I'm thinking of getting this for incubating quail eggs. I'm wondering if anyone has used this and what your results were? Were you happy with it?
I don't know on quail eggs, but I have a friend who has used one quite successfully for chicken eggs. Not sure how you regulate humidity in one of those units, I don't see anything specific about it in the description. Depending on your climate, that may not be an issue.
In your introductory post you say that you want to get started without spending a lot of money. Buying an incubator probably isn't the best move if that's still your goal. You'll have enough of a learning curve if you get day or week old chicks and brood them, plus it'll cost you money to buy a brooder, a heat lamp, a grinder for the food, feeders and waterers, thermometers, bedding, hardware cloth and non-slip surfacing, and anything else you'll need.
My original suggestion still stands: buy a few hens, enough to put in 1 or two cages, take care of them and see if you like it. Also see if you have any allergic responses to the meat and eggs that YOU raise before jumping in with both feet. Also, and I mean this in the kindest way, please make use of the search function. You'll be able to find the answers to most of your questions in existing threads. It'll save you so much time because you can read entire threads concerning the questions you have, without waiting for people to post.
Okay that sounds like a plan. I know I'm not allergic to the eggs so I likely am not allergic to the meat. I have eaten quail at least once already with no reaction. I haven't been able to find any hens locally at all. I've checked everywhere I know, but I'll try to visit a few farmers markets locally and see if I have any luck.
Is a regular heat lamp the best option for the brooder? I'm beginning to realize all the supplies this will take and you are correct. If I can somehow locate chicks I'll be ahead of the game in many ways.
Allergens can depend on the feed fed the birds. A lot of people who think they have egg allergies actually are allergic to soy, which is used in most feeds for protein. Quail don't tend to pass as much on in their eggs as chickens, but you shouldn't go whole hog if you've only tried the meat and eggs from one or two places. You're probably fine, but don't bet your life on it.
You can check out this site for hatcheries that will ship chicks: http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKHatcheries.html You may find it easier to get bobwhites where you are. Don't believe any of the hype around them (that they're white meat or grow faster), but they may be an option. Coturnix will mature faster and can be feather sexed, but you may be limited.
As for the heat lamp, I'm not sure what other options you're considering. You can use a regular heat lamp or a ceramic one, but I'm only familiar with the IR ones.
It depends on the amount you want to spend. I love my cabinet incubator from Dickey's and find it incredibly reliable, but it's way more than most people want/need in an incubator. I lucked out and picked one up from someone on craigslist for a steal, love it.
Lots of incubators out there of varying prices. You can do very well with the least expensive/styrofoam incubators, but they are very susceptible to temperature flutuations outside of the incubator and can require tinkering to get them stable and useful in your environmental conditions. A nice set it and forget it type would be ones like the brinsea models, but they are pretty pricey. For the cost of one 40 egg model, I could buy a whole cabinet from Dickey's. Lots of people have great success with homemade cooler-bators, too. Just depends on how much you want to DIY vs. purchase intact.
Check Kijiji. There was a guy in Paris who was selling 8 month old birds for $3 IIRC. There's another in Brampton who was asking $3 or $4 for hens.
I'd try to get them as young as possible. I think at 8 months they're getting a little tough for meat, but they'd be fine if you just want eggs and are OK with roasters when they stop laying.
That's a really nice coop, but I'd seriously consider 1/2" hardware cloth instead of chicken wire if they'll be outside. A dog or racoon will go through chicken wire like butter, but the hardware cloth should keep them out.