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Author Topic: Questions about raising quail to release on property in Western WA  (Read 5590 times)
pescadore
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« on: December 30, 2006, 02:42:51 PM »

Howdy,
My 2 daughters want to raise quail (which means I will probably end up doing a lot of the raising!) but they are concerned about predators (owl, eagles, foxes, coyotes - but they aren't a huge problem, just occasional visits) so my daughters insist I raise the quail in a pen. I want to raise quail also but I want to release them (I'll deal with dept nat. rscs. issues). Therefore I want to raise a lot (50? more? less?) for release and I'm hopeful they'll hang around the house areas (2 acres) so we can observe them.
I have 4 mallards in a 20 X 20 coop. We raised them from day old chicks and we let them out to fly and wander on the weekends and they do great and stick around and don't require heat. I clean and feed them and their cage all the time - we are responsible. Predators don't get them but we put them back in the coop at night. I have seen about 10 wild California Quail a few miles away from here year after year in the same area, so I am guessing they can overwinter.
I have about 40 acres of woods and beach in Western WA USA along Hood Canal. Mostly fir, maple, cedar, trees but tons of evergreen huckleberry. Most of the property is steep except for a couple acres around our house. No neighbors or fences. It snows about twice a year and can rain a lot here. summers are nice.
So...
- Can I raise quail here for release?
-Would I be better off keeping them penned up all the time - I can live with losing a few to predators?
- What kind of quail should I raise?
- Would I need to pen them in the winter (are my winters too cold?)
- would they forage themselves after I raise the babies and release them (I was planning on throwing a handful of feed on the ground every day).
- If I build a coop or house for them to roost in at night would they use it? I don't want to be trying to 'herd' quail. I am guessing the are either 'wild release' or in a pen 24/7. Maybe I could do both. But if I built a 'home' for the wild ones would it be used?
- If I release the quail after I raise them will they just take off and never be seen again?
I won't be hunting them.

So in general if anyone knows answers or has more insight to these questions I'd appreciate it.

Thank you!  :laugh:

-Brad
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jchiar
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2006, 05:17:23 AM »

Best time to release quail is at six weeks of age. A johnny house may keep your quail coming back not sure about California but it works on bobs and chuckars. I would hatch and  release 50 birds at a time .Do some research and see which quail are specific to your area and if you need permits
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aKirA
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2006, 08:57:34 PM »

Ya quails are pretty wild in nature. if you want them to free roam, you should use like a Johnny house. Or can use a Pen. Raise them in there for a few days/weeks, then open the door for them.

I gave some california quail chicks to my uncle one time and some how they got loose and some went missing due to predators or his dog except one. That one valley quail grew up with his chickens and now roams around the yard with the chickens. Just thought I'd share this story as there may be many different approaches.

Ya if you want them to keep their natural instincts like foraging...best to release at 6weeks like jc says.

Alot of snowing may be a little too cold for quails though. They may need a coop or they may migrate to somewhere warmer.

Good luck. It's worth a try and will be fun.
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pescadore
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2007, 12:54:10 PM »

This is great info and helpful - thank you. Next step - build a Johnny house. I'll probably go with Bobwhites. Will rtesearch DNR issues and release times, feed, etc. Thanks again!
Brad
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awolf
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2007, 09:31:17 PM »

Why Bother with the bobwhites. I don't know if they will survive in that claimate. The valley quail are pretty hardy. Check out quail unlimited. They ought to be able to help
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pescadore
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2007, 04:41:07 PM »

I ended up buying 30 Valley Quail eggs and built a sweet Johnny house. The eggs are going to start hatching tomorrow probably. I'll raise them in the Johhny house then start releasing a few at a time. I've done a lot of research. Fingers crossed the hawks and foxes don't get them all when I start releasing them.
Thanks again!
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