FireFly Raises Quail
Extra! Extra! Read all About It!

This is my second time around raising these guys

They are so winsome I never want to be without them again

This page will have information on every stage in raising Coturnix coturnix japonica
Ordering, preparing the nursury, setting up the incubator, keeping records, rearing chicks, housing, feeding and enjoying them.
Nothing new just, hopefully, things that concern the new breeder in one place.
So many people helped me, I just want to pass it on.
I'll write a section as I go through the process and we'll all learn together.
- Before OrderingFirst the dreaming
"How do you incubate quail eggs?,What colors do they come in?, Will I eat their eggs?, Where will I house them?What do they eat? Will they disturb the neighbors?How do I protect them? Can theyHow long do they live? Are they tame? Can you train them?..."
Now is the time to ask questions, understand the housing and nutritional requirements of the birds, find people who have raised quail for support, watch the youtube videos so you can hear them crow and watch their antics. A search of BYC has it all and more than you knew to ask.
The first time I raised quail resources on the internet were not so abundant. There was "That Quail Place" and the library and the ebay/eggbid breeders. This time I searched for Coturnix Quail information and hatching eggs on ebay, BYC, merchant sites farm classifieds etc. Visited breeder sites to look at exhausive descriptions of the different varieties (I raised the ones with the wild type coloration last time), asked many questions because I wanted them for egg production instead of just companionship to make sure there were no productivity differences between varieties and asked how long one can expect well maintained birds to live. -

They all lay well. Five years from now I could still have birds from this hatch. Game Bird starter is now your mantra.
I am amazed at what I learn each night on the forums. The second time around!
Once you know enough to be dangerous, take a deep breath and get to know your incubator
.before you order your eggs
Trust me it pays and don't say I didn't warn you
As I write, I have my incubator cleaned and stabilizing. I was advised to do this the first time around and I learned several invaluable things during that initial dry run.
A. The cycling of central a/c will wreak havock on small incubator temperatures.
B. Keeping a daily incubation temperature record is essential.
C. Where you take your temperatures in the incubator matters.
D. Use of a substantial heat sink(thermal mass) is the origin of sanity.
A week of constant thermostat tweaking on an empty incubator proved A, B and D. My hovering, compulsive recording of temperatures on an incubation temerature chart revealed after about 3 days that the incubator temps were affected by the wide range of temps in my old under- insulated farm dwelling, dropping when the a/c went on and spiking when it was off at night. This particular fun ride you don't want to take with your eggs in the box. A Providential delay in shipping saved me and gave me a chance to experiment. First, I put the incubator in a large box shielding it from the room air, another day added a number of water jugs to that large box and finally, by the end of the week, small water bottles under the incubation trays. All that thermal mass cured the swings. It works because it takes lots of energy to heat up or cool down all that water so it wants to keep its temperature. When the eggs finally came I set them and things went well until day 4 when I got a 104 degree spike. I thought it was the end of the world as a newbie. I was mourning my loss to an friend who raises birds who asked me where in the incubator I was taking the temps and if I was using a "Water Weasel". After I boxed his ears soundly, I dried my tears and decided not to abandon the eggs. I reoriented my probe thermometer from a vertical orientation through the top of the incubator to horizontally at the level of the egg with the end inserted into what I now knew was a handy incubation tool, a homemade 'weasel' having a water filled volume close to that of a quail egg that would show the approximate egg temp. I did not move the probe around. No more spikes, no more swings and 12 days later,

85% hatched! Beginners luck for sure.

Hope my luck holds over, I ordered eggs today 5/2/11, -5/14-still waiting for eggs to ship.

Next -the waiting