Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Raising Japanese Coturnix Quail

Quail are an ideal bird to raise.They are easy, take up very little space and provide meat and eggs in a very short time. Quail start laying eggs at about 8 weeks old. If you want the meat, by 8 - 12 weeks they are ready to be processed.
 In the 6 - 8 months for a chicken to provide the first egg, a quail would have laid anywhere from 180 to 240 eggs. It takes about 5 - 7 quail eggs to equal 1 chicken egg... So, while you wait for your chicken eggs, you can enjoy quail eggs on their own, or in your favorite dishes.



Day old quail are about the size of a bumble bee.
  








 They will need to be in a draft free container with heat, food and water. Be sure to have a screen on top (unlike the picture) as it won't take long for the feathers to grow in and they will be flying out.



As they grow, they will need to be put in larger brooders. We have ours in the barn, with added heat, then they progress to the larger brooder without added heat...


 ... until they are all feathered out and ready for the large grow-out pens.


MEAT BIRDS:
5x8 are acceptable pens - which equal 1 sq. foot per bird, minimum. Bigger is better, of course. Our pens are 6x10, 7x10 and 8x10

  

Our growout pens feeders




EGG LAYERS:
Because the birds do fly, they are usually not free-ranged. They are also a favorite food of many predators: raccoon, skunks, rats, foxes, coyote to name a few. So, we keep our quail egg layers in pens in an enclosed, heated room in our barn.
To protect them from their flighty nature, we keep them in cages that are 3' long, 12' high and 16" deep.



 They are fed in cans placed outside the pens and are watered daily.


The wire floor is extended beyond the cage, which catches the eggs and rolls them to the front.

                                                     
To add to the enrichment of our birds, we provide a weekly dust bath. We use chinchilla dust. 
We also add to their nutrition by giving them greens - grasses and clover.





  
We are currently not selling eggs or quail

12 comments:

  1. Aloha fellow homeschooler!

    Have a question for you, but don't see a way to contact you privately. If you're willing would you please email me at KrisBordessa AT gmail DOT com? Thanks!

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  2. hello there!
    I just finished reading about your quail and I have to say, after reading about quail for months, the simple explanations combined with your pictures were most informative for me.
    I had a few questions if you don't mind? We are planning on raising some quail here on our .27 acre urban homestead (chickens aren't allowed) and I was wondering about a few things
    What size wire do you use all around the cage? It looks like they are sticking their heads out to eat? Also, the wire on the bottom seems finer. Is the larger spaced wire above the finer wire so the eggs will drop through?
    What do you do with their waste? Is there a catch tray of some sort?
    How many male and female do you keep in each setup?

    Thank you in advance for your help!

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    1. Thanks for your questions!

      What size wire do you use all around the cage? On the sides and back it is 1" poultry wire

      It looks like they are sticking their heads out to eat? I use a 1x1" wire on the front, (heavier wire) and I cut out a space (1x2" ) above the feeder so they can stick their heads out. The heavier wire can hold the water bottles.

      Also, the wire on the bottom seems finer. Is the larger spaced wire above the finer wire so the eggs will drop through? The wire on the bottom is is 1/2x1/2 - called rabbit wire or hardware cloth. The bottom wire is extended beyond the cage at a slight angle (about an inch from back to front) and the eggs roll to the front for easy gathering and to help keep them clean,

      What do you do with their waste? We use it in the compost pile

      Is there a catch tray of some sort? We have a tray under the cage, which actually sits on top of the cage below it. I would prefer to change this system and have a solid top on the cage below to hold the tray. Right now it is wire, and the trays catch on the wire making it a bit difficult to pull out.

      How many male and female do you keep in each setup? Ideally 1 male to 3 females (some people use 1 - 4)

      Good luck with your plans to raise quail. They are a great bird to raise, and the eggs are wonderful in any recipe calling for eggs, or by themselves!

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    2. Thank you for an informative post. One question, looking at your photo, I can't tell how the eggs can drop through the 1/2" hardware cloth onto the angled floor beneath. Do the eggs actually fall through a 1/2" square opening?

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    3. The eggs don't drop through, they roll forward.
      The wire on the bottom is is 1/2x1/2 - called rabbit wire or hardware cloth. The bottom wire is extended beyond the cage at a slight angle (about an inch from back to front) and the eggs roll to the front for easy gathering and to help keep them clean,

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  3. Hi there, really sorry that this has been asked before, but I too don't see how the eggs roll forward. From the photo it appears that the quail are standing on a different wire mesh to the floor. Could you show more photos from different angles if possible.

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  4. The quail are standing on one piece of wire that is extended beyond the cage where the eggs roll. On the very top picture, where the cage door is open, you can see the floor.

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  5. I would like to know where you can buy some quail eggs or quail

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    1. You can buy eggs or quail off of Ebay to hatch...
      You can also join the Facebook page - Quail Breeders of the World. There are quail breeders from all over that can help you find eggs or birds.

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  6. i thoroughly enjoyed your page. thanks for the info.Just where would one sell the quail product

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  7. i would like to know if you are selling an
    y quail eggs at this time

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