeons will try to do with the quail, which could injure them.

    Next, I'm told that quail can be quite territorial with ground dwellers, so you'll need to watch them CLOSELY with flightless birds, and the rabbits. Especially their eyes.

    Additionally, feeding meals isn't ideal for birds, because naturally they would forage throughout the day. Would it be possible to put the different feeds into places which could only be accessed by one species? For instance inside a box with a hole big enough for quail but too small for pigeons?

    Mixing species can be very interesting, but it comes with a lot of work. I personally have only ever mixed quail with flight birds, as they then stay (mostly) out of each other's way, but even in this set up our budgies eat some of the quail pellets, though I judge not enough to cause any harm.

    I hope that this is helpful, and I don't mean to sound so negative!

    Good luck with all your animals :)
     
  8. SouthernAlberta

    SouthernAlberta Songster

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    Mar 30, 2012
    Canada - Garden Zone 3
    Hi Wierdness


    I planned to have more females quails than I do. There are no breeders nearby and I had two bad deals. I'll have to raise my own girls to add to the flock.

    Yes, I'd like to try having the pigeons incubate quail eggs. Don't worry, I know the difference between the different chicks and if the pigeons go broody for me the quail chicks will be removed from the nest asap.

    What I'm finding is that the quail like to hangout under the hutch. The pigeons like to be in the hutch and the big rabbit likes to be on the hutch. There is lots of room in the aviary, so there aren't any squabbles. I like the idea of creating a feeder for the quail. They love scratching in the rabbit's hay.
     
    JimNKC likes this.

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