Curious about how to Raise Baby Quail? Raising backyard poultry has been popular among homesteaders and small gardeners.
Even though wildlife populations have been shrinking for decades. Many different species of quail have become very popular to raise in their home for conservation too.
Among the wild poultry, they are very small, easy to raise, and in most of the city, they are not considered livestock. Because of this loophole, you can raise quail on the rooftop of an apartment as well as a large backyard of the house. Raising quail is absolutely the best way to enjoy the bird and their eggs for the dinner table.
Many homesteaders start with quail because they can give you an amazing source of nutrient-dense eggs and meat. Most homesteaders wanted to process the quail within 8 weeks or shorter and they are easier to harvest than rabbits or chickens.
Chickens and other poultry have to wait at least 6 months before they give you eggs, but quail begin laying eggs at 8 to 10 weeks of their age. Also, compared to other poultry, quail eggs, and meat are more nutrients than most of the other poultry that you can raise on the homestead.
Quail meat has more polyunsaturated fatty acids and a significant source of phosphorus, copper, zinc, selenium, and iron.
Quail meat is also high in vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6. In the quail eggs, it has an average of 84 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids which is more than salmon in similar serving sizes. Also, according to Scientific Reports, they help with food allergies too.
Since I give you so many amazing benefits of raising quail, let’s walk through some important steps to raise the baby quail.
Before you start to raise the quail, check with your county restrictions before raising any type of quail on your property. There are a lot of different species of quail and some of them need a special permit to raise them.
There are many different names of quail, such as California quail, Gambel’s quail, Montezuma quail, and Coturnix quail. Coturnix quail are the most commonly raised by many homesteaders and each species has subspecies with different patterns of a feather.
If you will raise the quail for eggs, most people raise Coturnix quail, because they are very efficient egg layers and great for meat production.
Where to Buy Quail Eggs
It’s best to find the local grower or farmer who is already raising them for eggs. It is better to stay away from websites like eBay because quail are extremely fragile and it can be hard to find the quality animal when you start hatching. You can ask family members where they get the quail or go to Craigslist to find the homesteaders. One bad group of quail can ruin the whole experience. It’s best to search for online communities to find the information.
Set Up Housing Before Quail Arrive
You have several options when it comes to building the house for the quail.
You can build a wire cage, like a rabbits cage, or you can build a chicken cage using a mesh wire. However, you decide to build the cage, make sure you have wire flooring for the cage because you don’t have to worry about clear up the accumulated quail dropping inside of the cage.
You want to have a low ceiling for your quail. Between 12 to 18 inches is more than enough because Coturnix quail has a fight or flight instinct, they will jump straight into the air and break their neck. Preparing a Quail cage is the most complicated aspect of the whole raising quail experience.
Quail Cage Amenities
Quail need basic food, water, dust baths, and a nest box.
The instinct of quail is much like any other poultry. They will look for the confined spaces to lay their eggs. They need privacy so placing branches in their hutch can be a great idea.
But if you prepare something different, you can try to offer them a box full of straw for nesting.
As long as they feel secure and safe, the efficiency of laying an egg goes up dramatically.
One of the things that you will love to watch will be quail taking a dust bath.
They love taking dust baths. You can use sand, wood ash, or food-grade diatomaceous earth in the dust bowl.
There are many different types of feed at your local farm store of grain mills. When you decide what kind of feed for the quail, try wild game bird feed that has at least 20 percent protein or 30 percent protein feed for the meat quail. The extra protein helps them to grow the size and they will produce more eggs for you.
Many homesteaders are not preparing the breed process properly. The average lifespan of a quail is around 2 years, it means you have to rotate your quail to keep up the egg production.
Typical quail are not good at brooding their chicks. Able to prevent the quail fighting, you will need at least 4 to 5 quail hens to one male quail.
Quail can be very vicious about mating strategy and they need to acquaint with each other before joining the new stocks into the old stocks.
Once you organize the breeding groups set up and have new quail chicks, you need to have a growing pen set up. It's just a large pen with a heat lamp in the middle to protect the new baby quail from the cold climate changes.
Quail are very easy to raise.
There is nothing satisfying than raising your own food on the back of your house for your family.
I hope you will have a successful homestead and raising a quail is a major bonus!