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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:55 pm 
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Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:42 pm
Posts: 372
Location: Melbourne
I thought I'd just give a little update on the injured quail. It's definitely a girl as she's now laying eggs almost daily for me since she's been inside healing, so it is very strange that she got beaten up. Her beak had been chipped off so far that the top part of her beak was significantly shorter than the bottom and what was left of the top was split up the middle. Her beak has now regrown back to close to it's original state! The wound under her wing disappeared within a couple of nights. I had already wanted to keep her separate because to the others because she was so much friendlier but wanted her to have company, but now that I can't guarantee her safety with the others, she's all mine! I do hope in time I can find her some suitable company though, I'd hate for her to always be alone. Even though she really doesn't mind being held for a short while and getting pats, it's really not the same. Anyway, here's a photo of her from tonight with a close up of her beak and another of her enjoying a dirt bath in the new enclosure I've set her up in :-D

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:21 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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She's looking terrific. Love the dustbathing material on her.

Even if where were not laying eggs you can tell she's female... that colour is called Italian, and in the male Italian there's a russet coloured partial ring around the neck. Plus she's a healthy, rounded, barrel shape.

The healing speed is something I'd never have believed until I've seen it in my own quail... it's quite remarkable.

So, aside from her, how many hens & how many cocks do you have? I'm only guessing (as don't know how many of which gender you have) but I wonder if she was damaged in a fight between males that were fighting over her? I know that I've seen two males in my aviary try to mate with the same hen & both be pulling her in different directions at the same time. Nothing bad enough to draw blood or damage a beak but certainly very rough.

If you bring in one hen from the main group & bring her inside with this one they should get along just fine & she'll then have a buddy. Unless you have some sort of psychotic quail hen that attacked her... in which case you'd be incredibly unlucky.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:42 pm
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Location: Melbourne
I have 4 other quail, 2 of which I'm sure are male, one I'm not sure about, and one I'm quite sure is a female. But the one I'm unsure about I was told was a male when I got it. The white one which is the dominant male I was told was a girl. As I know now the guy gave me the wrong genders, I suspect that I may in fact have 3 boys onto 1 girl left in the enclosure :(

I've got them in a rather large enclosure so they've had plenty of space to get away from each other but will have to separate the two confirmed males very soon as the dominant one has finally managed to take off all the feathers on the back of the head of the less dominant one. I'm absolutely smitten with the little girl I have inside, but with the rest quail keeping isn't quite as I'd imagined it.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:22 pm 
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Great Game
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Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
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Location: West of Bendigo
One trick to find out males - put single bird in a small cage (canary cage, you know the little ones that should be banned) and just round the corner out of sight of the others. Males will then generally crow or warble even if they are silent when with the flock. Not guaranteed, but helps with the process of elimination of the question-mark birds.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:03 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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PossumCorner's idea is a good one. If you have a few small (temporary) separate cages to put each male in, and they know that females are nearby, they will often verbally compete with each other, too.

My start to quail was also not so great... bought what I was told was a pair, took them home & waited expectantly for eggs, posted photos in BYP where I was assured that I had either a pair OR two females. Waited expectantly.... nothing. Until the two of them started crowing ! It put me off completely, especially with some BYP comments about the certainty of their gender due to their colouring, which was not correct. But we all make mistakes, and whether or not I was intentionally sold two males I will never know.

I'm glad I started up with quail again, as they are (as you've discovered from the female you love so much) quite delightful.

I sold what I was certain were several hens to someone, even checking them on the spot in front of the purchaser & showing her how to check them. Over the following week or so the purchaser made a very long trip back to my place to swap what were in fact males... twice! She was very understanding, but she may well think I'm an idiot for getting it wrong.

My first action would be to phone the person you bought them off & advise him that several of their birds are definitely not the gender he told you they were. He may surprise you & swap them (as he should, in my opinion, if you were assured of their gender). If he has no hens, then ask for your money back on the ones you want to take back. If he gives you the runaround or says no, then cut your losses if it gives you less stress to leave things as they are.

I'm planning to hatch some quail this season... only small numbers, and maybe only one or two batches (famous last words)... if you have no luck sourcing more hens by the time my as-yet-not-incubated quail are laying, then feel free to give me a holler via PM. I'm happy to take the excess males off your hands in exchange for some chook eggs if you like... although I will probably be eating them at some point unless they're a colour and/or size that I want to use to mate from.

Timing for the quail to be laying (the ones not yet in the incubator) would be about 10 weeks (another week to collect eggs as I can't find the ones I was saving, then just shy of 3 wks to incubate, then about 6 weeks until they're laying when I hatch at this time of year... maybe even less).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:46 pm 
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Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:42 pm
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Location: Melbourne
We've added a big dog run onto our chicken shed and currently have 3 small flocks of chickens which we integrated together today now that there's the extra space. Because of that we were outside for a LONG time today. The 2 brown quail are typically very quiet and never here anything from them. Then half way through today, BAM! BOTH OF THEM START CROWING! The only 2 other than my special little girl who I thought may possibly be females turn out to be males. The seller will definitely be getting a call. But oh well, I guess at least this answers the big 'no egg' mystery for me.I was starting to get a bit concerned I was doing something wrong with their care. Lol, it also explains why I never saw any successful mating. :laughing

Unfortunately for me I have a terrible habit of feeling responsible for every animal I pretty much have anything to do with, so I'll be making sure my abundant amount of males either have a home here for the rest of their natural lives or, if they're a good colour or something, go to a home where they won't turn into meat. It's so inconvenient but I just can't help but do it, I care far too much for my own good. :doh

I'd most certainly love to take you up on your offer for some females if I haven't got any more by then. And at least I'd know the birds came from a good home!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:46 pm 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
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Location: West of Bendigo
It's the same here CC, more OH's decision than mine (ultimatum is a better word). Anything hatched here stays if its only other option was to be eaten by someone, anyone. I waste more time organising compatible arrangements for surplus roosters than I do managing the laying hens. This season I can't sell fertile pure-bred eggs because I cannot be more than 90percent sure one of the other-breed roosters hasn't hopped a fence, ducked through a gate, whatever.

Quail are even worse, left to their own devices they would play last-man-standing so need to be separated to avoid injury.

So I just work around this, find a breeding home now and then, insist on a new pen now and then, rotate the free range roster, and wince when I pay the feed bill.

So - today picked up eighty super cute week-old quail that were hatched for me. That'll be forty at least boy-quails in a few weeks time to sort out. Something has to give: a little subterfuge might be in order.

But providing quail eggs to order needs enough hens to ensure supply, and after the last time a fox won the ingeneous lad prize, am down to a dozen eggs a day at best, so need this new lot of little quail-faces to take up the reins.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:56 pm 
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Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:42 pm
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Location: Melbourne
I'm glad that I'm not the only one here crazy enough to be so overly concerned with the well-being/future of any and all birds that have been owned! I'd desperately love to breed chickens but as I'm just on a suburban property with neighbours that already love to complain about any animal I own, I really shouldn't risk roosters :P

I am hoping to raise some button quail and do a small little breeding program with them as soon as we have the money to get and set up everything we need and expand our enclosures. I'm hoping that as they aren't as common as the Japanese quail that I can sell the some pairs here and there to good homes, but will start slow and small just in case I'm wrong and get stuck with ALL the birds. I still have a little bit of research to do before I jump right into it, but it's looking promising so far.

I've been fairly lucky as my 4 male Japanese quail seem to get along moderately well in the one large enclosure. There is quite a bit of chasing and 2 of them, but especially the 2nd highest in the pecking order, has had a lot of feathers pulled from the top of their heads. I'll have to take them out soon to give their poor heads a chance to re-feather and maybe I can think of a way to seperately house them eventually. I'm yet to contact them, but it looks like I may have found a seller that has a lot of different colours of the Japanese quails so I'll hopefully very soon be picking up a bunch of new girls, hopefully including one that will be good company for my special girl.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:07 am 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
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Location: West of Bendigo
Interesting re the button quail. I had the idea they were listed, need a licence to keep them. Maybe not. There is a bit about them here.
http://birdcare.com.au/little_button_quail.htm .
I didn't track back to the homepage to read the govt. laws bit, will get to it.
Some of the Japanese quail are a bit self-destructive flying up into ceilings, these sound even more wild-bird, might need shadecloth ceiling like pheasants for protection.

With Japanese quail if you are only keeping a few Cupcake, stay with the more unusual colours, that way you can always sell them, or more readily than the common colours. The 'tuxedo' pieds with the white front seem to be well sought after, and the whites.

When I get organised (ha, pipe dream) I'm trying for same-colour pens to produce something predictable/consistent for selling fertile eggs rather than multimix common colours. And keeping away from the oversize birds meant mainly for table. But I do love the look of both Californian and Bobwhite quail. They seem about the same price as button quail (up to $150 pair, give or take). So looking at adding them to the list.

I'd love some of your findings re keeping the button quail going. Wild quail are disappearing, there were a few in our area up to just three years ago, but seem to have gone for good. Cropping, pesticides, over-grazing, all that as usual I guess.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:47 pm 
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Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:42 pm
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Location: Melbourne
I think I've been had by quite a few sources stating that Button quail is the more commonly used name for King quail. With more digging I've found there's several kinds of Button quail which all seem to be Turnix, which all appear to be Schedule 2 wildlife and need a licence, whereas King quails are Coturnix and are Schedule 5 wildlife and don't need a licence. People refering to King quail as Button quail makes it very confusing!

There's also a few other things that make it confusing if you don't look deeply as the King quail are apparently also sometimes called Chinese painted quail, but there's also Painted button quail which need a licence to keep.

I wonder why there has to be so many names for King quail... :dontknow


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:03 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:15 pm
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Their wide distribution means that (like many other widely distributed birds & animals) they were named differently by people in different areas.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:58 am 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
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Location: West of Bendigo
My understanding was always that the little King Quail are an introduced fancier species (as are our Japanese Quail). I don't personally like keeping them, I find them nasty aggressive little buggers, and their eggs are pretty well useless. I don't like breeding them to sell because most of the buyers don't give a toss about them: their reason for purchase is to put them in the bottom of bird aviaries to clean up the spilt seed from the budgies canaries or some poor damned native rosellas that shouldn't be caged. (I'm totally hypocritcal here so don't need telling). I just don't like flying birds especially natives kept in cages or small aviaries. Or King Quail kept on the floor where mostly they can't even see out, to breed or not breed and not noticed if they are killing/injuring one another through mismanagement. It's their usual lot, they are seldom kept "for themselves" or fed anything but spilt leftovers.

It's not as much a rant as it sounds, I know there's a market for them, pet shop alone would take all I would breed, - just not a usual outcome I care for.

Button Quail on the other hand are a native breed that is becoming endangered in many areas where they used to be common, so keeping some going to build up a preserved population is not a bad thing. And definitely worth the small effort of obtaining correct permits if one did wish to keep them.

A better link for some concise info on the Australian native quail is at Birds in Backyards. They have just finished a good census, it's been well advertised in the past week. http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Turnix-velox

It's a kind of recent and annoying thing to call king quail "button quail" but once a language change becomes common use we're all stuck with some mis-interpretation. (As in sick in new-speak).

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:48 am 
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Dapper Duck
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King quail are natives also. Their range extends from China down to Australia. I think we have just one sub-species. I think all in captivity are a fairly mixed bunch and not true to any sub-group. They are vicious and should be kept in pairs only. Some people get away with a trio. The US generally refers to these as button quail but they are not. It is not a common term in Australia and we should avoid it since we have native button quail.

True button quail as CupCakeCaper discussed above are turnix. These quail switch roles like emus where the male incubates and the hen "loves and leaves". In their situation the hen is larger and the aggressor. They can be expensive and need a special licence based on the breed. There are around 4-5 in Australia. The king quail, browns and stubble are the more classic natives where the hen undertakes most incubation and the male stays around.

Japanese quail are really the only quail kept in groups and this is only due to their intensive rearing. In smaller group males will target each other. They still pair off in the wild.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:07 am 
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Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:42 pm
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Location: Melbourne
We've decided on making ourselves a nice big veggie garden and flower garden as well as just making our outdoor areas nicer to hang out in overall. As we came scarily close to losing some birds in the heat last summer, we've also decided we need to 'summer proof' our chicken shed with some airconditioning to prevent the risk of any losses from now on, but that's all going to be expensive. In light of all these things and in the attemps not to take on too many new things and run ourselves out of money, we're just going to stick to Jap quails and put the idea of King quail on the back burner for now.

We're heading off in a few days to buy more female quails in various colours and a couple more males in the colours we particularly like with the idea of doing a small breeding program in the less common/more popular colours. We're going to figure out a nightbox-like system for them as our neighbours complained to the council about our "rooster kept right against the fence", which I think may have actually been our 'quail kept well away from the fence'. ohjeez

I figure getting a few more male providing we can keep the noise down a bit won't hurt as if we decide against breeding we don't HAVE to breed them. Fingers crossed for smooth run of quail keeping/breeding! But hey, if I start trying when I'm young, maybe I'll have it all figured out by the time I'm middle aged :P


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