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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:44 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Keeping Quail only just occurred to me, and it has it's attractions...

So these are my questions:

- Do male quail crow?
- How much space do Quail need?
- How does their care vary from Chicken care?

:thanks:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:44 am 
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Phoenix
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SydneyChick wrote:
Keeping Quail only just occurred to me, and it has it's attractions...

So these are my questions:

- Do male quail crow?
- How much space do Quail need?
- How does their care vary from Chicken care?

:thanks:


For Japanese quail (other quail have different needs):

Male cocks 'call' which, IMHO, is WAY worse than a rooster crowing. It's supposed to sound like "co-tur-nix" hence the latin name for Japanese quail. It's a high-pitched trill. One male with a group of hens, where you have no other male within sight or hearing, doesn't tend to call much. As soon as you have two males in the vicinity, expect lots of competition singing at all hours, including through the night if there is ANY light near them.

Technically they only need a very small amount of space... have a look in the Turkeys, Guinea Fowl & Quail forum for more information about that. Like chooks, the more space they have (with appropriate cover, protection etc) the happier they'll be.

Quail will fly away if free ranging, so need to be kept enclosed.
Feeding as chicks (to about 6 or 8 weeks old) it's important to give them the higher protein they need compared to chook chicks. Their growth is RAPID & decent feed for quail chicks is VERY important.
They'll lay from about 8 weeks old, if they reach 8 weeks old when the day length is long (or under artificial lighting conditions).
They live anywhere from 2 years to 6 years (ish) depending on who you ask, and what conditions they're kept in.
Once adult, they can usually lay well on a complete chook layer feed - and lay daily.

Introducing new quail to an existing group can result in the death of quail - can be done but read up on how BEFORE attempting it. I do it regularly enough & have had only one incident where one quail looked like it had lost it's eye - it hadn't, and is now fine. Damage can be done in moments & blood more likely to be drawn than with chooks so, again, read up on introductions BEFORE attempting it. Young chicks generally not an issue - but from about 4 weeks plus can be a problem.

Cholesterol level in quail eggs WAY higher than in chook eggs - they're VERY rich & mostly yolk. Very tasty, and particularly yummy in mashed potato instead of using chook eggs, and because they have a stronger taste you don't need to use many.

They get similar illnesses to chooks - coccidiosis & worms being the most common - treating with chook products for those is fine & in the water is ideal.

They drink a LOT compared to chooks, in my opinion, so allow a large water container compared to the size of the quail.

They supposedly lay 'all over the place' but mine lay in one of two clay pots I have in their aviary which are placed on their side with soil in the bottom - they love laying in there, and newbies to the aviary soon start to lay there, copying the older hens. I have one pot near the door so I can reach for the eggs without having to step inside.

Mice will eat them & their eggs, so make sure any enclosure is mouse-proof. Eggs will 'vanish' & quail feathers be eaten as first signs... or chicks can be killed & eaten completely - although you'd have those under heat anyway.

They love to have lots of cover to hide behind & under.

They poo like you wouldn't believe & you'll have to have a 'plan' to deal with that... I just break up any caked up layers of poop & water them into the substrate, as my aviary is on the ground (with mesh underneath to deter predators) so water drains away & I have plants in there, too.

They eat almost everything ! It's taken me several attempts to find some plants that they haven't destroyed in under a day. They love greens if they have no access to grass.

Enjoy dust bathing even more than chooks do, I reckon. I have a tyre filled with sand for my lot & often all five are in there flapping about like a 'splash' bath. They do kick things all over the place, so the sand is now a mix of sand & the rest of the types of stuff I originally put on the ground for them - pea straw, rice hulls, bark, and stuff like that.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Hmmm... Maybe not then. ;)

Do all breeds of quail have males that "Call"?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Winglet wrote:
Cholesterol level in quail eggs WAY higher than in chook eggs - they're VERY rich & mostly yolk. Very tasty, and particularly yummy in mashed potato instead of using chook eggs, and because they have a stronger taste you don't need to use many.


Having never eaten quail eggs I have to ask, how do they compare to duck eggs in taste?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:34 pm 
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Phoenix
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Mukluk wrote:
Winglet wrote:
Cholesterol level in quail eggs WAY higher than in chook eggs - they're VERY rich & mostly yolk. Very tasty, and particularly yummy in mashed potato instead of using chook eggs, and because they have a stronger taste you don't need to use many.


Having never eaten quail eggs I have to ask, how do they compare to duck eggs in taste?


Similar (to my tastebuds).

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Hey winglet, what would you think about 'free ranging' quails in a large enclosed veggie garden? the garden is about 8 metres x 2.5 metres, and enclosed with 1" chicken wire. Would just be females so no little bebbies to escape through the mesh...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:14 am 
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Golden Phoenix
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By the sounds of things, you wouldn't have much veggie garden left ...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:30 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Do Button Quail Call?
May be a dumb question lol! :facepalm:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:15 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Can't find these answers in any quail threads, so will ask here:

How do you introduce new quail to an existing lot? I only have a trio of Japanese quail, the cock bird is part-blind but he manages okay. The pen is 3x1.5 metres opens to a 3x3 metre run. Would that take fifty or so with comfort: 100 would be pushing it closer to a square-foot each, much too crowded. How many cock birds would be alright in a group pen, is there a ratio to hens as a guide, I was thinking around 6-8 males with 20-30 females. Is this reasonable or totally insane?

And better to simply put them all in together right away (assume from different sources) or a few more each day to see how it goes?

I seem to be able to sell the few eggs produced now, and would like to be able to supply some reliably on Very Small Scale.

For feeding, I am guided by the info on the forum, and so far so good they seem well and happy. One feed question, feeding fresh picked grass and flat weeds was mentioned somewhere: I think Winglet? Is capeweed safe for poultry, especially quail? I have mounds of it I would rather feed to the birds than spray as a weed. Leaf only, leaf and daisy-flowers, or not at all??

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:55 pm 
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Phoenix
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Depending on the cover available, and how dominant your males are, having 6 to 8 hens per cock should work out okay.

I have two males in with about 10 hens at the moment & they all get along fine. Size of their enclosure (completely covered aviary, with mesh on two sides) is about 2 metres by 3 metres (I'd have to check that, as I'm notoriously dreadful at mental measuring).

If I wanted to put more quail in there, I'd set up some permanent hides & cover so that they could get some space of their own more easily & watch their interactions & their behaviour to see how many are content in there.

You don't actually need any males at all if you're just wanting eggs. You could section of a portion of the area & have just one or two males... one in the main area & one in the sectioned off part... and put a handful of hens in with one male any time you wanted to hatch chicks.

I don't know about capeweed... if it's suitable for them then I'd throw the lot in. I often throw broadleaf weeds & grass into the quail pen... makes them quite happy.

To introduce different groups together, either put them all into a new area at the same time, with sufficient space for everyone & multiple feeders & waterers to start with.... OR.... remove the existing quail from the pen, and completely rearrange everything before putting everyone from both groups back in the "new" set up at the same time. They'll think it's a new territory & all be on an even footing.

I'd worry about your partially blind quail being hammered by any new male... you'd have to play things by ear there.




ANOTHER OPTION>>>>

You could put in a handful of hens every few days... with NO cocks in there. I'd put several hens (maybe four or five) raised together in at a time as you get close to what you think is a reasonable number. When they still seem content & are laying, eating & drinking normally, and have time to dustbathe & to also lie down & rest at times (so not having other hens walking all over them all the time).... then you could introduce all the males into the pen at the same time. Preferably males that have lived together as youngsters.

If you have too high a ratio of cocks to hens then you're likely to have fights to the death... too few males is far better than too many.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:00 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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So here I am just about to invest in some quail thinking i could have some fun breeding , and now I find out the males make a lot of noise! Where i live we are not allowed roosters so I thought quail might be fun!! Grrrrr it sucks that I can't have a rooster but my neighbour can have a dog that barks


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:48 am 
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Gallant Game
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I have recently gotten some quails and can highly recommend them, I have 2 boys and 6 girls and haven't found them to be very noisy ,most people wouldn't know what the jap quail call was so you shouldn't have any complaints from neighbours they are no louder than the other birds that inhabit my neighbourhood also I believe they are allowed by most councils as they are seen as an aviary bird.

I am sure if you had a lot of males it would become pretty annoying but with just a few they don't compete too much by calling (in my limited experience)although they are very virile with the boys mounting anything that moves , they are fantastic layers the girls haven't missed a day since they started and lay an average 13 g which is good for such a little bird the only problems so far are the need to use 4 quail eggs as a substitute for 1 chicken egg, it would be quite a task to separate yolks from whites for example and I find you are more likely to get shells in with the egg when you crack them and as I have them in a little tractor they still dig up the yard to dustbath the same as chickens which is one of my peeves, but all in all have found them to be much easier than keeping chickens .


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:45 am 
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Gallant Game
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Jiny they really are fun to have around, give it a go. I don't find the males that noisy, it is much more like a bird-call than crowing. If your neighbours didn't know it was quail you could say you have rosellas or cockateils and lovebirds.

Keeping to the heading, with a large covered walk-in pen and run so no overcrowding I find them much easier to manage than the chooks. Example if I need to isolate any for injury or over aggression or a colour not required for breeding - easy to put them in an open wire crate (dog crate type) in middle of pen, they are still in the midst of company but safe and secure with room to run around. Can't do that even with bantam roosters in the same space.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:04 pm 
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I have just ordered some eggs online!! Very excited!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:06 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Hi All,

For what it's worth, I tried to keep chickens and quails together, all went well and I had plenary of places to hide (old pipes, bricks etc) the only problem I found was when I let them out to free range the quails did not often come back and I would have to track them down. Eventually there was no quail left.

Steve


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