California quail is most often found in the wild. Its habitat is limited to the western coast of the United States from Oregon to California. Locals call them partridges and bred in the backyards. This species also enjoys popularity as poultry in Chile, New Zealand, and Colombia. Below are described the characteristics of the breed, especially its content, feeding and breeding.
Breed description California quail
The main distinguishing feature of the breed is a dark tuft, interestingly hanging over the head. The body of the bird is dense, 23-25 cm long. The tail of the California quail is small, neat, the feathers on it are arranged in a ladder. Paws of medium length, dark gray. The head is small, the beak is black, curved.
California quail is often bred for decorative purposes.
The bird looks proud, beautiful, often divorced for decorative purposes. The crest is made up of several long feathers, slightly curved downwards, like a visor. The male has more than the female. California crested quail has a very bright appearance, compared to the female. They have a yellow-white spot on the forehead, above the eyes and on the neck there are two white stripes. The area of the sternum, neck, on top of the back and in the area of the tail plumage is bright blue or dark, contrasting. The wings are brown with white spots. The abdomen is light yellow with a black edging of each feather.
In females, the color is brown. This color varies from dark to light depending on the part of the body of quail. So, on the back there is an olive ebb, the belly may have a yellow tint, with each feather has a dark edging.
The character is curious and even the quail cannot fly, but it can climb into a hard-to-reach place if there is an approach. This can cause the bird to be injured, so the house must be safe.
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Increasingly, California quails are starting up as poultry. Why? Below are considered all the advantages of the species and the reasons why breeders like them so much.
For the year, one layer can produce on average 100-110 testicles
- The appearance of the quail allows you to make it the decoration of the yard!
- It is not difficult to care for them - individuals are unpretentious.
- They barely get sick, so you don’t have to worry about the “herd” during the winter frosts or autumn rains, and at least the basic vaccinations can still be done, but even without them you can do.
- Eggs are pear shaped. The shell is light with dark spots. Weight - 11 grams. For a year, one layer can produce on average 100-110 testicles.
- The meat is tender, healthy. It is, of course, not much (the weight of an individual is up to 280 g), but it compensates for the pleasant taste and nutritional value.
In terms of deficiencies, it is worth noting the difficulty of rearing California quail chicks. But this applies to any breed of quail. The offspring of birds is fragile, weak during the first weeks of life. As for adult individuals, they are not very demanding for housing conditions, and yet they will have to spend money on arranging the house and the enclosure, but these are one-time expenses.
The disadvantages include the high cost of individuals. It is very difficult to buy a representative of the species. First you need to find a place where they are bred, and then also lay out a considerable amount for the initial brood.
How to keep quail in captivity?
Only warm climate is suitable for keeping. California crested quail needs walking, and in cold terrain it cannot be provided throughout the year. Therefore, for the full development and productivity of the plant, it is worthwhile only for those breeders who live in southern countries or regions with a warm climate and the absence of severe frosts.
In the cells of the California crested quail quails do not hold
- In the cells of these quails are not kept. The breed still has the inherent traits of wild individuals, for them freedom is very important. One thing is a spacious aviary with an aviary, another - a cage. In the latter, they simply will not survive.
- The temperature in the house and on the run should not fall below +10 degrees! Acceptable humidity - 55%. A ventilation system must be established.
- Optimum light day for high productivity - 18 hours a day. With its shortening in winter, it is necessary to provide an artificial day in the house. Then the bird will be better carried.
- Perches make unusual, they must imitate the trees on which birds sleep in the wild. To do this, take a small tree or simple branches.
- Cozy nests are made for laying eggs.
- Bowls with sand and ash are installed in the aviary and in the room for the birds to clean their own feathers.
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There can be any available feed. California quail per day eats 7 grams of grain, females need less. From grains prefer wheat, oats, millet, corn, sorghum. As a delicacy you can give peas, beans or lentils. At the same time they are ground so that the birds do not choke. Occasionally rice is given, barley is not chopped.
Feeding California quail
Feed the brood in the morning and evening. During the day, they independently search for delicacies on the run. In the middle of the day, you can also give a mix of vegetables, chopped greens. From vegetables they prefer potatoes, cabbage, beets and carrots, from the green of alfalfa and clover. In the summer, it is possible to give mashins at will, but in the winter they are necessarily included in the diet. At the same time, the greens are replaced by grass flour and germinated grain.
Unusual supplement, obligatory for quails of the Californian breed from an early age is poppy, it is simply mixed occasionally in feed. It is also worth adding, but regularly, meat and bone meal, meat and fish waste. In winter, you can buy worms, flies and other insects as a delicacy, as well as introduce vitamin and mineral supplements into the diet to produce high-quality eggs. In a separate trough mixed with chalk, crushed shell, gravel (small).
If you buy feed for feeding, it is only designed for any kind of birds. Salt contained in animal feed for quails is poison!
Clean water is poured into the drinker. To quails sometimes cleaned their beaks, a solution of potassium permanganate is poured into them from time to time. But it should be removed immediately, as soon as the birds have cleaned their beaks, otherwise they will drink it, and this is harmful.
How to breed quail?
Wild California quail has good maternal qualities. Poultry cares less for the offspring and yet the females hatch eggs, look after their offspring. At a time, one female can hatch 12 eggs at once! The process of brooding lasts up to 22 days.
At a time, one female can hatch 12 eggs at once!
However, more and more often, breeders use incubators to breed quails or simply lay eggs under chickens (light breeds so that they do not suppress offspring). This allows you to get eggs from quail without significant interruptions.
After birth, the chicks are kept in a brooder for some time to get stronger. For adults, they are planted no earlier than 1.5 months. To feed on quails, chickens should be initially boiled egg, cottage cheese, softened porridge from “Start” mixtures or something similar.