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Quail and other birds

Raising Button Quail
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2004 Auburn, Indiana 4-H Poultry Barn
Hatching Hints and Advice
Incubation of Button Quail Eggs
Homemade Brooder/Cage
Raising Button Quail
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Button Quail must be kept in a brooder for the first 5-6 weeks of their lives.
The following picture is of my homemade brooder.

homemade brooder/cage
newhatch20.jpg

As you can see by the next picture, babies make the best thermometer, you can tell if the light needs to be raised or lowered by where they lay, if they stay right under the light and stand you can be sure they are not warm enough.  If they stay out around the edge, you may need to raise the light slightly.

Light is too low, needs to be raised slightly
newhatch19.jpg

basic button brooder kit
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This is a basic kit to help start you on your way to hatching chicks.  Button Quail are fun and easy to raise.  They grow quickly and can start laying eggs as soon as 7 weeks. 
The following pictures will give you close-ups of some items you will need to start hatching your very own eggs.

The top picture is of medicated chick starter and the next one is of gamebird stater.  They look almost identical, but are very different.

gamebird starter
gamebirdstarter.jpg

To feed newly hatched button quail you must grind feed to powder in a food processor or a coffee mill.  Make sure they always have food available, they don't understand the dish concept to well so it is good to use shallow lid for feeding and shallow dishes for water.

water dishes
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I use recycled dog food dishes, and ole beagle is happy about that.  Since that food is so yummy.  I wash them add marbles and water.  Marbles are to keep chicks from drowning, they can drink between the marbles and if they climb on the dish they won't be down in the water.  Baby buttons are very small, about one inch when hatched. 

Click here to see great pictures of newly hatched buttons CLOSE-UP

I use 1 small dish per 3 babies, as the warmth of the brooder evaporates the water quickly, and birds can dehydrate quickly.  Alway keep plenty of fresh cool water for birds.  Birds usually don't like warm water.
Marbles are also colorful and will draw the babies to them.  Newly hatched buttons begin to eat and drink within hours of hatching.  I take mine out of incubator immediatly, they are strong and really toss the other eggs around, brooder is safer for them.  You must also make a small coral around light because they will go to a cold corner and could die.  So it is important to make them stay under the light till they are dry and walking.  I use canned veggies, to make a wall on each side in brooder, works great.  I also have a small box brooder set up incase chicks hatch far apart in time.  Fluffy chicks will pick on wet chicks.  I call it my chick I.C.U.  Then as soon as they are dry I put them in with the rest and they are none the wiser.  Just one big happy family :)

non-slip brooder liner
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Flat lids from sour cream or cottage cheese, even yogurt work great for new chicks food dishes.  At about 3 weeks start adding grit , sprinkle on food as if salting. 

feed dish
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It is important to have a non-slip flooring for baby chicks, this will help to keep babies from getting splaid legs and can even help straighten out curled toes. 

Here is a link to my mealworm page


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