Raising Japanese quails is fairly easy as long as you have the proper knowledge and equipment. Japanese quails are hardy birds that thrive in cool climates. They mature at the age of 6 weeks, and live up to 2-3 years. The adult male quail will weigh about 100–140 g, while the females are slightly heavier, weighing from 120–160 g.
Females are characterised by light tan feathers with black speckling on the throat and upper breast. They also sound like baby chicks chirping.
Males have brown/golden throat and breast feathers. Males have usually more vibrant colours.
Feeding Quail: Japanese require a feed containing 21% to 25% protein (chicks require an even higher percentage). Such levels can be found in commercial turkey starter and game bird starter, but if you can't get these you can use a feed with less protein and supplement it with grain, sprouts, and bugs.
Housing: An aviary with a minimum of 1/2 square foot of floor space is great for quails. You should keep 1 male with 3-5 females, as this makes a good breeding group. The cage can also be made from a dog run or a chicken cage.
Your quail cage should have feeding and water bowls. You can use heavy dishes or chicken feeders.
Solid floor with sand, softwood shaving or straw litter-
Foraging is an extremely important behaviour for quail, and is of course impossible on a wire floor. Quails are prone to foot problems and so regular examination of the feet is necessary to prevent the build-up of hardened food, litter and faeces. The floor substance should be changed and cleaned every 3-5 days.
Quails love good cover, and they show less flight behaviour if they have a place to hide. Ideas for cover include: horizontal screens, bushy plants planted in dirt, old Christmas trees and piles of hay or straw.
Quails react quickly and when frightened will usually fly up vertically. This can lead to serious head injuries, Cage or pen height should be at least 30 cm and it is a good idea to construct roofs from flexible or soft material, which will not cause head injuries.
Dustbathing is important for quails and helps to maintain feather quality. They should be provided with a pile or dish filled with fine sand ( not sawdust ) that they can bathe and roll in.
Nest box and nesting material (for laying hens)-
Female quails will automatically lay eggs, but breeding female quails need proper nests. Nest boxes can be made from boxes, pipes, tunnels and hollow logs placed inside the birds’ enclosure or hung on the side of the cage. The birds should be provided with soft hay to nest. The nest should be well covered and sheltered from the wind and rain.
With the proper care, you can easily breed and raise japanese quails in your backyard.