What happens to all the Males!

quailme

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 13, 2014
12
0
22
As you may have gathered I am just starting out with a view to rearing Japanese Quial for eggs. I have read various ratios of Males to Females 1:3 seems to be common. So what happens for the remaining male chicks...I guess the same question applies to the entire poultry industry. I have just done a quick calculation based on feed costs here (22USD per 50kg bag) and it is probably not viable to fatten them up to sell for meat.

Is there a way to get more females than males from the eggs or is it generally 50:50 as you would expect.

Thanks
 

cruisermedic

In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 11, 2014
64
3
31
Some people think there may be a link between incubator temp and the majority sex of a hatch. A few studies have been done and some say yes and then some say no. I have only hatched once and I just used the standard 99.5°f and they were roughly 50/50. A Goole search may provide you with links.
 

James the Bald

Songster
7 Years
Jan 6, 2013
1,022
131
206
As you may have gathered I am just starting out with a view to rearing Japanese Quial for eggs. I have read various ratios of Males to Females 1:3 seems to be common. So what happens for the remaining male chicks...I guess the same question applies to the entire poultry industry. I have just done a quick calculation based on feed costs here (22USD per 50kg bag) and it is probably not viable to fatten them up to sell for meat.

Is there a way to get more females than males from the eggs or is it generally 50:50 as you would expect.

Thanks
The quick answer to your question, is no, there is no way to increase hatch rates to produce more females than males. The answer to your question, "So what happens for the remaining male chicks..." is misleading. Some varieties (like the tuxedo or A&M) can not be correctly "sexed" until they fully mature, so it's not like we are euthanizing baby chicks. Only when they are mature and at a decent weight do they get harvested (or matched up with 3 or 4 hens for hatching eggs).

There has been a study about increasing male production in poultry (for broilers) since some reptilian species have been proven to produce more males when the temperature has dropped a few degrees at a certain point in the incubation process. The debate on weather this same theory holds true with poultry has been going around for some time. About 2 years ago, TwoCrows provided a link to a study that first introduced the concept that it could be possible for poultry to produce more males than females with a drop in temperature at a set time in the incubation process (I've searched for an hour, and it was 55 minutes longer than I wanted to search). I don't know if the reverse has been considered for producing more hens, but almost anything is possible.

Unless you want to hatch your own eggs, a good ratio would be 0:4+ (a roo isn't required for a hen to lay eggs). If you plan to consume the quail, then there is no wasted feed (compared to culling a roo and and tossing it in the trash, and shame on the owner who does that). Also, most of us will observe our males for sign of aggression and other negative traits that we don't want to be carried to the next generation.
James
edited for a spell check.
 
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quailme

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 13, 2014
12
0
22
Thanks for your valuable info, viewed some scary videos on you tube about destroying male chicks I am glad quail cannot be sexed at 1 day like chicken. So if the males need to be slaughtered for meat when is this normaly done?... from a purely commercial perspective.
 

dc3085

Crowing
7 Years
Jan 6, 2013
3,288
356
251
SF Bay Area, California
Commercially coturnix are processed between 6-8 weeks. The growth curve is reached at 8 weeks. That is basically the point you are feeding a bird more dollars than it is feasibly worth. If you're only raising a few and eating for personal enjoyment you can go as long as 10 or 12 weeks to let them put on a little more weight, some of which will be fat(personally I prefer a little fat on the carcass when I'm preparing it for the table). When people process at six weeks it is generally to generate carcasses of a uniform size (as well as potentially increasing profit but that depends on many factors)
 

Sill

Songster
6 Years
Dec 30, 2013
1,555
292
226
Tempe, AZ
The extra males are delicious. When you are raising quail yes you will have a lot of extra males, but by the time the extras are maturing by 6-9 weeks they will get so noisy you will find it hard to wait to send them to freezer camp. My last group of extra males were crowing at 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am...by 6am their last day they were quiet. My keeper males are content with their hens and don't feel the need to compete and crow. I hear maybe one or two crows all day from my six adult males in their coveys.
 

COsteveo

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
128
13
73
The same thing that happens to my extra hens... they are sold/go to freezer camp/become hawk food.
 

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