Here is the detailed Guide to Raising Quail.
(This is a 30- minute read!)
Home quail are becoming very popular among the people who want to have easy access to the egg and have little companionship pets for the elderly.
Even though the quails are considered a wild game bird, they are the best choice for the homegrown pet as well as the homestead animal.
If you are looking to raise a chicken for the homestead, I highly recommend raising quails instead of chicken.
There are many advantages to raising quills instead of chicken.
If you live in a populated city, you still have the perfect location for the quills.
Because you can raise them anywhere due to their small size and characteristics.
There are many as hundreds of different breeds of quail and they are a part of the pheasant family such as partridges.
But not like a chicken family, they are still not domesticated for a farm animal, due to the wild instincts.
If you want to raise the quail at home, there are only a few quail breeds that can be used for the homestead animal.
Some of the most popular breeds of the quails for the backyard are the Coturnix, Northern Bobwhite Quails, and the California Quail.
If you already have some experience raising the chicken in your backyard, you will love quail, because there are a few differences in behavior.
Before you start to have a group of quail, there are a few important requirements to take into consideration for the successful homestead quail farm.
Let me talk about why you should raise a quail instead of chicken in the first place before you enjoy their eggs every week.
Why choose Quail instead of Chicken
It has been well known to the homestead community about why people start raising chickens in the first place.
The chickens are the gateway homestead animal to the backward farming, and it is true.
But when you think about managing the small animal in the city, the quail are awesome for so many reasons, but the most important reasons a quail is a better choice than chickens are the size.
Among the chicken family, the bantam chicken is the smallest within the chicken family.
It depends on what you are looking for in your garden, but the small size of poultry means less space to raise them, and if you live in a populated city like me, you can start raising the quail in your porch or your backyard in a simple dog cage.
As you already know, quail meat is one of the delicacies among the foodies.
But unless you are willing to butcher the quail by yourself, I believe that we are raising the quail for the delicious egg.
The average weight of quail is 5 to 7 ounces.
Compared to the full-size chicken, it is very small and not much meat for the full meal.
But due to their small size, it takes much less space than backward poultry, which means people who want to raise the poultry for a fresh egg will have much for enjoyment from the quail than chicken.
It is just perfect for city dwellers who have limited space to raise any animal.
1. Need very small space
They need only 1 square foot of space per quail.
They are happy to live in a confined space and feel much secure living in small cages.
Compared with other poultry, such as ducks, geese, or chicken, you only need to have a small space to raise quail.
2. Grow super fast
Female quail will start laying an egg within 8 weeks of age.
They mature super fast and can harvest their meat when they reach 6 to 8 weeks old.
3. Give you fast egg
Unless they are stressed out, quail hens lay egg daily basses and they will provide you with eggs for 2 years.
Only upscale eateries offer quail meat as a delicacy.
Their meat is a rich flavor with succulent and juicy flavor.
If you have decided to raise them at home, you'll be able to enjoy the the high-end restaurant meat that was raised in your backyard.
5. Little Feed Cost
Among the whole poultry group, quail are the smallest and they don’t eat as much feed as chickens, ducks, and turkeys.
Most of them only required to eat 10 grams of feed which is about the size of a paper ketchup cup from a fast-food restaurant. Less feed means fewer feed costs for you.
6. Quail are super quiet
One of the main reason that chickens are not allowed in cities is that rooster tend to disturb neighbors
Roosters tend to crow early in the morning and it can be disturbing to neighbors.
But quail are super quiet.
Quail only coo quietly and you don't have to worry about your neighbor complaining to the city.
7. They are Super Resilient
Unlike chickens, quail don't need as many conditions to thrive in the back of your house.
For quail to live happy, all they need is a safe place to reside, access to clean water, and nutritious food.
When provided with a clean environment and proper nutrient quail are very resilient and don’t get sick often.
8. They consider not a Livestock
Many cities have ordinances again to raise a chicken at the back of your house.
Because they make a loud sound on daily bases, it is considered as livestock. But most cities do not include quail as livestock.
Check with your local ordinances and make sure, but you will probably be surprised to know that you can keep quail.
Thinking about harvesting or killing your quail gives you little goosebumps. But compared to harvesting other poultry, it is very easy and humane.
It just requires simple tools and takes less than 5 minutes for each bird. Also, they don’t have to be plucked with your hand.
10. Good Profit Margin
If you are considering starting a home-based business, maybe raising quail could be a little side hustle that provides a little bit of money to ease the budget.
There are many ways you can make money with your quail. You can sell eggs, meat, and the baby chicks for a quick buck.
Many local bakeries pay top dollar for fresh quail egg. Also, quail meat is considered a delicacy, restaurant owners want to pay top dollar for locally harvested quail meat.
Also, baby quail is very hard to purchase and they will fetch a higher price than normal baby chicken.
If you’re incubating eggs by yourselves, you can easily sell the baby chick around $5-7.
What is the Best Breed for Backyard?
If you are thinking of raising a quail for your homestead, there are over 140 different species of quail that exist in the world today.
But out of 140 species, we are recommending 5 of the most common quail breeds for your homestead or garden.
Each of the different quail serves a different purpose for breeding, so please read on to find out which is the best for you!
The Coturnix Quail: The Best Quail for Profit
If you want to raise Quail for both meat and eggs, this is the bird for you and your homestead.
The Coturnix quail is the most common and popular breed of quail amongst the homesteader.
You can raise them for approximately 9 weeks to process the meat, and the Coturnix can start to lay the eggs at 6 weeks of age.
Compared to the chicken, a quail has a much shorter lifespan than chicken, but this dual-purpose breed can give you almost 250 eggs per year.
Also, it is around 8 ounces of weight to provide a great source of protein for your dinner table.
If you want to sell the meat for a profit, the Coturnix is the best breed of quail.
The Bobwhite Quail: The Best Meat and Egg Quail Breed, and for Sport
Bobwhites are almost the same size as the Coturnix with similar behavior.
But it takes a little bit longer to mature and lay less amount of egg then Coturnix.
They only lay 100 to 200 eggs per year.
Because of this reason, Bobwhite quail is not popular among the homesteader and not a favorite breed for commercial growers either.
Hunting enthusiasts love bobwhite quail as a game bird.
When they fly, they tend to flush better than other quail and they get off the ground faster to challenge the hunter.
The California Quail for Entertainment Purposes for Your Garden
California quail are kept for pleasure and ornamental purposes.
They look very adorable with a topknot cartoon-like bird which gives you an exotic aesthetic to your garden and homestead pen.
Compared to other breeds such as Coturnix and Bobwhite, they are very small inside which provides little meat or eggs for your dinner table.
If you don’t need to have much meat or eggs, California quails are very choices for entertainment and companionship purposes.
Button Quail is the Cutest Breed in the Quail Family
If you want to raise the cutest quail for your kid, we highly recommend raising the Button Quail.
They are the smallest, quieter, and most behaved quail among the quail family.
So if you are planning to raise them in your apartment, they will not cause any trouble with the neighbors as long as you give them food and water.
Blue Scale Quail for Watching Bird Lover
If we are into bird watching, this quail is for you.
Watching quail in their natural environment is very fun and it is exciting to see them foraging for grains and seeds.
The Blue Scale Quail is a very exotic looking bird. Unlike the Coturnix and Bobwhite, they can only be found in the wild and they travel most of the year.
As you can see, there are many different breeds for you to choose from.
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.
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.
Raise Quail for Meat
Among the meats from the poultry family, quail meat is one of the juiciest and most flavorful.
Because it is very popular among the fanciest restaurants, purchasing quail meat from a local organic store will cost you big bucks for your wallet, also hard to find.
Because it is considered to be quite the delicacy among the foodies, raising quail for meat can be very lucrative.
So if you are looking to start a new side business, raising quail will be the best choice than chicken.
Among the poultry family, the quail is the small bird. As a homestead farmer, it is well known that people grow the quail for the egg, not for the meat.
But the good news is that quail grow extremely quickly and get the new chicks within 18 days of the incubation period.
The largest quail breed is Bobwhite Quail but it still produces less than a pound of meat per bird.
But quail mature within 7 to 8 weeks and are ready to be harvested if it is being raised for meat.
Since it takes less space, less fee and the fast turnaround period is much faster than chicken, it makes perfect sense to raise quail instead of chicken.
Raise Quail for Quail Eggs
In truth, the nutritional content of chicken and quail eggs is very similar, making them practically identical in flavor.
But depends on how you raised them, some of your quail eggs are a little more nutritious than chicken eggs.
Since they are smaller in size, you need two quail eggs to make up for any dishes with a chicken egg. Just like quail meat, people considered quail eggs a delicacy too.
The chicken takes 18 - 20 weeks to lay their first egg, but quail will lay their first egg about 8 weeks of age.
A quail can produce up to 1 egg per day and they taste very similar to a chicken egg.
But some will tell you that they are tastes much better even though they are tiny in size,
If you want to make a little bit of income from your homestead, you can consider selling the quail egg to the local farmer’s market.
They are in very high demand from the high-end restaurant for the potency.
But just make sure that you check with local ordinances about selling eh how grown poultry products to the general public.
The Coturnix Quail for Meat and Eggs
If you are considering raising the quail for both meat and eggs, the Coturnix quail is your best choice.
The good thing about quail is that you don’t have to choose between different breeds for your purpose.
If you are already raising chicken for egg and meat, it makes sense to raise quail instead of chicken for your dual-purpose.
The Coturnix Quail is the best known for its hardiness to produce a great meat volume compared to its size.
Also, Coturnix Quail can lay eggs up to 250 to 300 eggs per year if they are healthy and happy.
As you can see, the Coturnix Quail is the best choice for a beginner if you are looking for both meat and eggs from your homestead garden.
Raising Quail for Meat Only
If you want to raise quail for meat only, raise quail in a dark place, and give them a grower feed that will satisfy your goal.
It sounds a little unhuman to raise them in the dark, but limiting quail’s movements makes them grow faster and gain weight more quickly due to the prohibiting their movement.
If quail see the sunlight, they start to move around the cage and start to lose their muscle mass. Because of this reason, free raining quail would not be a good choice for gaining mass quickly.
Also, there are many different kinds of feed for different purposes for your quail. However, if you are growing quail for meat consumption, you need to feed them with high content in protein and formulated for meat game poultry.
If you keep your quail in the dark cage, they will not lay as many eggs as those exposed to the sunlight.
Nutrition for Quail Eggs
Compared to their time size, quail lays a lot of eggs. To make the egg, quail need lots of nutrition, especially calcium in their diet. There are special feeds formulated for the laying egg purposes.
Quail and Chicken laying egg behavior are very different. If you are raising quail for the egg, you don’t worry about placing a nesting box for nesting. Because they will lay eggs anywhere and everywhere.
But if you plan to collect eggs regularly, you better purchase or build the cage that has an egg-collection tray in it.
Also, it is good to collect them regularly because eggs become dirty or squished by the other quail.
How to Process Quail Meat
Tools for Harvesting Quail?
Tools and Materials
- Kitchen Shears
- Tongs & Kitchen Gloves
- Clean Counter
- Ice Chest with Ice cubes
- 5-gallon stockpot
- Bowl for intestines
If you are raising for selling to the public or local restaurants, be sure to check your local regulations for processing the meat. They have special regulations and permits to process the food for commercial usage.
How to Harvest Quail
- You need to sanitize the area, tools, stove, sink, counter, and any tools that will be associated with harvesting the quail.
- Make sure use a boil the pot of water to the 160-degrees-Fahrenheit. If the water is too cool, it won’t loosen the feather and if the water is too hot, you’ll start to cook the quail.
How to Harvest
- The most humane way to harvest, or kill the quail is to cut the head of a quail with kitchen shears. Hold your quail over a sink, and holding the bird firmly, and using kitchen shears, sever the head. There will be some temporary movement; however, the quail is not in pain. It means the nerves of the quail are still intake, they just respond to the action of the bird.
- Make sure you hold the bird firmly over the sink, because it needs little time to drain the blood from the body, otherwise you may experience some mess around the kitchen.
- After you remove the head, grab the feet of the quail, and dip it into the 160-degree hot water. Swirl the quail for about 30 seconds until the feather falls off from the body. If you have done correctly, the feathers will come off easily.
- Then rise the bird in the cold water and remove the inside organs using kitchen shears.
- Slice the unnecessary body parts such as the tail and tip of the wings.
- Cut along the side of the spine up to the neck. Once you remove the spine from the meat, you can pull the neck, which will take out all the inside organs as one movement. You can use the harvested organs such as heart, gizzard, and lives for soup or stew later.
- Rinse the quail with cold running water and place them inside of the ice chest or fridge.
If you are harvesting old birds, add a little salt to the water and leave the birds overnight in the ice chest to tenderize the meat.
As you can see, it is very simple and humane to process the quail.
Raising your own poultry is a rewarding experience also not difficult to butcher and process Quail Meat.
It may take some practices at first, but knowing where your poultry comes from, it is a great feeling to experience the whole process of making a dish out of your backyard.
Should I Raise Meat Quail and Egg Quail Together?
No matter why you are raising quail, you can easily raise them by separating them or keeping them together for meat or egg.
Feed formulated for laying eggs will not be much beneficial for raising quail for meat. Therefore it is better to keep them apart if you are raising for production and yield.
But remember, however you decided to raise the quail, it will be sufficient for your family dinner table.
Price of Quail
Compared to the chicken, raising your fist quail doesn’t cost a lot of money to start. If you decide to breed the quail, we highly recommend having at least 4 females to every one female.
It is very important to keep the rooster to hen ratio. The rooster may wear out the hen and hurt the female with overbreeding.
Where to Buy Quail or Quail Egg
You can purchase quail at online hatchery or from a breeder.
Baby quails are smaller than chicken chicks and they are more fragile.
Online hatcheries need a minimum of 50–100 chicks to ship if you make a purchase.
You can buy viable hatching eggs rather than quail chicks if you don't have the space to grow so many quail.
If you have decided to hatch your own egg, you need an incubator with forced air. Most incubators cost less than $100 at your local supply store.
For the best results, you have to incubate right away, otherwise the successful rate decreased after 7 days in storage.
Normally Coturnix Quail have a 17 to 18 days incubation period.
Where to Buy Quail Egg
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.
After you have been raising your quail for some time, you will find them very interesting.
They do tend to recognize their owner and will eventually become familiar with your presence.
Since quail are very skittish birds, they will begin to recognize you and get excited as you approach the cage.
They will start to make a little sound to greet you.
Compared to the chicken, they are very quieter and most of them are silent throughout the day.
Quail Sound / Singing
You will be surprised by how little sound they make daily bases. I think their wild nature keeps them to make as little sound as possible to keep them away from the prey.
When you compare the chicken sound with quail sound, the sounds of quail are arguably less annoying than the neighbors than full-grown chicken.
Most of the quails are extremely quiet, and males quails make much less sound than the chicken rooster.
The only sounds the owner will experience with quail are very low cooing and trilling sounds when they see their favorite owner approaching the cage to feed them or observe them.
Most owners say that the sound of quail is very similar to wild birds singing in the garden or forest. The sound is very soothing and sweet to hear.
Compared to any other poultry such as duck, chicken, or google, the quail is a much quieter bird than a counterpart. The Guide to Raising Quail will provide more in detail in a later article.
Quail is Foragers
Quail is not good at flying. They tend to forage on the ground for most of their time. Just like chicken, they look for protein sources by scratching the ground like chickens. Let them free-range my yard when they were a juvenile stage.
But quail love to travel and can not be counted on to stick around like chickens.
Quail are ground-dwellers. When quail feel threatened, they will jump almost straight up to avoid the danger. Even though they can fly better than a chicken, flights are short-lived and easy to catch.
To understand what your quail needs to eat daily bases, it is very important to understand their natural behavior, diets, and natural habitats in the wild.
Despite the quail’s weak appearance and size, they are very hardy birds that are super easy to raise at home.
They have specific diets and eat very picky, but once you understand what they do in the wild, it is easier than other types of backyard birds.
The things to consider are types of breed, intended for quail, location of the cage, the climate of your States.
Quail is granivorous.
Granivorous birds have a diet that mainly consists of seeds and grains. But they love to eat bugs, worms, and vegetables for their meal too. Chickens are omnivores and they have almost the same diet.
In the wild, there are more than 130 breeds of quail living all over the world with different habitats. But for this blog post, we will focus on the domesticated quail and find what their natural habitat is like.
Quail in Their Natural Habitat
Since the Bobwhite quail is a very popular breed among the homesteader, let’s understand more about its natural habitat.
Just like many wild quail, they will set up a nesting area in grasslands near a farmer’s field.
Most of the Quail love to eat seeds from ragweed, corn, wild sweet peas, and seeds fallen from soybean fields.
They love to take advantage of a farmer’s hard work by hanging around in cultivated fields by a human.
But if their food source is limited due to weather or other competition, they migrated to seek out the fruits, nuts, and other kinds of acorns.
Some conservationists purposely planting insects attract crops or pants to attract wild quail into their land.
Quail need to stock up on their protein provided by bugs living in colder clients so that they increase the wild quail population.
Full-grown adult quail prefer grains and seeds instead of insects. But they will eat worms, insects, and grubs to boost their calories for survival.
According to the Michigan DNR, adult quail eat grain, and it makes up to 80% of their diet.
But quail under the age of 8 weeks need to count of protein-packed insects and worms to survive. Once chicks become juvenile’s age, they will seek out a normal diet like an adult.
Different Diets for Different Stage of Quail
When raising both chickens and quail together at your homestead farm, it is very important to know that chicken feed and quail feed are very different in nutrition makeup.
Some experienced quail farmers feed the chicken feed to their quail, but these are not formulated with the different nutrients that quail needs to survive.
If you are a first-time quail grower, consider stocking to commercial feed, that is formulated for quail birds until you are more experienced in raising poultry.
Because they are formulated with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that a quail needs to flourish and thrive.
Meat and Egg Quails Vs. Game Hunting Quails
The hunting quail need to be fed very differently than a bird will be used for meat and egg because they need to be ready for flying for hunting events, dog training, and sports events.
Able to raise the quail for the hunting event, they need much more protein in their diets, and also need a big space to learn how to fly in open space.
The owner of quail raises the quail for the outdoor sport, they sprinkle the fed all over the pens or large ground so that quail expend their wing to condition for flying events.
This way, quail are more active and able to keep their natural instinct for release in the wild.
Wild Quail and Captive Quail are very different in behavior.
Since captive quails are not able to go out and find what they need to survive, you must provide the feed that is formulated to meet their nutritional needs.
Starter Quail Feed
Starter feed is helping young birds grow within their first weeks in the wild. It is protein-packed insects with a 30% protein ratio for the best results.
This basic feed mimicked what wild quail eat during the juvenile period and manage the right blend for young quail for the next stage of its life.
But don’t go buy too many bags of 40lb start feed, because, within 8 weeks, you need to change quail diets for the growing period of their life.
Grower Quail Feed
If you are growing your quail for meat consumption, you should use feed that contains a 20% protein diet once they reach six weeks of age.
Grower feed refers to the finishing fee that is intended for meat chickens and keeps their metabolism high.
Grower feed will promote a healthy bone mass, not excess fat, and a healthy growth rate for body size.
Hunting Quail Feed
Quail for hunting are considerably different from quail for meat and eggs.
Hunting Quail feed needs to promote healthy feather growth to fly in the field.
Also, it has to be fed in a sprinkling manner to promote foraging and quick responding time which can prepare quail for the hunting, dog training, or releases.
Quail Feed Plans
Here is a simple reference sheet for quail feed by the age.
- Starter Quail Feed (Up to 8 weeks) - High Protein Feed
- Grower Quail Feed (After 6 weeks) - 20% Protein Feed
- Fee for Hunting Quail - Transition to Hunting feed at 6 weeks of age
Extra Supplements for Quail
Typical quail can lay one egg per day and they need a lot of calcium to keep up with egg production.
As you can see why they need an oyster shell for the solution.
Oyster shell is an amazing solution for laying egg quail because it provides the natural solution for the calcium needed to produce eggs with thick shells.
Since quail and chickens do not have teeth, they need access to grit, which is just crushed stone.
The crushed stones act as teeth in the quills stomach or crops, to break down seeds, grains, and other large stuff that needs for digestion.
While oyster shells provide calcium as nutrition, grit is only useful for breaking down the food. You can buy the grit in most pet stores.
If you are planning to feed them with game bird food, they don't need grit.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
When you purchase the diatomaceous earth for your poultry, make sure you only purchase food grade diatomaceous earth.
Because your quail will eat it too. The function of this dust is to eradicate internal parasites.
But the main reason to give this dust to kill pests, mites, fleas, or tick infestation of parasites.
A word of caution: only use dust in the areas in which pests have been suspected. Diatomaceous will crack your quails’ feet and cause them an infection because it is a drying agent.
Here are list of food quail enjoys:
- Quartered Apples
- Quartered Peaches
- Chopped Cabbage
- Corn on the Cob
- Peas in the Pod
- Dried Fruits
- Seeds: Millet or Millet Sprays, Hulled Sunflower Seed, Safflower Seed, Milo, Cracked Corn and other tiny seeds
- Mashed Potatoes
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Greens of all kinds
- Alfalfa Leaves
Do Not Feed the quail with anything salty or spicy, no avocado, no raw potatoes, chocolate or alcohol.
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.
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.
Equipment Needed to Raise Quail
If you are raising the quail in a small space such as an apartment balcony or small backyard, you don’t have to worry about confining your quail.
As long as you create a safe environment from the predator, they are very happy with small spaces.
They will not complain about raising in cages or coops. But as a rule of thumb, each quail required to have at least 1 square foot to roam around for their enjoyment.
Unlike chickens, quails hens will lay their eggs wherever and whenever they want.
Chickens hens are extremely picky about the location of laying the eggs, but quail couldn’t care less. After you read the Guide to Raising Quail, here is a guide to build the cage for quail.
If you have started to raise the quail in your backyard, the most of concerns are choosing the right quail cages or pens for your quail.
You may feel overwhelmed by the number of options and designs available to you, but it is relatively straightforward once you understand the nature of quail and what do they need daily bases.
However, there are a few things to consider before shopping and building the cage.
Quail love dust baths. They like to keep themselves pest-free by a roll around the dust or sandbox.
Quail will be rolling around on the ground, flopping its body around to eliminate mites and other pests they might have.
It is highly recommended to give them easy access to a dust box or sandbox to give them hygiene space.
Things to Consider Before Buy or Build the Cage
- Size or Location of Cage
- Egg Tray
- Dust Bath
Here are the top 6 design and Quail Cage
Top 6 Quail Cage Designs
1. Stacked (Apartment) Style Quail Cages
Stacked Quail Cages
Able to establish the big Quail Farming operation, this is the perfect design for your operation.
These designs are stacked on top of each other to utilize the small space and easy to manage the many quail with simplicity.
Stacked Cages are great for limited space and want to raise many numbers of quail. The cages are often separated by the mesh wire and have a dropping tray on the bottom of the cage.
Also, they come with eggs collecting tray so them it won’t broken or squished by other quails.
Each quail needs 1 square foot of space per bird, and you can purchase their cages in bundles. You can easily start with a single cage and slowing adding or stacking more cage as you are expending a number of quail for your operation.
Stacked cages are designed for farming operations.
But due to the numbers of quail in the small space, the cage has to keep very clean and change the dropping tray as often as possible.
Also, you can keep the stacked cages on the shed or garage, but make sure has a lot of air circulation. Because quail droppings contain a high concentration of ammonia and it causes respiratory issues for quail and to the keeper.
2. Commercialized Galvanized Wire Cage
This is the most efficient cage design for raising quail in a commercial manner.
It designed for well-ventilation, easy clean, easy access to the bird, easy accessories attachment, and utilization of small space.
3. Quail Hutches (Best Quail Cages for home)
If you like to have many quail but prefer to keep them outside of your house, this is a cage for you. It is very similar to rabbit hutches.
This is the best option if you need to build the cage using the rabbit hutches or aviary style.
However you design the quail cage, you need to keep them secure from predators.
Your quail cage will draw a lot of predators from the surrounding area.
I am a big fan of Rabbit Hutches for a first-time raiser.
I like to provide quail a more natural environment and offer them as much soil as possible. But if you need to protect them from 360 degrees.
I believe that using hardware cloth or mesh wire is the best way to go.
You can use 1/4 or 1/2 inch wire on the sides and front of the cage and keep your quail from the Owls, rats, mice, snakes, and other unwanted critters.
Also keep in mind that, if your pen or hutch has a wire floor, you need a barrier on the side of the pen.
Because coons or skunks can grab the quail toes and rip them off from the body.
I usually brick as a barrier beneath the floor of the wire.
Keeping the quail inside of the wire cage will cause bumblefoot to the quail.
Because the wire is very stressful on quail feet and poop will harden and puncture their time pads and cause bumblefoot. so place a piece of plywood in the back of the cage gives them a resting area for their tiny feet.
4. Recall or Hunter Pens
Quail are trained to return to their pen every day. People train the quail for hunting and it is work very good or hunter who would like to release them in the wild and let them returned at night.
5. Ground Pen (Best Quail Cages for home)
These pens are perfect for the owner who wants to enjoy the quail in a natural setting. It is getting popular among farmer who wants to watch them interact with the natural environment and keeping them as entertainment purposes.
Often times, the whole cage is surrounded by tightly woven framed of wire mesh and predator-proof cages.
It gives the quail to have access to the earth and they spend most of their time foraging and looking for seeds. This is the considered safest way to raise the quail in outside.
Here are a few benefits to raising in the Ground Pen
- Quails will live a more natural environment and act upon their instincts
- Your Quail have access to dirt to take a dust bath.
- Access to vegetation, bugs, seeds, and grit.
- Outdoor pens provide great ventilation to prevent the spread of diseases.
6. Flight Quail Pens
This design is for raising a quail for hunting purposes.
The farmer raises the quail to release in the wild and use them for dog training as well. Because that, the pen has a longer distance and higher height to give quail more space to build up their muscle strength.
As you can see, the choices of the cage are endless. Quail loves to forage, scratching, and eating natural seed from the earth.
When it comes down to picking the right cage or pens, it comes down to keeping them safe and comfortable.
Check with Your City
Most of the city has ordinances regarding how many chickens you can raise in the backward.
For example, I live in the City of Fullerton, they have only 2 hens and no roster restriction regarding poetry in your backward.
But some of the urban families were able to get sound ordinance by owning the quail instead of chicken because the cities don’t know what category they fall into.
Because the city does not have a guide to raising quail on the city ordinate.
If you live in an apartment complex or condominium community, I think raising a quail is perfectly fine with the ordinances as long as you keep the cage sanitary. Also, many apartment managers think of quails as a pet.
There isn’t anything wrong with having 2 or 3 pet birds in the cage for entertainment purposes.
Unfortunately, your quail is very popular among predators.
There is an unlimited number of predators looking forward to enjoying them as their meal.
If you have the luxury of keeping your quail in the backyard, you are putting your quail at risk of being attacked by aerial predators.
Also, large rodents such as possums, cats, and small rodents will use every opportunity to get into your quail coop.
Quail are very resilient birds because they still consider wild birds.
Able to keep themselves clean, they often bath in the dust to get rid of mites, lice, and other pests that can hind in their feather.
The best practice is to clean their cage or coop of fen as possible.
- The most common quail disease is called ulcerative enteritis. It is a diarrhea disease that can be deadly if not promptly treated.
- Although you can raise quail in a small, confined cage, their dropping has high levels of ammonia than other types of poultry, and it can cause a respiratory infection for quail.
If you raise the quail properly, the quail is the best bird to raise for your homestead.
Based on The Guide to Raising Quail we provided here, they are the perfect little bird for providing eggs, meat, fertilizer, and entertainment.
They are a very cute and beautiful bird. I called them a "starter" bird for someone who doesn't have the experience to raise any other animal before.
This is how to raise quail at home, also I highly recommend the quails for your backyard homestead.