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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:09 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Way too cute, DottesnSilk !


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:47 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Japanese quail chicks, less than 24 hours old.


Japanese quail chicks at 7 & 10 days old (2x separate hatches, brooded together).
Japanese quail cock is "crowing" off camera.


Japanese quail cock crowing (youngster).


Japanese quail mating when the cock has been penned separately, and is then given five hens to tend to.


Edited 18/10/14 to embed last video (hadn't realised all this time that it hadn't been added).


Last edited by Winglet on Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:38 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:29 pm 
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That is a great record of what they are like at those ages. Nice job.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:48 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Today I let the chooks into the aviary to allow them to dig over the ground in the quail aviary (a not uncommon occurrence... they do a great job of breaking up any areas before they get heavy clods of quail poop hardening up, and they clean up any spilled feed that the quail have missed.

Only I didn't pay careful enough attention to the birdlock (two doors, for safety.... you go in one, close it before opening the next one, after making sure no birds are in there with you) & one quail got outside. No problem. I closed the chooks & other quail in the aviary & went to pick up our escapee. Nine times out of ten when a quail gets out here (mainly when I'm splitting up youngsters by sex) walking over calmly & quietly, I capture them in one go, two at most, by doing the following (lengthy explanation, but takes less than 5 seconds)... tame quail that aren't living freely in an aviary with limited human contact will be even simpler to pick up & may run towards you:-

- Walk towards escapee from side-on... ideally herd him to a wall / corner where he can feel a little secure, rather than trying this when he's in the open
- Stretch both arms out at approximately 45 degrees to the body with fingers spread out
- Use hands (fingers still outstretched) like giant slow paddles & slowly move hands towards the quail
- Watch carefully to see where the quail is looking & whether it's trying to push itself more to ground or body is looking like it's about to take off
- Move each hand more or less the same speed, but adjust as you go to have the quail pushing itself to the ground
- Practice will have the speed you need to proceed perfected (until you're out of practice !)
- As your hands near the bird, stop moving the one going towards his head & pick him up using the one that is "behind" him
- Put the picking up hand over his body with fingers outstretched (not his rump & not his neck / head region) & then firmly hold his wings against him by wrapping your hands around him... you will now have your palm over his back & your fingers around his body.. thumb holding one wing down & fingers holding the other wing down
- You can now bring the other hand down & use that to support him... you can pick him up with one hand & place him on the other one, or you can use both hands to pick him up. Just don't let go of his wings... they're FAST.

So... being out of practice, the speed I approached him with hands was too fast on first go.

HOW HIGH CAN JAPANESE QUAIL FLY?

He flew straight up, and over the top of the walk in aviary, and over the aviary, and about twenty metres in a straight line at the same height as the top of the aviary, before landing. Quail land a bit like a crash landing, but that's fine as they're quite hardy generally. No part of his body touched the aviary at any time.

I went to collect him from just inside the fence that was, I think the only reason he allowed himself to land. Again, out of practice the speed I used was too much. He flew straight over the top of the box trailer, for about 20 metres, perpendicular to his original flight path, and straight over the 6 foot fence, into the front yard. Again, he maintained a height well above my head for the entire flight path.

I made my way out to the front yard & located him trying to hide in some lawn clippings. Being mostly an open area out front, he took off pretty soon after he spotted me, without any chance of getting near him first. He flew much lower this time, but easily cleared the low fence & headed over the road in one go. I was starting to admire him at this point. He'd never have had the opportunity to fly such a distance before & he was doing a fine job.

I followed him over the road, where he wandered up someone's driveway, luckily against a low stone or brick wall (I didn't notice the materials it was made of, as I was watching him like a hawk) & he went straight through the gaps in their metal gate.. with a lock on it. **Sigh** Luckily, inside their locked gate there is then an enclosed are, with high wooden fences and a garage all surrounding his new location. I rang the bell & my over the road neighbour unlocked the gate & I was able to pick him up using my usual method without a hitch. This time, of course, I'd slowed down completely & followed the basics listed above. Too easy.

So... when someone tells you that Japanese quail are not really free range birds... THAT is why. :globe


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:41 am 
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Haha ... I will be careful not to lose any.

We have ours in guinea pig cages which are much smaller with a single door and nothing has escaped at this point. I didn't know they could fly as well as you describe.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:04 pm 
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The Quaviary (our made up word) replenished.
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Nesting area & water station from above.
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Two of the inhabitants surveying the world outside their own.
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Some of the world they were surveying.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:37 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Left tyre in the photo (car tyre) contains 40kg washed playsand, for them to dustbathe in.

Front tyre (small truck tyre) is filled with some of the removed "soil" from the cleanout. Temporarily we've scattered bird seed there to grow greenpick.

Upside down laundry basket fits perfectly on the soil to prevent them eating the seeds, digging up growing plants, and still gives them access to pick anything that grows through the "holes", which also give light for the plants. As a bonus, the lid makes a handy platform to put their feeder on, limiting the amount of sugar cane mulch that they will kick into the feeder's moat.

They use the tyre rim as a platform from which to survey the world outside their quaviary, something they've always enjoyed doing.

The larger tyre also provides cover from each other, particularly for hens to run away from the cock/s when they want to be left in peace.

Gap between both tyres & left inner wall of the aviary is intentional to also allow easy escape by the hens as required.

Water cups are raised, with bricks set up to also minimise the mulch being kicked into the water cups. The soil is from the holes in the bricks... intentionally left as the quail love rifling through the soil in the brick holes looking for morsels of earthy creatures to eat. Living things that are small enough for them to eat don't last long in the aviary, as quail eyesight seems about as sharp as that of a raptor in my observations.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:59 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Clear indication of prior litter build up, where surface of the aviary metal is stripped from several years worth. Height of the soil was another few centimetres above that damaged area.
Water station including brick arrangement to limit sugar cane mulch getting kicked into the water cups. You can see algae buildup inside the waterer. The large flat areas are generally where it's stuck to the plastic & didn't come away last time I cleaned it out, even when using a washing up brush (far longer ago than I care to admit). I need to find a long-handled, flexible brush for scrubbing it out... or something similar.
Feed currently in moat of feeder is Red Hen something or other... top is Laucke Showbird Breeder MP (MicroPellet) which I'm trying for the first time due to many BYPers giving it high praise for chooks. For those who haven't already read it... I always feed my adult quail whatever the chooks are eating. For chicks I now always feed Country Heritage Chick Starter/Grower.
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Quail-eye view of the nesting area... one inhabitant's beak & breast visible to right of the area, behind the corflute. Prior to the replenishment I had the pot more or less there, but not the corflute... it's a trial period for a week to see if they like the corflute there... so far looking good.
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Budgie-eye view of the nesting area... same inhabitant in situ.
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Last edited by Winglet on Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:04 pm 
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One of the eight inhabitants, checking out the sand. Eating it is fine as it also doubles as grit & the tiny size makes it just right for quail.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:01 pm 
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That looks like quail paradise. Some great ideas for people.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:13 pm 
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First egg in the "new" quaviary was laid near the end of the corflute closest to the back wall. If you followed a straight line from where the corflute is attached to the mesh, along the corflute, and continued on to the back wall of the quaviary, it was laid to the right of that line but not "inside" the corfluted corner. I'm happy with that whilst their entire world has turned upside down. Putting that in the pot had several hens investigate enthusiastically in the laying corner. Cross fingers.

I realised today, watching a couple of hens on the truck tyre, that the black rubber is going to heat up tremendously during summer. Might have to investigate rubber paint to alleviate heat issues.

Have planted several herbs into the tyre soil now. Hoping they'll cope with the dappled light. Some thyme, curled parsley, oregano (my favourite) & chives. The quail were picking away at the oregano whilst I was trying to plant the four herbs, so clearly their favourite too !


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:24 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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All of the eggs laid today were in the one spot. In the corner of the nesting area nearest the waterer... opposite the pot... if you follow the line of the quail hen that's in the nesting area in the photo, and continue in a line from her beak to her tail, then keep going to the corner, that's where they've all laid. I'm happy with them making that their new nesting spot... as are they, clearly. :thumbs:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:53 pm 
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Once again, fascinating reading from Winglet, along with a very comprehensive writing on Jap Quail.
We cut down a black plastic 44 gallon drum for some cows to use for drinking (through a float system) and had to paint it white to attempt to keep the water a little cool. Worked well.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:03 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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tori wrote:
Once again, fascinating reading from Winglet, along with a very comprehensive writing on Jap Quail.


Thanks tori... or endless drivvle ! :rofl:

tori wrote:
We cut down a black plastic 44 gallon drum for some cows to use for drinking (through a float system) and had to paint it white to attempt to keep the water a little cool. Worked well.


Anything special about the paint or preparation of the tyre to get the paint to adhere?



NB: Eggs still being laid in the "tight" corner of the triangular laying area. Also, they're now at the Laucke Showbird MP & first eggs laid after they've been eating that have a tremendous gloss on them & more pigment. Most interesting.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:03 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Comparison photo to show how quickly quail grow
Chicks in these photos are 5 days old, 7 days old, and 2x 10 days old
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