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Space needs of Bobwhite Quail

The amount of floor space required to produce quality birds depends on many factors including species of bird, age of bird, type of bird being produced, quality of management, etc. In regards to bobwhite quail requirements, meat- type and flight birds will be discussed separately.

Meat-type bobwhite quail do not require as much floor area as other types of quail even though they are, as a rule, larger birds. The restriction of space may be an asset in some cases because increased movement and exercise are detrimental to rapid weight gains. Excess floor space encourages increased movement and exercise. The only disadvantage is the increased potential for cannibalism and pecking. Dietary changes, decreased lighting, and debeaking will help reduce the cannibalism danger.

Meat-type bobwhite quail do not require extra floor space because the quality of feathers is not a high priority concern. When starting day-old chicks, allow about 1 square foot of floor space for every 10 chicks through the first 2 weeks. During the 4-6 week period the birds need at least .25 square foot per bird and at 6-12 weeks of age the birds need at least .75 square foot per bird.

Flight birds are provided at least .1 square foot per bird during the first 2 weeks, followed with .25 square foot for each 4-6 week old bird. When birds are placed in flight pens, each bird must be allowed at least 2 square feet until its release on a shooting preserve. The extra space allows the development of good plumages.

Bobwhite quail intended as breeders are brooded through 12 weeks of age with the same space allotments as meat-type birds. They are provided a minimum of 1 square foot per bird during the period of 12 weeks of age and their placement in the breeder pens. Bobwhite quail breeding pens should provide at least 2 square feet for each breeder bird, regardless of sex or bird type.

The floor space allocations stated above are for game birds produced during the moderate and cool seasons of the year and when no unusual disease factors are present. If the temperatures frequently exceed 90º F. the space allotments should be increased by 25 percent. This increase helps reduce cannibalism and heat stress in the flock. If cannibalism becomes a problem, debeaking while increasing the floor space allowance will greatly help in correcting the vice.

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Dressed in a pink T-shirt and blue jeans, broiler grower Teresa Dyess stands next to two wagon wheels in front of a barn on her family farm.
Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Poultry October 20, 2017

In three days, Teresa Dyess shifted her business focus from produce to poultry.

The change began two years ago with an offhand remark from her husband, Joe Dyess.

 “He told a broiler grower in Wayne County we wouldn’t mind building pullet houses because we wanted to diversify our farm,” she said. “We didn’t think any more about it, and then the next day a poultry processor called and offered us a contract. A banker came the next day, and everything fell into place.”

Lanette Crocker, coordinator for the MSU Extension Service in Wayne County, said Teresa Dyess’ adaptability has helped her maintain success through the farm’s transition.

Hen flock inventories grew after the poultry industry recovered from the 2015 avian influenza outbreak, increasing the number of eggs on the market and driving down the price. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
Filed Under: Poultry August 4, 2017

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi's poultry industry remains healthy with a strong demand for broilers and a positive outlook for the remainder of 2017.

Filed Under: Avian Flu March 30, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All Mississippians who raise any species of poultry are being urged to follow strict biosecurity practices and review new requirements regarding sales and exhibitions.

Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that while avian influenza is not a threat to human health or food safety, an outbreak would endanger backyard flocks and the state’s nearly $3 billion commercial poultry industry.

Choosing the right breed of chickens for a backyard flock is an important decision. From left, Tripp, Luna and Charlie Sanders examine chicks for sale March 8, 2017, in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
Filed Under: Poultry March 16, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Families willing to host a flock of feathered friends reap the benefits of fresh eggs delivered daily just outside the door.

What started several years ago as an underground "urban chicken" movement has become much more common and widely accepted. Today, raising backyard chickens has gained popularity nationwide, boosted by interest in locally grown foods that avoid the energy use and carbon emissions typically associated with transporting food.

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