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quail questions

 
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Nicky Colour it green



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 8411
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 09 8:58 pm    Post subject: quail questions Reply with quote    

I want quail - particularly after seeing Tavascarows picture of pretty mixed birds from hatching eggs....

but I'm confused...

can I keep quail outside, in a sort of rat proof aviary arrangement, or do I have to bring them indoors in winter?

do you need boy quails (whatever they are called) to encourage the girl quails (whatever they are called) to lay eggs?

do boy quails fight?

how long do quail live?

how do you tell boy quails from girl quails?

how old before they are of eating size?


thanks.....

Pel



Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 2360
Location: Nr Aberaeron, Ceredigion
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 09 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've only kept 6 quails and they are now 13 weeks old, had them from 2 weeks old.

When i first got them had to have them under heat till 4 weeks, then i had them outside in a hen/rabbit hutch, they were ok up until about week 10. I learnt from the start, very quickly that quails are good helicopters, so a must have if using a hutch with a lift off lid is to have some wire mesh ontop of the box bit, so that when you lift the lid off there is still protection to stop them flying out... at 10 weeks the lovely big hen managed to helicopter up and push past the wire, after a mad 5 minute panick of trying to catch the quail and missing it we did eventually catch her.. at this point their indoor home was ready.

Quails or at least my japanese quails are dumb they roost where ever they may be sitting, so the majority of the time thats outside, which is fine in the warmer months, but a bit stupid in the cold months

Their new home is a 6ft x 4ft shed, there actual cage size is 2ft x 4ft, with each indivudal cage being 2ft square. They have loft insulation at the back and polysterene covered with metal at the sides, and on top of their cage is a wooden board, which inturn becomes the futures droppings board of the next cage, but at the moment has the left over insulation on. The shed also has a perspex window facing north... didnt put it faces south as it get too hot in the summer. The quails stand on wire which is sloped allowing the eggs to roll down (when they lay). Their feet are nice and clean and do not have cuts on. The quails' cages are made from pallet boards and my dad designed them in the same way as he did for his battery hens back in the 50's just smaller. The height at the front is 10½ inches high and at the back its 8½inches high.

The type of quail i have are ready to be eaten at 8 weeks old, thats what the breeder said we i got them off.

Yes quails do fight, however i'm not sure if the males started it or the hens, but the runty one got badly picked on, so i now have one cage with 2 males in and one cage with 1 male and 3 females in and everyone seems happy, the divider between the two cages is just wire mesh so they can still see each other.
Hens lay better if no males are around, but like with animals if you want to incubate you have to have both

The ones i have are easy to tell apart, white breast is female and browny red is male, males are a lot smaller than females.

Only live a couple of years, perhaps 3 at the most (don't know for sure, but this is what the breeder told me and a book)

Of course this is only in my experience which is very limited.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 6544
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 09 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Quote:
can I keep quail outside, in a sort of rat proof aviary arrangement, or do I have to bring them indoors in winter?

You can if you can keep them dry but IMO they are better indoors in the winter.
I keep mine indoors year round & bring the outside to them in the form of greens & sods of turf.
Quote:
do you need boy quails (whatever they are called) to encourage the girl quails (whatever they are called) to lay eggs?

No.
Quote:
do boy quails fight?
Yes, but if they have enough room & cover to hide & hens to bother then they don't do it to excess.

Quote:
how long do quail live?
2 to 4 years.
Quote:
how do you tell boy quails from girl quails?

In normal & italian quail the hens have a speckled breast & the cocks a plain breast.
In the whites , melanistic & pied its not so easy to tell them apart but the hens tend to be larger & if all else fails only the males call (A sort of harsh klingon note).

Male Normal

Female normal
Quote:
how old before they are of eating size?

6 to 8 weeks depending on conditions.
Quote:
thanks.....
Pleasure.

Nicky Colour it green



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 8411
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 09 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

thanks for the replies

so you both have them indoors, but in unheated conditions.

Pel



Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 2360
Location: Nr Aberaeron, Ceredigion
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 09 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yep unheated, just a shed in the garden positioned in front of another shed to block the majority of the the south west winds.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 6544
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 09 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Pel wrote:
Yep unheated, just a shed in the garden positioned in front of another shed to block the majority of the the south west winds.

Likewise unheated.
I have noticed a drop in egg numbers with the cold snap but the birds are happy & healthy.
I think a lot of animals that are supposed not to be hardy in our winters suffer from the wet & cold not cold alone.

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