Coturnix Quail-- too much trouble or easy meal? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 08/08/12, 04:07 PM
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Coturnix Quail-- too much trouble or easy meal?

I've seen a lot of people raising these and I watched a couple process videos--

They don't look like they would be much on a plate... do they grow fast enough to be frugal and pluck fast enough to be a good time investment? Or are they just an alternative for folks that don't have enough space for broilers and turkeys?

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Old 08/08/12, 05:01 PM
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I raised coturnix years ago. I never plucked them, I skinned them. Once I got the hang of it, it took only a minute to skin one and have it ready to cook.

Depending on your appetite, it might take 2 or 3 per person.

They are so easy to raise, and they grow so fast. It was well worth it to me.

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Old 08/08/12, 05:12 PM
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Coturnix are the biggest ones, right? I've also seen bobwhites and button quail for sale around the web.

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Old 08/08/12, 05:18 PM
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I liked my coturnix and hope to have them again one day. 2-3 birds a person per meal is a good number. We plucked ours just because they plucked easy.

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Old 08/08/12, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Dusky Beauty View Post
Coturnix are the biggest ones, right? I've also seen bobwhites and button quail for sale around the web.
There are many different species of quail, new world and old world. There are quite a few sub species also.
Even the bobwhites come in several colors.
Coturnix is sort of the beginner quail. It is just about impossible to not be able to raise them.
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Old 08/08/12, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Dusky Beauty View Post
Coturnix are the biggest ones, right? I've also seen bobwhites and button quail for sale around the web.
The coturnix is one of the smaller breeds of quail unless you get the jumbo size which are bigger than standard! They are easy to raise and mature at 6-8 weeks old and start reproducing then, so you can get 4-5 generations of quail from one pair in one season where most bobwhite don't start laying eggs until the following year unless you hatch them out early in the season, so if you want big numbers of birds to eat go with coturnix!
The manchester farm brand of frozen quail in the grocery stores are coturnix and a 4 pack of them only weights 1 pound dressed to give you an idea of how big they are!
Thanks
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Old 08/08/12, 07:58 PM
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Hm. That does seem like pretty efficient animal protein.

How large a space do they need? Would something like this work with wider spools for more walking space?

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Old 08/08/12, 08:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dusky Beauty View Post
Hm. That does seem like pretty efficient animal protein.

How large a space do they need? Would something like this work with wider spools for more walking space?
LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR PIGEON AVIARY! beats mine by a mile!..... but mine seems to have more "flying" room, yours is much better looking. Mine is about 100 square feet though......... I love it though! where are you, I have pigeons for sale if you are interested?
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Old 08/08/12, 11:06 PM
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Very cool bird cages! What can you feed cortunix besides store bought feed?

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Old 08/08/12, 11:23 PM
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I haven't built one of these yet, but I covet an excuse to do so, for sure!!
I have't tried pigeons but I'm curious about them--- my family loves it's meat dishes, so I am ALWAYS on the prowl for a better way to "protein" the dinner table.

The new farm we move to on Saterday hasn't had anyone living in it for a while. If I didn't think the real estate office might have poisoned the pigeons out I'd give the wild country pigeons a "shot".

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Old 08/09/12, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Dusky Beauty View Post
I haven't built one of these yet, but I covet an excuse to do so, for sure!!
I have't tried pigeons but I'm curious about them--- my family loves it's meat dishes, so I am ALWAYS on the prowl for a better way to "protein" the dinner table.

The new farm we move to on Saterday hasn't had anyone living in it for a while. If I didn't think the real estate office might have poisoned the pigeons out I'd give the wild country pigeons a "shot".
They look much better than they work. Not a very good idea for pigeons, or really for any bird. Especially a bird that likes to fly.
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Old 08/09/12, 12:55 PM
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We kept our quail in a 3'X9' wire rabbit hutch made with 1/2"X1/2" hardwire cloth. It kept everything clean. The only issue we had with that cage was at one point we had to run a string of electric fence around the bottom to keep something from eating the quail's toes.

Make sure you have access to the whole cage, easily. Our quail laid wherever the urge hit them and when it comes time to butcher, having hard to reach spots in the cage wasted a lot of time.

For water, we used a 5 gallon bucket and one of float-valve cups. And for food we simply hung a gallon chick feeder in the cage.

If your sole purpose it protein, I would say stick with the Jumbo coturnix. A friend of mine tried the Jumbo Bobwhite, but said waiting 6 months to eat them was excessive after having Jumbo Coturnix which only take typically 8-12 weeks.

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Old 08/09/12, 03:01 PM
 
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Pigeons are not worth it in my opinion... you need a few to make a meal, they aren't very efficient at converting grains and they only lay an egg once in a while.

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Old 08/10/12, 03:27 PM
 
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Pigeons are not worth it in my opinion... you need a few to make a meal, they aren't very efficient at converting grains and they only lay an egg once in a while.
You must not have had the meat pigeons.They grow very fast and the female will lay eggs a few days after hatching the last batch....Lots of great meat.

I have raised all kinds of Quail and while fun they were a little meat for the work of butchering. I like pigeons better. Pheasant is good and they grow fast, when fed good they get big too....James
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Old 08/10/12, 04:05 PM
 
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Quail don't do levels or complicated cages very well. Mine used ramps and levels on accident and often got stuck on them until they accidentally made it back to where they started. You are better off just using something like rabbit cages or any plain wire pen. About 2sq ft each. Some slant the floor so the eggs will roll to one area since quail lay them randomly about.

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Old 08/10/12, 04:29 PM
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Quail don't do levels or complicated cages very well. Mine used ramps and levels on accident and often got stuck on them until they accidentally made it back to where they started. You are better off just using something like rabbit cages or any plain wire pen. About 2sq ft each. Some slant the floor so the eggs will roll to one area since quail lay them randomly about.
Coturnix don't do levels or complicated cages very well. Other species of quail don't have the same problem.
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Old 08/10/12, 04:50 PM
 
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My buttons were just as bad so I'd say the whole genus may have a problem with it. They do better in plain wire cages or large aquariums. They are great at accidentally killing each other off when in large groups if you don't have well designed and simple feeders, waterers, and brooder lighting for chicks.

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Old 08/10/12, 05:26 PM
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My buttons were just as bad so I'd say the whole genus may have a problem with it. They do better in plain wire cages or large aquariums. They are great at accidentally killing each other off when in large groups if you don't have well designed and simple feeders, waterers, and brooder lighting for chicks.
Button quail are a lot different than coturnix. I used to raise quite a few species of quail in a football field size pen. When given room the buttons will do great. They can fly just as good as bobwhites. Even the coturnix is quite a bit different when give plenty of room.
In a large planted aviary just about all quail will lay their eggs in nests. Most will incubate their own eggs.
Quail just don't often get the chance to do much like they should.
Most people treat them about the same as those caged laying hens.
They are a completely different bird if given plenty of room.
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Old 08/11/12, 05:53 PM
 
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I've tried putting both in big complicated aviaries and pens. They just get themselves stuck or lose track of the food and water so I have to put some everywhere. Months later those buttons still had no idea how they got up or down. They just did it on accident while bouncing around with no plan.

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Old 08/11/12, 06:00 PM
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I've tried putting both in big complicated aviaries and pens. They just get themselves stuck or lose track of the food and water so I have to put some everywhere. Months later those buttons still had no idea how they got up or down. They just did it on accident while bouncing around with no plan.
One year I released coturnix, bobwhites, button quail, chukars, and ringneck pheasants.
The button quail lasted longer than any of them.
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