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#60713 - 04/30/04 11:49 AM coturnix/Japanese quail . . . smelly???
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi. I absolutely love quail eggs and would like to get some layers. The problem? I live in a small city apartment. I have a spare bedroom where I already keep finches and lots of houseplants. I would like to keep a few (3-10) quail indoors, but I'm still trying to figure out housing, bedding, and "smell" details. What I've been thinking: keep the birds in large (3 feet or so long) "rubbermaid" type bins with deep pine shavings as litter (6" or more) and some small holes drilled in the sides for ventilation, plus a few mesh windows for more ventilation and light. I know this might not be technically in line with zoning restrictions . . . but I don't care! I just want to know how many quail per five square feed on pine shavings would be not only humane, but low/no odor. Also, how often would the litter need changed or added to for little/no smell? Any other tips/suggestions for urban quail raising? Thank you!

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#60714 - 04/30/04 02:45 PM Re: coturnix/Japanese quail . . . smelly???
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
For some reason Coturnix quail stink compared to chickens. I mean it, they do not smell very good. They aren't as bad as turkeys, probably only due to the difference in size. They are not the kind of bird that I would want in my house or apartment. They were kept as songbirds in Japan, but they probably require pretty constant cleaning to keep the smell down.

Button quail are much better and need even less space. I recommend keeping them in pairs. I used to use corncob bedding and the smell was no worse than parakeets, and I had 4 cages of pairs and trios next to the kitchen. Surf the net and learn about Button quail. It is fairly easy to make cages out of RubberMaid plastic tubs or an aquarium. Supposedly if you have a large enough cage they will even raise their own brood.

I had no trouble with fighting when I kept them in mated pairs, but I had fighting and even killing sometimes (it was rare) when I had two females and a male in the same size cage.

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#60715 - 04/30/04 02:49 PM Re: coturnix/Japanese quail . . . smelly???
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
I should say that button quail are Coturnix chinensis and Japanese quail are Coturnix coturnix. You should look into button quail as indoor pets.

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#60716 - 05/01/04 02:04 PM Re: coturnix/Japanese quail . . . smelly???
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yeah, I know that button quail are adorable! But the eggs would be sooooooo tiny, and that's what I was hoping to get from them. Are button quail even good layers? I might still want to get them, though. Certainly would be more practical to keep indoors! I still sort of hope to keep coturnix/Japanese quail though, even if it's just a pair or trio. Maybe I'm just being stubborn? Also . . . anybody heard of any other odor-control methods? I read something once about adding charcoal (like the kind people use as a supplement sometimes) to poultry feed for reducing the odor in manure! I also wonder if adding charcoal to the bedding (and maybe having some soil with charcoal in the bottom of the bin to encourage friendly/composting bacterial growth.) I guess I must just be a mad scientist!

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#60717 - 05/02/04 07:10 AM Re: coturnix/Japanese quail . . . smelly???
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
Button quail are very good layers, but the eggs are tiny.

There was something that you could add to the drinking water and spray on the litter, and it was supposed to reduce the smell of Coturnix. I never used it for quail, but I did use it for the chickens that I raised in my basement and it did reduce the smell for the chickens, so the guy that told me about it for quail seemed to be telling the truth. I don't know how it works. Some of the gamefarm supply companies might still sell it. Most people just live with the smell. It was available around 15 years ago, but I can't remember what it was called. It had a bird with a gas mask on the advertisement for it.

It isn't a miracle formula and it doesn't drop the smell to zero, but it does seem to remove a noticable amount of the smell.

I don't know what it would do to the taste of eggs because I only used it for chicks.

Coturnix do smell bad. They were the first birds that I ever had when I was in Junior High School. I kept them in an enclosed porch type room for several months and that was all the incentive my dad needed to build me a large cage in the backyard. That led to trouble because I soon filled it with parakeets, chickens and bobwhites too. Within a couple of years I had 4 pens with some smaller pens in each one. Three stinky Coturnix quail and look where it got me.

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#60718 - 04/13/07 10:09 AM Re: coturnix/Japanese quail . . . smelly???
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1253
Loc: Canada
I just brought home 5 coturnix quails, two weeks old. Went to buy layer chicks and there were these quails scooting around....you know how it goes. I was searching this subject on ways to feed them and came across the post about how stinky they are. Yikes!

Question: are the birds themselves stinky, as in a musk gland or some sort of offensive oil in their feathers? Or is it their poo that is stinky? Now I'm worried. I don't like stink. Clean my hen house out constantly. Stinky is not good. Any wisdom will be appreciated.

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#60719 - 04/13/07 03:45 PM Re: coturnix/Japanese quail . . . smelly???
Hahnsberg Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 03/06/05
Posts: 156
Loc: Texas
Their manure...worse than chickens.

I had some on wire and kept them over a mixture of sand and lime. I wanted the eggs (wonderful for omelets!), so it was worth the trouble. The birds lay very well, and are tame (at least mine were). I spot-cleaned the sand mix at feeding time, and changed it out about once a month or so less in cool weather, more in warm.

Richard

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#60720 - 04/13/07 03:48 PM Re: coturnix/Japanese quail . . . smelly???
Hahnsberg Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 03/06/05
Posts: 156
Loc: Texas
P.S. If you want quail, try the bobwhites--some strains have been slected for egg size, etc. Less smell!

R

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#60721 - 05/11/07 08:16 PM Re: coturnix/Japanese quail . . . smelly???
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quail manure has more ammonia than chicken droppings.

I keep quail in wire cages outdoors, balcony would be a good solution.

I thing if you keep them indors in wire cages and let the droppings fall on layer of old newspapers, removing soiled top layer daily it may work, wort the try perhaps.

I do not thing shavings would be practical, I kept newborn quail on shawings in my house in winter time, needed to be channged every few days, I would say very impractical.

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#60722 - 05/19/07 12:42 PM Re: coturnix/Japanese quail . . . smelly???
Worlim Offline
Feather

Registered: 07/22/06
Posts: 25
Loc: Ohio
The product rokimoto is talking about is still available at cutler supplies.
http://www.cutlersupply.com/store/item.0265.html

For drinking water use 1/2 tsp for gallon the first week and 1/4 tsp per gallon after that, so a bottle goes along way.

We used it when we had birds in the basement. It started with a sick chicken and before long we had a pair of large fowl, numerous bantams, bob whites, coturnix and button quail.

The stuff did help, but didn't eliminate the smell, we were way over populated thou, so come warm weather we moved then all out and never did that again.

Worlim

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