I own a hutch full of Coturnix Quail that I keep for both meat and eggs.
I prefer them over chickens because they take up so much less space, they’re quieter, and they can out-do chickens in their egg production.
Plus they’re laying eggs in 6-8 weeks!
They have much richer yoke content than chickens and they have more vitamin B1 than chickens.
Quail eggs have 140% B1 compared to 50% in chicken eggs.
Quail eggs help with allergies, stomach problems, asthma, and anemia. They also provide five times more Iron and potassium!
I love my quail as they’re easy to keep and they’re friendly. They cost much at all and the only money I put into them is every month or so I have to buy another 50 pound bag of feed for them.
Now if this isn’t enough to convert you to quail then I don’t know what will.
How Do I raise them?
Quail don’t need much to make them happy and they can be kept in groups. They only need about 1 sq ft per bird which isn’t very much. Now some people give them more and some give them less. It’s up to you.
You can keep them in hutches or cages suspended off the ground like you would with rabbits. Some people even make quail tractors for them. (Which are little hutches on the ground that can be moved around.)
How I started with my birds was buying an incubator and some quail racks to fit into the auto egg turner and hatched them myself.
I use Little Giant incubator which I’ve had good luck with. I do recommend you buy the automatic turner and quail rails with it as it makes your life easier. You won’t have to turn them manually three to four times a day.
They are a very beginner friendly bird to hatch for your first time. They only need 99.8 on temperature and about 40-60% humidity. ( You can adjust the humidity according to what works best for you.)
They take up to 18-24 days to hatch but 18 is the norm.
Put some paper towel in the incubator so they don’t slip and get splayed legs, which can be deadly to chicks.
I chose the Jumbo Coturnix Quail so I can use them for both meat and eggs. If you’re just getting them for eggs then there are plenty to choose from in all ranges of color.
These little guys do need high protein in their diet so get some game bird food with high protein. I get mine at Wilco for about $19.00, if I remember right.
Do they do well in the winter?
I live in Oregon so our winters do vary on how harsh they are but I have successfully raised my quail through the winter without much trouble.
That’s another thing I love about them as they are very hardy little birds and they’ll group together to stay warm.
I, of course, gave them bedding through the winter just to help them along.
Now if you’re wanting eggs year round then you have to give them at least 14 hours of light every day.
I use Christmas lights to give them their light as it’s very easy to get and inexpensive. Plus they’re really pretty at night.
Are the chicks easy to raise?
They are super easy to raise and they grow amazingly fast!
They hatch out as tiny little puff balls and about a week later they have their feathers coming in.
I put them out with my adult quail at a month and they’re ready for the weather.
All you need to raise the chicks are a heat lamp. I prefer the clamp lamp like this one.
You’ll need something to keep them in. I use a metal water tub made for cattle but you can use whatever you have around.
You’ll need some waters and feeders. I use these when they’re chicks so they don’t spread it around so much.
Important! When using water dishes fill it with pebbles because newly hatched quail will drown in it until they learn.
I chop up the game bird feed in my blender so the chicks can eat it easier as it’s a bit too big for newly hatched quail.
It is very important to keep their water full because they can die quickly from dehydration.
How many eggs do they lay per day?
They lay an egg a day so as you can imagine, it adds up quickly.
I highly, highly recommend you to buy quail scissors for cracking the eggs and it’s so much easier!
The eggs come in many different colors and sizes. They have a hard shell and the color on them can be scraped off.
They are so much better for you than chicken eggs as well!
They are three to four times more nutritional than chicken eggs. They also have 140 percent of vitamin B1 compared to chicken eggs at just 50 percent.
Regular consumption of quail eggs can also help fight against disease and help with stomach problems such as stomach ulcers.
I eat them for breakfast and they are very rich in yoke, unlike the chicken eggs.