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Hello all!

I'm an urban homesteader finishing up my organic master gardener certificate and my accredittaion as an organic landcare practioner up here jn the great white North. Urban egg producing birds are illegal in the city I currently live in and in the city I am moving my homestead to. Both cities have a thriving underground group of poultry renegades, bt at the new place i'm considering raising some totally not illegal cortunix "pigeons", since it is legal to own up to twenty or so pigeons. These 'pigeons' would be hens only, with an indoor hutch for the minus forty degrees celsius in a well ventilated and sunny area, an outdoor coop, and a 'pigeon' equivalent of a chicken tunnel around my raised beds. I've brought this up to both renegade groups, but while no o e has experience in my area with 'pigeons', they're all pretty interested thanks to the research. I'm wondering if any one here as any experience with 'pigeons' especially in cooler climates and/or urban/suburban areas. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Well I just got started with Quail, but its going well so far.

Being in Michigan and having a limited starter flock I decided to house them in a spare bedroom.

Unless its spelled out specifically that quail are not allowed, they are not as far as I know considered livestock, then I would just call them quail.

I have to think as long as they have a decent diet and are kept out of drafts and weather then they would be OK outside.

The little guys produce a good bit of heat. enough in a small insulated space they should supply most if not all their heat.

Some people questioned how economic it was to keep quail vs chickens.

I have to say even feeding 22% feed at 18 dollars per 50 lbs, Its far less expensive.

My quail eat around .76 of a ounce per day. If you had only hens each should give a egg a day, mine have not slowed down since I brought them back into laying.

So an Ounce costs me .0225 cents, the quail eat .01685 cents worth per day so that is what each egg costs.
Mine cost a little more cause I have cocks for breeding so they need to be figured in, but they add value in fertile eggs vs barren.
I have 50 week olds sold for $50 vs 10 bucks fo a 50 pack of eggs.
Over all I have maybe 10-12 bucks in the deal and just a bit of time.

Three Quail eggs to a chicken egg, so a bit over a nickle for a chicken egg equivalent. they are a little richer,also seen it said they are twice as nutritious as chicken eggs. Not sure how true that is?

I figure My chicken eggs cost me at least 11 cents each. that is just feeding corn and free range.

If I where you I would keep you quail on wire, to prevent disease.
Under cover and out of the elements.

You really should keep a few cocks for breeding, as you will eventually want to replace layers or expand your covey.
You should also want to selectively breed for improvement.
It may also give you a small income stream selling hatching eggs,baby quail and even grown birds. At the least it may help offset your overall costs.

I'm keeping mine for meat as well as eggs. My calculation (which is off a little,its factored on a full grown birds daily intake,so would actually be less) is a cost of 1.0125 dollars per 8 week old bird. My jumbos should dress out around 4-6 ounces so if you average it to 5 thats 20 cents an ounce. I dont think I could grow chickens for that! it might actually be close to a wash but I think chckens going to cost closer to 4 a lb vs 3.20 for the quail. not to mention how much easier quail are to process.

I look forward to seeing what you get going as well as what your conclusions are on cost and profitability.

There fun to keep at the very least. I love when the girls sing.
 
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Can you describe your setup. Would be interested. Not in an apartment but a house on a small lot on a gold course with too many animals as it is lol. But would really like to get some quail going.
I had a cage similar to this for the breeders, only the one I had was bigger: https://www.gqfmfg.com/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=22

I had a Styrofoam incubator. I don't remember what I raised the chicks in. Probably cardboard boxes.
 

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Is there a reason you don't want to try pigeons themselves for eggs? I hear that people do. I don't know anything about either one and the pros and cons though. :)
 
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Is there a reason you don't want to try pigeons themselves for eggs? I hear that people do. I don't know anything about either one and the pros and cons though. :)
They don't lay well, and they're more expensive to feed.

Coturnix quail are cheap to raise, and each hen lays about 300 eggs in one year's time.

And of course baby quail are easy to raise in large quantities. You don't have to hand feed them!
 

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We are working on developing a bigger quail. "The Brams better breeding project" this is 16 months of hybridization and stabilization of genetics to produce bigger quail. we are trying to make the Coturnix quail a better choice for urban areas. We hope to increase size of both egg and birds. Work will be continued on the Texas A&M and the jumbo brown to make the Brams better white and the Bram's better brown. They are easy birds for anyone to raise so this should be interesting.
 

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Is there a reason you don't want to try pigeons themselves for eggs? I hear that people do. I don't know anything about either one and the pros and cons though. :)
Pigeons do not lay enough eggs to pay for the feed. Eggs are small and they usually only lay two at a setting. Much better to get a large breed pigeon and raise squabs.
 

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We are working on developing a bigger quail. "The Brams better breeding project" this is 16 months of hybridization and stabilization of genetics to produce bigger quail. we are trying to make the Coturnix quail a better choice for urban areas. We hope to increase size of both egg and birds. Work will be continued on the Texas A&M and the jumbo brown to make the Brams better white and the Bram's better brown. They are easy birds for anyone to raise so this should be interesting.
It is very easy to increase the size of the coturnix. Usually only takes a short while to have jumbos but it takes even less time to return to normal size. Genetics has very little to do with it. How you raise the birds is the most important thing you can do to get larger quail.
Info on how to do it is very easy to find with a little research.
 
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