Views: 2023 Author: LONGMU Publish Time: 2023-04-23 Origin: LONGMU
Many people love quails. They’re a fun little bird to have in your house's backyard. Here’s my guide to raising quails.
All about quails
The word quail used to be a blanket term for a big flock of birds. There are so many different breeds of birds that are known as quail. When I’m talking about quails to raise for meat, I’m talking about the most common varieties.
Quails are a lot smaller and quieter than poultry chickens. This makes them perfect for smaller backyards and times when the neighbors don’t appreciate the louder calls of chickens.
Check your city ordinances. Some may allow quail where chickens are banned. Others may require a separate game license as quail are considered game birds rather than pets.
What you’ll need to start raising quails
Quails can be slightly more prone to disease compared to poultry farm chickens, so keep their enclosures clean and well ventilated.
Before you start raising quails there are a few things you should know. Unlike chickens, quails can fly. This means you’ll need to provide a secure enclosure that prevents escape. Remember that these are very small poultry birds so choose enclosures with fine mesh. Regular chicken wire will allow poultry chicks and smaller birds to escape easily.
Keep your quails apart from any other farming poultry or farm animals you have to minimize cross-contamination. Keep them in enclosures with quail feeding and watering troughs. Although they are small, they are territorial birds, so they do require some space to move around freely.
Raising quails for meat and eggs
If you decide to focus on meat production (particularly if you are going to sell the meat by weight) then you ought to separate your meat and egg-laying birds. You’ll treat them differently to maximize the preferred results for each type.
There are two different approaches you can take to raising quails at home. Decide if you want to raise quails specifically for meat, or for both meat and eggs. You should also decide if you are going to raise them to supply your family or make a profitable business of selling excess products.
The reason you should decide about your priorities is simple. It will determine how deliberately you raise your birds. If you decide to keep enough birds to feed your family the occasional quail dinner and regular eggs, you can treat your birds equally.
Dual purpose birds
Are you interested in raising quails for their magnificent eggs? They are certainly smaller than chicken eggs but have many uses. They are considered to be quite a delicacy and can be used to replace chicken eggs in most recipes at a ratio of two quail eggs to one chicken egg.
Quails differ from chickens in their egg-laying habits. Chickens usually lay one egg per day in a designated chicken nesting box. Quails may lay multiple eggs per day and will leave them spread throughout their living quarters.
Quails that are being kept for eggs will need a specific diet that is high in calcium. The high egg production can be taxing on their tiny bodies. Ensure you feed them a layers blend of quail food. This should be supplemented by natural foraging for nutrient diversity where possible.
It’s important to check the quail coop multiple times a day for eggs as they are easily trampled by the little birds. You may like to consider keeping them in a purpose-built quail cage that allows eggs to collect away from where the quails walk. The separator keeps the eggs safe until you can collect them.
A layer blend or generic blend of food will also be suitable if you intend to keep your quail for meat and eggs. It will provide adequate nutrition to keep the birds healthy and growing well, but may not contribute to particularly heavyweights for meat purposes.
The sunlight triggers more physical activity which helps to keep birds lean and the meat may become tough. Quails also lay more eggs when exposed to daylight on a regular schedule. Meat birds that are kept in the dark will still produce some eggs, although less than their well-lit counterparts.
If you’re serious about raising quail for meat, there are some simple adjustments you can make to ensure greater meat production per bird. The first step is to keep the quails is relative darkness. Like most birds, quails become more active when the sun rises.
It’s possible to supplement the grower blend with access to fresh grasses, herbs and bugs found naturally in the poultry backyard. Small, fully enclosed pens with wire mesh bases can provide this access while protecting the chickens from predators and preventing escapes.
You can also deliver a high-quality grower feed mix to your meat quails. This is a high protein blend that is specially formulated to stimulate fast growth in your flock. Combine this feed mix with limited access to movement, that is, don’t allow them to free range in the yard, keep them in a smaller bird coop.
Meat birds still require some space to move around. This is to ensure good health and to reduce fighting between birds. Use small pens to keep one or two quails per square foot of space. Ensure there is at least a quarter inch of quail water trough and two inches of quail feeder accessible per bird.
It means that your turnover of quails will be quite quick, so it pays to be prepared when planning your ability to supply to others. If you want to hatch quails by yourself, then you would need a egg incubator.
Quails will decrease their egg production after about 9 months of age. The birds have a short life span in captivity. You should not expect your quail birds to live longer than a year or so.
So what do you think? Are you game to begin raising quails in your backyard coop? They are fun little birds to keep although the maintenance can sometimes feel a little more demanding when compared to backyard chickens.
Here is my top take away tips:
Coturnix quails produce more meat and require less space than Bobwhites
Quails can fly so don’t let them free range in your poultry backyard coop
Quails can lay up to 300 eggs a year
Treat your meat birds with specific feed and conditions to see a higher yield