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New to Raising Quail

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys, I'm going to start building a coop to raise quail, most likely Coturnix, and had a few questions about them. First off, do you need a specific incubator for quail or can you use ones that you would use for chickens? 2. I would like to do both meat and egg production, should I separate the ones that will be just reproducing/for meat and the ones for just eggs or would it be better to keep them in one coop (coop size will be around 15ft X 17ft X 6ft) 3. Any tips for nesting boxes? Should I build some or are there easier things to use for nesting boxes? What size should they be and do they need a roof (I will be putting a roof on to coop to keep rain and sun out). Also I'm still looking for a source to buy eggs to hatch from around the Sacramento/Auburn area in CA. Thanks guys for taking the time to help me out!
post #2 of 4
I just hatched my very first batch of quail in a standard incubator that advertised capacity based on chicken eggs. It worked great. 19 out of 21 eggs hatched.

Im still learning the ropes with housing. I have found the stickies and articles on this forum very helpful!
post #3 of 4

Hi AilBird13 and welcome to BYC. I'm new myself.


I'm no expert; I've only been raising quail for half a year, but I try to give you some info that I've learned through trial-and-error. Oh and of course reading a little. ;)


1. You can use the same incubator that you use for chickens. The only difference is the time it takes to incubate them, which is around 18 days instead of the 21 days for chickens. And don't forget to turn them around 3 times a day until 3 or 4 days before hatching.


2. I'm not sure if you have to separate them. When I do start raising ones for meat, I will separate them because I will be using different feeds for the layers and the meat birds. Hopefully someone can answer this question more clearly for you.


3. I've learned that quail don't lay like chickens - all in one place or nest. They seem to lay randomly on the floor, but I've heard that if you put a dust bath in there, they supposedly lay most of their eggs there. Regarding the roof, I would put one on for the reason that you suggested.


I hope this helps a little. Like I said, I'm no expert. Just a guy sharing some observations. :D 

Edited by BirdRanger - 3/5/16 at 6:45pm
post #4 of 4

They can use the same incubator as chicken eggs, as BirdRanger said.  You can get special quail racks if you have a turner.  Nest boxes are useless with quail but they do love dust baths.  If you want to raise meat birds, you'll likely want to breed for the biggest birds, so you'd have to segregate them to do that.  Here's a post with some more info on raising coturnix quail for meat:

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