Any quail keepers?

StonyGarden

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Hello all. Its been a long time since I've visited EG. I still have chickens and rabbits. I recently had to replace all of my breeding stock of rabbits. My Californian does were not receptive to breeding. I used my experienced buck, a new inexperienced buck, and I took does to a friend's house who raises rabbits and used his experienced buck. None of them got pregnant. I also discovered that my Cali/FG/NZW buck is sterile. I bred him to all the Cali does as well some new NZW does and they didn't get pregnant either. I still have him. He's just too friendly to butcher. Anyone want a sterile pet bunny?

My chickens went through their first molt in October. Of course they stopped laying for a time. then they started back up and then they stopped when it really started getting cold. I experimented with feeds and treats. Any warmer and sunnier day, I'd open up my big doors in the coop to let more light in. Nothing worked. My MIL suggested I start supplementing with catfish food (much higher protein). She gave me about 20 lbs of catfish food and I mixed it with whole corn and BOSS. The girls went nuts for it and in a couple of days started laying again! Now I get anywhere between 4 and 10 eggs a day out of 15 hens.

I am looking to start raising quail next. I've researched feed, housing, etc. Any pointers on where to start? I do have a plastic greenhouse frame that I was thinking about converting it into quail pets. Do quail have to be on wire? The way this frame is, it looks like it would be easier to use plywood for flooring so the upper levels don't poop into the lower levels.

Thanks everyone!
 

Carol Dee

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Think small chickens. DH had some years ago and used the wire rabbit hutches (Looked a lot like your plastic green house frames. )
 

bobm

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If you are going to raise the quail for meat , the smaller the cage the better for you as well as them. If for hunting , you will want to raise them in Very LARGE aviary type pen setting and always with loose 1/2" x 1/2" netting for the top the height should be as high as you can. When they first start to fly the go straight up for about 6-10 +/- feet then away. No top netting results in the quail will be GONE in short order. When a quail perceives any hint of danger, they start to fly up- - up- and away like a blast from a shotgun. As such they tend to hit their heads on wire, glass, wood , etc. and often break their necks. I would house them in fairly small floor ( to keep their flying speed down ) space cages with 1/2" x 1" hardware cloth wire all around with the cage top no more than 10" to 18 " high depending on the species size of quail. :)
 

digitS'

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I raised Coturnix quail for awhile. It was for only a short while - a year. Then, we had a pet button quail pair.

I had 4 cages and 12 quail, total. The Coturnix are just fine for the purpose of egg production but do not set on eggs. Broody small hens would work but I didn't have any, nor an incubator. Coturnix age rapidly.

There is a university researcher hereabouts who studies aging in birds. All critters, actually but it is birds for her research. Her research had something to do with their hormones, I believe.

I had them in wire cages, 2 hens/1 cock. The floor allowed the eggs to roll away. Everything worked well and, as I say, they laid like crazy! It was pretty much 2 eggs from the 3 birds in the cage, daily. I'm not sure of the economic part of it, however. The set up costs a fair amount - every cage with a separate waterer and feeder. The feed was expensive, high-protein for turkeys. DW wasn't too thrilled with the small eggs but I could never quite believe how large the eggs were relative to the tiny hens.

Steve
 

StonyGarden

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Thanks for your input Steve. I'm thinking now that I'll need to build new cages for quail and use that old frame to make cages for transporting animals to swaps or meeting up with buyers.

I have an incubator and I plan on getting a second. I want to hatch out and raise up the chicks to put in my freezer.
 

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