First time raising quails

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Deetle
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First time raising quails

Post by Deetle » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:45 pm

Hi, new here and ive recently acquired some (i believe) Jap quails. 4 girls and a boy. They are sexible so id say 8 + weeks old. They are in the chook shed which has good ventilation and have rabbit hutch and dolls house as smaller areas. Ive been feeding them with a high protein wild game finisher pellet, budgie seed and some native grass that is in seed atm.
Ive also been throwing in broad bean and brassica foliage as we transition from a winter to summer in the vege patch. They seem to like pecking at any bugs on there as well as using it as cover. They really seem to love snuggling down into the fresh grass clippings from when I've mowed the lawn.
We get 3 to 4 eggs per day some weve eaten but many are snapped up by the kids. Kids love eggs.
My 3 yo Joe has co-ersed me into buying an incubator. (Thats him out there at 6:30 am in his pyjamas, such is his enthusiasm). I bought a Brinsea mini eco which seems to hold a good temp as long as i manage the ambient temps well i dont need to make many adjustments. We are at day 4 at present. Im not convinced our male 'Beak Reynolds' is the greatest lover he seems to get shaken off too easy but time will tell.
The temps in Tassie can get to -3c in winter but we have lovely spring weather at present. I have a low wattage heat bar i might pop in for those chilly, frosty nights.
Im a total novice at this so any advice, however novice or rudimentary, is greatly appreciated.
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Deetle
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Re: First time raising quails

Post by Deetle » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:48 pm

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Deetle
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Re: First time raising quails

Post by Deetle » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:49 pm

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Marigold
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Re: First time raising quails

Post by Marigold » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:34 pm

Ahh, what a lovely setup for them. Great for Joe as well. I'm glad you're not getting too aggressive mating from the male. I had a lot of trouble with the males I hatched from several batches, they just hung on and damaged the females so badly I dreaded finding blood all over the cage and a bleeding bird every morning. In the end i just culled the males and the females lived happily and peacefully and laid well for several years.
Good luck with the hatch, and do let us know how it goes. I bet you'll get a majority of boys. I used a little Brinsea mini and found it was excellent with the quail ring. There are several threads on here with more details on hatching quail that you may find helpful - the main thing is to keep the humidity very low until they start to pip at 16 days.
Deetle
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Re: First time raising quails

Post by Deetle » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:38 am

Hi Marigold, sorry for the slow reply. I somehow deleted my last reply. I think I have King quail as the eggs are certainly of an eating size.
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I have maintained the incubator reservoir filling half up. With 2 days to go i intend to run it with both sides full. Is this what I should be doing? I'd gleaned that from the units instruction booklet. Have I had the humidity too high?

I purchased a ecoglow in case of any success. Would i run it with flouro lights or just ambient lighting and temps?. I planned to keep the brooder inside, at present temps range from 17c - 23c. Is that sufficient with the ecoglow alone?
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Deetle
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Re: First time raising quails

Post by Deetle » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:41 am

Some more pics
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Marigold
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Re: First time raising quails

Post by Marigold » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:49 am

Hi Deetle, they look like coturnix to me, glad they're laying well. Good luck with the hatch - I would have had the humidity much lower than that but let's hope it will be OK. It depends partly on the ambient humidity where you live. In the UK it's normally at least 45% humidity in the air, and this is enough for quail incubation without any water added until they begin to chip, but in Tasmania in summer time it may well be different if it's dry heat. I got an eco glow for mine but found it wasn't warm enough for them in the first couple of weeks, they became more active and able to feed better under a ceramic lamp, which gives out heat only, no light, so can be left on all the time with an extra light during the day. But again, if it's hot where you are, they may well need less heat and an ecoglow may work much better than in England in February! Fix it on the lowest height setting and just observe to see if they're running around freely. I found that the advantage of the ceramic lamp was that they got heat wherever they were in the brooder and so didn't need to waste feeding time by huddling for warmth under an ecoglow - especially when adapting to lower temperatures outside the incubator when not feathered up. Adults loved the ecoglow at night in their winter cages when it was freezing outside, though. Let us know how you get on. Watching them hatch is amazing.
You may have deleted your last reply by clicking on Post Reply at the bottom of the text box. You need to click Submit to send your message. Post Reply is what you click on to get a text box to start a reply, and it deletes what you write if you click it again. Maddening, - but we've all done it!
Deetle
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Re: First time raising quails

Post by Deetle » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:18 pm

Hi again, i fear the humidity may be too high after all. Tomorrow is day 17 so we should find out soon. I swear i see some eggs wobbling about?
Your right Marigold about the ecoglow being not warm enough. Ive put it in a propagation tent with a heater on a thermostat. At about 24c in the tent it is about 35c under the ecoglow. Is this what i should be doing? Ie aiming for 35c with lower temps outside the ecoglow area. Once the temps are right i will furnish it with news papers ect.
Thanks for any advice
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Marigold
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Re: First time raising quails

Post by Marigold » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:44 pm

They should hatch on Day 16-17, and be chipping by now. The advice about dry incubation came from a friend who raised hundreds of quails commercially. She said she always incubated dry and sometimes even forgot to add any water on Day 16 and they still seemed to hatch OK. So if yours don’t make it, I expect that might be why. Quail eggs have very thin shells, and being small the ratio of shell area to contents is much higher than on a bigger egg, and also they’ve evolved to hatch on bare ground in a hot, dry environment, so probably that accounts for the adaptation to dry incubation. I hope you get some, nevertheless.
I think they’ll do better in an open- topped brooder which will give them more air. Being so very tiny, and also such messy chicks, they need full ventilation and as dry conditions as possible, to prevent coccidiosis which is a big risk in humid environments. They do best with the sort of drinker for cage birds that fixes to the side of the brooder with a drinking lip, so they can’t fall in and get wet, or poo in it. Brooder does need a mesh top as they’re airborne from hatch!
Deetle
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Re: First time raising quails

Post by Deetle » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:50 am

We have 2 little fluff balls and unfortunately 1 other was unable to make it out of the shell. The 2 surviving recieved some help, the membrane is very tough. (Noticed that when cooking with them too.) Is that common?
Should I be waiting 24hrs before transferring? I'm not sure if they've eaten. Is this normal to not eat or drink? Should i be worried about dehydration or are they still running on yolk?
Ive also lowered the temp to 36c to ready them for 35c in the brooder.
Signed Concerned parent
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