Coturnix Quail Anyone?

frustratedearthmother

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I've been keeping Coturnix quail off and on for years now. They're awesome, tasty little birds. Incubation only takes about 17 days. They grow fast and start to lay in a mere 6 -7 weeks after hatch. I've had several start laying at 43 days! They're also ready to harvest at around 8 weeks. Easy to raise, easy to sex, and easy to butcher. I only have a few right now, but I'm in the process of trying to increase my numbers again. Secure housing is important because these little guys can't exactly defend themselves. I've built my new cages out of hardware cloth which is pretty sturdy and keeps out any marauding varmint.

Coturnix are starting to be available in more colors than just brown. There is an Texas A&M version that is mostly white. Nice birds but not as easy to sex as the coturnix. There are lots of great recipes out there also.

Anybody else keep - or want to keep quail?
 

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frustratedearthmother

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I try to go for at least a square foot per adult bird. Also don't make the cages very tall because when they get startled they are well known for jumping up and possibly breaking their necks. I keep my birds under a cover so my cages are all wire. I'm in the process of building all new cages to get away from wire that rodents/snakes can get through. A snake doesn't have much problem getting through 1 x 2 wire or even 1x1.

We found a snake inside a cage that had eaten a bird and was too fat to get back out. That was fun....not! That little fiasco earned my DH a black eye, lol. He's not much good at snake ID (it was a non-venomous, but nasty tempered rat snake) so he called me when he saw it. I was trying to get the snake outta the cage when it struck at me. DH was standing right behind me and when I jerked my hand back away from the snake - I smacked DH right in the face. I told him that's what he got for hiding behind a girl! :lol:
 
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frustratedearthmother

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I'm working on quail cages before I try to obtain more birds. Even with wire openings as small as 1 x 1 on one cage, 1 x 2 on others I would still lose quail to predators. Sooooo, today I started the job of attaching hardware cloth to each cage to make them more secure. I don't think any critter except maybe a flea could get through them when I finally get them finished, lol. I'd like to start a major breeding project with the quail and be able to use them to supplement the dogs food.

Might need a new incubator...my Brinsea bit the dust and the part to fix it was almost as much as buying a new one. I have an older styrofoam model that I've hatched tons of chicks/quail from, but it's not reliable anymore. I did get a new thermostat for it but I haven't changed it yet. Need to add that to the "to do" list.
 

frustratedearthmother

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baymule

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I raised them years ago. I had a big cage on legs, made with hardware cloth. You are right, they lay eggs real early and are ready to butcher in no time. Do you pluck or skin yours? I skinned mine. Also, how do you dispatch them? I popped their heads off.
 

frustratedearthmother

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I skin. I use a pair of shears to be-head them, clip off the wings, the feet and then peel the skin off and scoop out the innards. Literally a couple of minutes and they're done! So fast and easy and really, really tasty.
 

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Could a rabbit cage work? I have those. But we have snakes in the barn, so put rabbit cage in chicken coop? My silkies cant roost... I can set a cage on the roost. Or is that bad to mix species like that?
 

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