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  1. #1
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    My Quail Project

    I have been raising quail in Thailand for most of the last 19 years and not long ago I started a project to breed large birds.
    I got 100 eggs of Jumbo Brown Quail called Meat Busters and 100 eggs of Texas A&M Whites all from James Marie farms in Louisiana. I later got 100 eggs for a jumbo golden colored quail from a friend and I believe the bloodline came from Australia.
    I made several batches of each breed and culled for size. For those birds I made 3 cages one each for all the hens of a bloodline and then put in males from the other two bloodlines. I did keep a few of the whites pure. From these crosses I selected eggs over 14 grams and one batch was even 14.5 grams and hatched several batches. There is a recessive gene that gives a very pretty dark color mutation that I am keeping. That is basically where I am at. I will usually get a few birds over 280 grams at 6 weeks and the odd 300 gram hen. I have hit 330 grams so far. My goal is a 400 gram bird in 1 more years.
    Breeding for size is very different from a commercial egg operation. If you want to make money on eggs, I would recommend getting 2 bloodlines of Thai birds and going from there.
    I make my own grower feed and fix a supplement for my layers. They get more room and there are a few more things I do to get the size. My eggs are considerably larger so require more feed, but I do make money on the eggs and culled males and spent layers. Breeding for size does require a certain amount of record keeping to track what works. I have a very good idea of what my FCR is out to 8 weeks, hatch rates, feed consumption of layers…….. My next project is to try an even higher protein mix for my growers.
    If anyone else out there is doing anything like this I would love to hear about it or from anyone with quail.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat

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    Good post.
    19 years! You're a veteran. I often see the deep fried whole quail at the markets, usually sold by Muslim vendors, so I wonder if quail is a traditional Thai dish or not?
    The small boiled eggs I see in salads, and fresh speckled eggs sold fresh I have assumed are quail.

    Keep us informed.
    Where are you in Thailand N,S, E, W? Larger birds would certainly be a nicer feast than the tiny ones I see here down south.

  3. #3
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    Hi, I am in Petchabun. That information was a little out of date so here is an update
    I sold off some of my birds and sorted my others. I ended up with 11 hens over 300 grams, 20 hens 300-330 gram (the largest hen was 370 grams and 2 were 360 grams), and few A&M whites and a few of the dark mutation. Thai birds max out around 170 grams for females. I bought a couple of the roasted ones at a fair and the pair weighed 150 grams. I am only setting eggs over 15 grams for my golds and browns and 14 grams on the whites and dark.
    I just did a weigh in on the first batch of this generation (before the sort) and here are the results:
    Average weight of 27 birds (before any culls) 269.6 grams. Previous best was 240 grams. Heaviest male and female both came in at 320 grams. Previous best for a hen was 305 grams and best for a male was 280 grams. Feed conversion was 3.35:1 which is a little high as I usually run around 3:1. I did not weigh all my birds individually so don’t have specifics, but in general it appeared the males showed more improvement size wise than the hens. If I don’t get a 400 gram bird in this generation, I am pretty sure I will in the next. These birds have not stopped growing so I will wait a couple of more weeks to sort them out. I may sort the males out sooner as I would like to eat a few. Also got the first egg on day 43.
    This batch started off great as I set 30 eggs (14.8 grams) and hatched 27. They did hatch a little early and I have this sorted. The 3 that didn’t hatch were not fertile. All 27 made it to adult so no losses. I have seen that the better the hatch goes the better the performance, but protein and genetics are the 2 biggest factors overall. I went to 32% protein feed which was even parts cricket feed and soybean meal. I do have a secret supplemental feeding program that really helps.
    I just had a new hatch. I hatched about 83% and had 90% fertility and the hatch was on time. One egg that didn’t develop was around 20 grams originally and was a double yolk.
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  4. #4
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    Ok, so the deep fried whole birds I see at street vendors and markets are not quail...these birds would, at a guess (because an unplucked bird can be deceptively small) be around the size of a zebra dove.
    The eggs I see all the time I'm sure are quail, though.

  5. #5
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    I came across some wild quail on our land in Mae On. I used to hunt quail growing up in southern Illinois and love the flavor of roasted quail. How much do you get for a processed bird or are you selling them live?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Ok, so the deep fried whole birds I see at street vendors and markets are not quail...these birds would, at a guess (because an unplucked bird can be deceptively small) be around the size of a zebra dove.
    The eggs I see all the time I'm sure are quail, though.
    Nope...those are quail. The big farms sell off all of there males at 4-5 weeks and they are around 100-110 grams at that time. Dressed is about 70%

  7. #7
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    We haven't sold any of this generation yet, but we were selling them dressed at 35 baht and 3 birds for 100 baht live. I take the largest 3 or so out of every batch for myself. BTW, these are Cortunix quail, bot the larger bobwhites you see wild in the states.

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