button quail?

ohiogoatgirl

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hello everyone

i am wondering about button quail. i saw an ad for some on CL and hadnt heard of them. so of

course, curious me, goes and looks them up.

i'm not finding a whole lot of information on them. its like three people with them shared

their info and then the rest of the web just copy/pasted it. :?

my biggest questions right now are:

*size- they get to like 5 inches tall at most? are they worth keeping for meat? i mean if they

are a little meaty then they look like they would be easy as pie to butcher. but isthe meat

tasty or enough there to be worth butchering?

*eggs- i read that they "are egg producing machines" and that the females if not fed well will

go right on producing eggs and take calcium from their own bones and eventually get so weak

they cannot stand or walk. okay but how many do they tend to lay?! argh.... like one per day?

two per day? one every other day?

*housing- i'm in ohio and i really dont think i would want them inside the house. for one i

have a small room as it is and for two i'm not one for animal smells in the house. could i have

them in a barn outside? even through the winter? the coldest we get is usually about 10*F and

rarely lower. the barn is quite draft proof and i am working on a non-electric and non-flame

way of heating the barn. i'm also wondering if it would be better to have a sort of large

colony set up or smaller family set ups. such as a "room" in the barn of about 5ft by 4ft and

about 7ft tall. then i could have lots of shelves and ramps and perches and hiding places,

which would in a way make it much bigger because they could get away from each other if they

wanted to. and have fake vines and plants all about. and hay as bedding. OR do i want to do

cages? i was thinkin family group set ups for cages. so a cage of about 2ft by 5ft and maybe

2ft tall. and probably two adult pairs per cage. this give plenty of space for young hatchlings

to grow up as part of the family. but i am wondering since they are only about 4-5 inches tall

as adults how small their feet must be so what size wire mesh would i need for flooring? and if

it was real small would that just be too much a pain in the butt to clean versus the colony

type idea?

*feeding- i want to be as self-sufficient as possible. i found that they like millet, apple,

cabbage, cucumber, broccoli, corn. they like mealworms and crickets (i'm not a bug/worm person

though i dont imagine it would be hard to have a little mealworm or cricket "farm" bin but i

have no idea what those eat). 22-25% protein feed is best. feeding mashed up boiled eggs with

the shell (for calcium). i have read that turkey mash or non-medicated game bird feed is a good

base. and i read that people who have large aviaries use the little button quail (which are

ground bird but can fly a good distance) to live on the floor of the aviary to eat the spilled

and otherwise wasted feed. and that they live entirely on the spilled feed. which to me doesnt

seem like it would be all that much.

and the incubation period is 16-21 days and they begin laying as early as 6wks old!

so can anyone give me any more tips or info on these? thanks!
 

digitS'

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OGG, are you talking button quail or coturnix quail? I have a hard time imagining doing anything in the "food" way with button quail.

I got my daughter a pair from the pet shop when she was a little girl. Or, I suggested the gift and g'ma & g'pa got them ;). Anyway, I caught heck about them after the grandparents went home. Set up a 10gal aquarium with litter and a place to hide. DW was fairly unhappy. They also didn't make very good pets since they are extremely shy. So . . . out into the "bird house" they went!

The bird house was mostly for my pigeons but one side had the quail and parakeet. That side was heated thru the winter. The male promptly died but the hen with the parakeet continued on for a couple of years. She ate turkey starter and whatever bird seed the parakeet dropped out of his feeder and some lettuce or other tender leaves, once in awhile. I'll tell you what, I would not want them running loose where I would come and go. I know that some people allow them out in the house - DW would kill me.

The hen escaped from her cage once and flew out of the birdhouse just like she was making an escape from Leavenworth. I thought that I might have lost her at that point but a sparrow - yeah, a sparrow - swooped out of a tree and knocked her into the iris! Easy thing, I just walked over and picked her up. It gives you an idea how tiny they are! A sparrow knocked the stuffings out of her :rolleyes:.

I once had, I think it was, 6 separate cages in the garage for coturnix quail. Of course, they are just the bigger brothers & sisters but it was way different. Their eggs are big enuf to eat. The program was for 2 hens/1 cock so the cockerels were culled out. I've eaten wild quail & dove before and appreciate them just fine. But . . . a robin must be about the size of a young coturnix! Wild birds have much larger breasts. Coturnix would not be a choice for a meat animal; not even in preference to bantams.

Eggs are a different story. Good Heavens - they are little laying machines!! The eggs are a bit hard to deal with and I usually boiled them since cracking raw eggs of that size can be a problem for someone with hands of my size. Peeling a small, cooked egg isn't so tuff and you'd be surprised how large an egg those little birds lay! Quail don't have much of a life-span, tho'. Really, after 1 laying season, it can't make much economic sense to keep them. Turkey starter again was the regular feed.

Steve
 

ohiogoatgirl

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thanks for the thoughts and info :) i am doing alot of research on them but not finding much. and the little bit i am finding online on websites seems to be opposite what i am seeing as to answers where i have asked this on several forums.
i had looked into coturnix quail a little while back but as i have not found anyone with them and only some places selling fertile eggs i had not thought about them in a while.
i was also thinkin that if there was a market for it that they would be useful to raise for RAW or BARF dog diets, possibly to sell as snake food, to raise and sell as pets (only if they turned out to be friendly of course).

ooohhh... new thought. i wonder if they would be useful kept under the rabbit cages... mine dont spill alot but it would mean that any spilled isnt just going to be wasted. and they would be able to scratch through the rabbit droppings. of course i would be feeding them as well if i were to do that.
 

Chickie'sMomaInNH

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also check on http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/NDG/Quail/Button/BRKButton.html this might help you understand their different colors and give you some links for info. if you are looking for meat birds you'd want something like the A&M coturnix quail which are mostly used for meat. Bob Whites in many areas you might need to get a permit. guess they are considered 'naturalized' to most areas for hunters and get released at certain times of the year and want to keep track of the 'wild' populations.
 

ohiogoatgirl

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hm... okay button quail idea has been scrapped. lol.
i had looked into coturnix quail before but had not been able to find anyone with them. and quite honestly i dont want to buy an incubator and eggs and everything needed to house them, etc. ...and then end up with cooked eggs
i've never done any egg incubating....

alrighty looks like i'm venturing over to backyardchickens.... <sighs> this makes my new tally at 16 forums i think.... O.O time to learn about the world of eggs and bators....

yes in ohio i believe you have to get permits, etc for bobwhite quail
 

NwMtGardener

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Hahaha, i got chinese button quail from my MIL. Who, crazily, once made their tiny TINY little eggs into deviled eggs!! I kept 3 of them in the house, in a tiny little bird cage. They were okay for a while, but messy, smelly, and weird little noises. Then they actually reproduced, and when the babies got big enough, the males had dominance issues. So i got rid of them all. I cant imagine eating them, they cant even weigh half a pound!!!
 

Jared77

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Ive had button quail, they would run the bottoms of our flight cages for our canaries and finches. Nice little birds but no way would they be worth eating.

Coturnix quail I've never raised but they are supposed to be a good meat bird. The meat supposedly has good flavor and supposedly they have a pretty good rate of growth. Their eggs are served in higher end eating establishments. I've never had one but Id imagine they can't taste much different than any other eggs. I think its more of a gimmick a tiny sunny side up egg would be a way to dress up a meal.

If you were looking to sell excess poultry as snake food, Id do sex links and the roos would be humanely euthanized at a day or 2 old and then frozen. The hens could be sold as layers or replenish your stock. Just my 2 cents.
 
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