7 disadvantages of raising quail
What are the disadvantages of raising quail? We only mentioned the good things about quail.
For many urban homesteaders, raising quail in their backyards for meat and eggs has turned into a joyful hobby.
Backyard quail are compact, don't hog much space, and provide year-round access to eggs and meat.
Quail can gain weight from hatch to butcher in just six weeks.
They consume considerably less food during that time than the typical meat chicken.
Similarly, backyard quail start laying eggs on average at 6 weeks old, but the average hen lays eggs when she is 18 to 22 weeks old.
Quail egg costs can range from $3 to $10 per dozen, and some homesteaders are even able to sell their quail eggs.
There are a lot of disadvantages to backyard quail.
Some people simply don't think that raising quail is worthwhile.
Quail cages for the backyard, specialized waterers, hatching supplies, and other items might cost a substantial fortune.
Does the difficulties of rearing quail really outweigh the return on investment?
Here are some things to think about when considering keeping a quail flock in your garden.
First and foremost, backyard quail produce a lot of waste.
When growing quail, it's amazing how much waste even a tiny flock of backyard quail can produce.
You can't just slather it on your garden like chicken manure.
Depending on your local weather, it must compost for several weeks to several months.
Be sure to plan where it will go.
In addition to the excrement, there will be bedding materials like pine shavings, maize husks, or sawdust. Indeed, it is impossible to easily distinguish between those two.
Every week, in ONE WEEK, my small flock of 34 backyard quail birds filled two 50-pound feed sacks with bedding and dung.
Plan how you're going to dispose of all that rubbish.
As crushed corn cob takes years to degrade and pine shavings, sawdust, and wood ash might be acidic, make sure the bedding you're using won't affect the soil in your garden. Before using it in your garden, test the soil.
Create a compost pile outside, far from your house, garage, or other structures, if you don't have a place to dispose of your rubbish.
Find a farmer or homesteader friend who has space if you don't and live in the suburbs. Arrange to distribute their produce at least twice a month.
The smell of the feed waste can overpower you if you let it hang out near your property for an extended period of time.
Another issue is that you'll depict pests like mice, rats, possums, and raccoons.
The rodents may even make an attempt to enter the backyard quail if they find the flock.
If they are successful, they will eliminate a whole flock of backyard quail.
The second issue with quail farming is the health department.
The most disadvantages of raising quail is that , the neighbors may complain to your local authorities if word or scents spread or if rodents get inside.
Check your local legislation for regulations on backyard poultry, gamebirds (some areas classify quail differently than hens), and other small livestock. Laws governing the raising of hens and quail may differ.
Find out what inspections, permissions, etc. you must abide by under the law.
Any number of local or state agencies, most likely the health department, may be compelled to conduct inspections as part of this.
Fines, flock seizure, and even charges being brought against you may result from your failure to follow their guidelines, allow inspections, or fix any infringement. Know the local laws that apply!
Without inspections, licenses or permissions, and in violation of municipal health standards, it is frequently illegal to sell the eggs or meat of quail raised in your own.
According to local regulations, you must handle, clean, package, label, and refrigerate or freeze your quail eggs and quail meat.
Retailers and eateries will request to see proof of your compliance or they will refuse to sell you their goods. They too must abide by the rules and only make purchases from authorized sellers. They cannot legally sell it if they do not.
Third issue with cleaning quail cages.
Dust from your backyard quail flock can trigger asthma attacks or sneezing fits in those with respiratory conditions because to the microscopic fecal matter particles that are mixed with urine, ash, or sawdust (from their baths), and feed.
Try the following suggestions to help prevent problems:
- Work in a space that is well-ventilated and open. If the cage is indoors, position a box fan (with a furnace filter fastened to the back) such that it blows dust OUT the door.
- Wear an excellent air filter mask, or at the very least cover your mouth and nose with a bandana and keep your mouth shut. Poop can be thrown a good distance by quail. If they have the correct aim and you are in the wrong location at the wrong time, they can hit you in the face. It has occurred to me. Be prepared to DUCK while keeping your lips shut or covered!
- As soon as you're done, take off all of your clothing, toss it in the washing, and take a shower with shampoo. Why? I repeatedly failed to accomplish it, and hours later I could still smell pee in my hair. Perhaps you aren't as sensitive, but I experienced an asthma episode as a result of it.
You should probably power wash the quail cage once every two months to get rid of the dried-on, caked-on excrement that have accumulated on the hardware cloth and frame.
- Put the quail in a cage or temporary holding enclosure and provide them with food and water.
- To power wash the cage, move it outside of any nearby vehicles or structures. You'll need a power washer; the flow on a regular garden hose won't do.
- After the initial rinse, use a pressure sprayer to apply a hot water and bleach solution, then let it sit for a while.
- Once you're clean, rinse and repeat. The excrement will fly back into your face if you use a scrub brush, so make sure it has a long handle.
- Before bringing the birds back to their habitat, give them some time to dry in the sun. The drying process can also be accelerated by a fan.
Feed waste is the fourth issue with backyard quail.
There is feed used in the raising of quail.
Like other birds, quail like playing with their food and will kick as much of it out of the feeder as they consume.
Using any feeder, you run the risk of wasting half the feed.
If it is combined with excrement, it cannot be fed back to the animals, but at least the powder that is left in their feeder or at the bottom of the feed bag that is still clean can be processed through a large metal sieve and made into mash.
It is a unique treat for the quail flock in your lawn. You save money on feed because of it. Save it for later.
The fifth issue with growing quail is that they are aggressive with one another.
Quail are sometimes ferocious cannibals.
Bad things can happen QUICKLY once one person bleeds on another and the entire flock smells blood.
Your entire flock of bullies will group up on the weaker person.
Have a few pet carriers or other forms of alternate housing on hand so you can separate the hurt from the bullies and heal them.
Sadly, in my experience, once you have repaired them and reintroduced them to the flock, it just takes a little while for it to happen once more.
They can recall.
Backyard quail have a sixth issue—they can fly.
Quail can fly quite high, far, and quickly, unlike chickens, which are not very adept flyers.
When handling them, either clip their wings or keep an additional method of blocking exits on hand.
Additionally, quail cages shouldn't be built any taller than 18 inches because they might try to fly out of them and hurt themselves on the top.
The ongoing maintenance is issue number seven in raising quail.
Fresh, clean water is always available to quail.
Like with any livestock, you'll need a way to prevent it from freezing over during the winter.
If you are unable to do that, then you must defrost and replenish their water at least three to four times each day.
The greatest method is a nippled one since they defecate in their water .
You must keep an eye on that carefully to keep it clean since they will poop in their food as well.
In conclusion, a lot of people believe that backyard quail are NOT a suitable option for novice city dwellers.
The time invested just doesn't pay off in terms of the return.
In contrast to being profitable, many people who raise quail for profit end up in debt.