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Quail chicks

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:55 pm
by LB81
Hi everyone I'm new to quail I had 12 eggs but only managed to hatch 2 of them they will be 2 weeks old on Wednesday. I need advice on when I should put them on adult food and what food to use as a lot of websites tell you different things some say Turkey feed and others say poultry feed so which is best because I know they need a lot of protein. Thanks

Re: Quail chicks

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:57 pm
by Marigold
Hi LB81 and welcome to the forum. I found my baby quails did best on chick crumb until they were about 6 weeks and nearly adult, and then I moved them on to special quail food which, as you say, needs to be high protein. Also it needs to have quite small pellets or seeds. There are several brands made specifically for quails, Marriages, Garvo or Heygates, which will come up if you put Quail Layers Food into your search engine.

Re: Quail chicks

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:34 am
by LB81
Thank you for advice Marigold I will check that out. :)

Re: Quail chicks

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:41 pm
by Marigold
If they are girls they’re unlikely to lay before the Spring unless you give them 14+ hours of light per day, so keeping them on chick crumb will be fine until you’ve used up the bag. As with chickens, the proper quail food will have extra calcium in it to support eggshells, which isn’t needed if they’re not laying or if they are boys. Are they coturnix or are they Chinese painted quails (CPQs)?

Re: Quail chicks

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:54 pm
by LB81
Thanks for advice. They are coturnix I know one is female but my other quail is pure white and I don't have a clue what it is. 🙄

Re: Quail chicks

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:43 pm
by Marigold
It’s not reliably possible to tell the sex until they’re older than 2 weeks, even the ones with the natural colouring. I found that some I had thought were girls turned into boys overnight, started crowing, and began raping the others, injuring them in some cases by the way they cling on with their beaks to the hen’s back or face. It does take some hours of daily sunlight before they get to puberty, though, and I expect that yours won’t become mature before March. Let’s hope they both turn out to be girls as then they’ll be much more likely to live peacefully together and lay an egg every day.
Are you thinking of having another go? I wonder what went wrong with your hatch? A common cause of failure hatching quails is too much humidity. Many experienced keepers incubate dry, no water at all in the incubator, until day 16 when they start to pip. With such small eggs, and with thin shells, a lot of humidity can cause the chick to drown in the shell when too much water vapour gets in through the porous shell. Also quails have evolved to live wild in hot dry places so they’re adapted to low humidity. In the UK there’s nearly always at least 40% humidity just in the air being circulated round the incubator so no need to add more. What sort of incubator did you use?

And of course you need a supply of fresh eggs, all fertile, all laid within a week at most of when you are going to start incubating them, and these aren’t always easily available if you get them on eBay or similar. The eggs also need to be naturally clean, not washed, so no bacteria are introduced into the incubator to multiply and cause damage to the embryos through the pores of the shells. If the eggs have been washed their protective antibacterial coating will have been removed, making the embryo more vulnerable to bacteria.

Re: Quail chicks

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:49 pm
by LB81
Ok I have to be patient for the sex of the quails. I don't know how I'm going to tell if my white one is Male or female. I'm definitely going to incubate again it's been an amazing experience and I'm very attached to them because I've watched them grow my Border Collie likes looking at them too which is so cute. They are in a rabbit cage indoors just now with there heatlamp one of them had flew out of the brooding box so thought it was time to move them to a safer environment. I did open all the other eggs when they didn't work out two of them had started to pip but unfortunately didn't make it. I will try what you said about the incubator without water until day 16. How do you put pics on here? The incubator I used was a SEAAN automatic along with a separate themometer/humidity probe. :)

Re: Quail chicks

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:04 pm
by Marigold
Pics would be great, try this link; viewtopic.php?t=11143

Re: Quail chicks

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:25 am
by LB81
Thanks will get pics on as soon as I can ;)

Re: Quail chicks

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:55 am
by Marigold
You’ll know eventually about your white bird - either it will crow or lay an egg! From a Soring hatch this would usually happen at 6-9 weeks old.