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when and who to process

Discussion in 'Quail' started by tuesdays chicks, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    Hi all,
    The jumbo browns are 8 weeks now,have 11 all together 4 are definate males, is it time to process? or should I give it a couple more weeks or should I breed these and wait for next batch?
    I have them in a group pen, or would I be better processing and just keeping 1 male and 4 or 5 females.
    sugar as I type this I realise how confused I am, in a group are 4 males too many out of 11, I can't see the benifit of processing 2 little birds.
    any suggestions of what I should do?
     
  2. Rainwolf

    Rainwolf De La Menagerie

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    Aug 4, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    Well with 4 roos that means you only have 7 females..
    If they are breeding I would keep the best male and cull the other 3 or at very least move them to a bachelor pen. 1 roo to 7 hens is a good ratio.
     
  3. Rainwolf

    Rainwolf De La Menagerie

    2,818
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    Aug 4, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    is this group your only group of birds?
    will you be wanting more birds? hatchings?
    What is your goal?

    For me I have a grow out pen, a bachelor pen, and my breeder pens. (in winter the breeders all get tossed into a single large winter pen)
    I raise them for eating meat or eggs and birds/eggs to sell.
    With my goal in mind when I first started I kept the males in the bachelor pen until I had hatched/bought all the birds I wanted for breeding.
    Once I got my breeding pens where I wanted I then culled or sold what was left.
    Now every winter I bring in new blood by hatching eggs from other breeders (as well as my own), grow the birdies out, pick out the best and toss into my winter pen once they are adults.
    Come February I will start dividing up my winter pen back into the breeder pens, then a week or so I wait to see if I have any issues with the groups I picked out and replace birds if needed.
    Once all Breeding pens are established and running smoothly I might sell/cull whats left. I do normally end up keeping a few in the winter pen that show promise but just did not make the cut this round.

    But this is all just my way...
     
  4. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    thanks I thought the ratio was 1 roo to 4 or 5 hens, I have moved 3 of the roos out because I thought I had more roos and was going to processthen when I took all their shuffling butts out realized I wasn't mistaken on my original count.
    My biggest problem is my dh is going to kill me if I tell him I'm starting all over with babies LOl [​IMG] if I keep 1 male and 4 or 5 females and process the rest, I guess it will ride on whether he likes the taste of quail.
     
  5. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    well I think you might understand where I stand yes 11 birds total. and I'm mistified what I should do with them, I got the eggs free, and hatched them out. I really feel sorry keeping them, people keep saying how they are mini chickens, I don't see them like that, more like a wild bird in a cage, if I thought they would stick around I would let them free range lol.
    people don't actually believe me when I tell them I'm going to eat them. I think maybe I should process the whole lot of them and be done.
     
  6. Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Coturnix are anything but a wild bird in a cage. They are very domesticated. They are so far from wild now that they are DOOMED if turned loose. They'll be snack food in no time and probably starve to death otherwise.

    Now, Bobwhites or some of the others are another story. Those are closer to their wild roots...
     
  7. Rainwolf

    Rainwolf De La Menagerie

    2,818
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    Aug 4, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    bake them wrapped in bacon.. ya can't loose there.

    They have been domesticated for a very very long time.. even longer then chickens.
    Coturnix that you have are not wild birds. They are like mini chickens. Mine don't even try and fly away.

    The ratio is
    1R-3H bare minimum and even then the hens will be beaten up a bit
    1R-5H is good but some hens might go bald if they are favorites
    1R-7-8H I think is Optimum for fertility and etc.

    But that is my personal opinion. Everyone is different about the ratio but normally between 1/3-10
     
  8. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    If you keep some for eggs, you'll probably have to incubate. TheJumbo Browns rarely go broody. I butcher mine at about 12 weeks. They're laying at 6 weeks, but I let them grow "all the way up".
     
  9. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Quote:Are they acting wild, fliting all over? We can help with that. Or is that the way you are looking at them?

    At 8 weeks old they are just beginning to settle down, that is once you get the extra males out of there. I consider the 5-7 or 8 week olds as teenagers, and delinquesnts at that. I start pulling males out at 5 weeks to a different growout cage. I don't want them to waste energy using those wings and burning up calories that they should be putting into meat.

    Once you separate the extra males, you are going to see a big difference in their behavior. They will settle down, they will call and sing and whistle when they see you coming. You are the goddess of water and feed. If you listen carefully they have many different sounds they make at different times of the day. When I feed mine, I hear, come an eat, come an eat, I swear that's what it sounds like.

    Who cares what your friends say, when they start putting free meat on your table on a regular basis, then go ahead and listen to them. But you get to be a goddess, not them, and that certainly gives you bragging rights. And it gets easier to take care of them as you gain more experience and get closer to what they like.

    Do like I did, make up the best dinner you can think of to serve those birds and truly enjoy them. I did not wait, I prefer the smaller and sweeter meat of the younger birds. I process at 7 and 8 weeks or whenever I can get to it. OK, to help you decide when. Does your husband like the white meat on chicken, he will prefer younger. If he likes the dark meat then he might like the older and larger birds. My husband will only eat the white meat of chicken, so I try to process young.

    Hope this helps, if you don't want to raise them, then don't. But if you do, we can help you take care of them easier. Sounds like you might be having some problems, that you aren't talking about.
     
  10. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 2, 2009
    BROOKSVILLE FL
    Start A Bachelor Pen For Your Extra Males And Just Let It Ride Until You Have Enough To Make It Worth The Work Of Processing
     

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