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Running quail through paddock/key area

 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Anyone run quail through a paddock/chicken-wired off sector?



My friend and family raise quail (but mostly release to wild)

I know you'd have to clip wings, but I'm curious...Has any of you or your friends used this as pest control?

Like many fowl, they like insects (yes,good and bad)
 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Have you seen or heard of folks 'taming down' such a notorious wild bird(s) and using them within an agricultural system?
 
Brad Davies
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Location: Clarkston, MI
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I think this is a great idea.

There are a couple youtube videos of people with quail pens and I have even seen one where there are rabbits and quail in the same pen. This year I am going to start raising quail and am going to try them out in a chicken tractor system. My eventual goal is to have a paddock shift system that I can rotate rabbits and quail through. They will be in the same paddocks as the rabbits, but not at the same time.

I have been thinking of different ways to keep them contained. Here is my list of pros and cons on different ideas I have thought of.

1) Clip their wings
Pro: Keep them from flying away.

Con: No protection from predators.
Amount of work directly related to amount of birds.

2) Put a permanent "lid" on the paddock.
Pro: Keep them from flying away.
Good protection from predators.

Con: Material cost.
Would need to be tall enough to walk in.

3) Put a movable or removable "lid" on the paddock.
Pro: Keep them from flying away.
Good - Some protection from predators. (depends on the lid)
Less material cost if you can share lids between paddocks.
Can keep paddocks lower, less fencing material for walls.

Con: Could be less secure than a permanent lid.
Moving the lid could be challenging.
 
mosiah parkman
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I love watching Quail, such an entertaining bird. We used to have some wild California Quail living in our bushes around the house. Every year they would have 1-2 litters of babies per mother, normally 2 families per area.

I think the idea of a paddock system is interesting, but clipping the wings seems cumbersome and unnecessary. Quails only seem to fly when in distress, otherwise they are happy running around. You should probably put a lid on your paddock if you want to "keep" the birds, otherwise you are just feeding wild birds...

Oh, and I would think even small chicken wire might not be small enough to keep babies in, it might be a good idea to use some 1/4" wire mesh around the base.
 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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I have some family that have a hunting preserve. My distant relatives have always told me it's a way to 'manage' them as they have a 'home turf' (within the 5 or so thousand acres) they own. They have scheduled hunts etc. Quail in the Southeast have virtually disappeared on account of clear-cutting and re-forestation with white and southern pine trees. Seedling pine regions have pine needle litter and little else in the under story, so the birds flee and their progress is really stifled. Many female birds fail to lay eggs and are killed by natural predators or people. It would be quite tough to keep them contained and a paddock (which I'd probably use chicken wire) would be bulky and tacky I feel like. The birds would definitely flee and strike their heads on the top enclosure. That's really what I'm getting at. There aren't many 'wild birds' here at all. Clipping their wings could make them more 'effective' in a garden/small agricultural scenario. I have some to mull over. I don't especially enjoy "limiting" anything, especially a small animal. When I was younger I hunted them with my dad for food, but now I see it all a lot differently. I've seen them move in the wild, shuffling around, peeking out from slightly elevated nesting groundcover, dogs pointing them for minutes at a time not flinching an eye...I think it'd be really enlightening if I could make this work...Last season I had a couple bug issues on my spring and summer annuals (squashbugs on the summer squash, tomato hornworms on 'maters). I can picture quail taking out some of my squashbugs, but again, they really enjoy seeds. Chickens I know like quite the variety of miniature food items.
 
Duncan Dalby
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Location: England, Midlands.
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Years ago we looked after some quail for friends while they went on holiday. They were breeding them for release. I can honestly say they are not good near people. These ones had been around people since they were hatched and still they would panic at anything. Several of them died after flying into things while panicking. They only way to keep them was to have them in a run with a lid so low that they couldn't build up any momentum. Our friends regularly bread pheasants but that was the one and only time they tried quail.

I think having them in a semi-wild way, allowed to run around free maybe with somewhere safe to sleep mite work but I dont think keeping them in a pen would be very successful. The pore little things would get so frantic when they tried to run and found themselves trapped. Although if you had a run big enough with few enough birds it mite work, i dont know.

Just my experience, and they were grown under lights. I've always found chickens reared that way to be far more skittish than ones brought up by a broody hen.
 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Duncan, it's true.. They're incredibly skiddish testy lil animals. I don't like to contain anything so wild truthfully. They're definitely a verrry wild-natured bird. If I could get them to follow me into the garden areas and back to sleep that'd be ideal, haha!
 
John Polk
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Speaking of skittish, here is a quote I found elsewhere:

they will freeze if they see the movement of even a butterfly until they know the danger is past.


I too, have considered raising them. They are expensive enough that I feel should have a decent habitat set up before they are set up outside, else they would just fly away.

 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Haha, I've certainly seen them on a # of occasions having lived in South Georgia at one point. I've seen them reaaaaal still, just before I shot them The bird-dogs my cousin raised will literally sit on a covey all damn day in hot anticipation to flush! It's a treat to watch even if you weren't going to pop um with a shotty... The bird dogs are so intently aware...and the quail as well. They're ICE COLD in a covey situation. They also bunch up pine straw in a circular fashion that is jusst ever so slightly above their eye level on the ground, so they can crouch, or peek out whenever necessary. If you locate a covey, you'll see their little heads popping just above the brim of the straw bunch...
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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coturnix quail

http://www.gamebird.com/coturnixquail.html

http://www.freewebs.com/quailgal/coturnixquailinfo.htm

animalscience.ucdavis.edu/Avian/Coturnix-pdf

http://raisequail.com/raising_coturnix_quail.html

Good info here.

and an older post w discussion of paddocking

http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/40/6173

 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Cheers for your informational post, Morgan....
I'm reading now....

 
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