Feeding an indoor mini-flock


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 9, 2011
Let me know if I should move this to the quail section.

Anyway, I just got 6 fertile quail eggs that must survive a car ride tomorrow and hopefull still hatch. If they do, i want to be prepared. I have heard I need from 16 to 28 percent protein feed. I also heard something about a homeade cat food, cereal, and dry/cooked oatmeal feed. Also, i dont want them to lay eggs much (natural lighting) so... Could someone clear that up please? I just want your opinions and possibly links/recipes to buy/make whatever it is you propose. Thanks in advance!

Off topic: What kind of cage should i use for them if they're going to be indoors?
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The easiest way to feed quail is to buy quail food. Gamebird food to be exact. Adult quail need between 24 and 28 percent protein food. Babies need Gamebird Food Starter which is 28% to 30%. If you purchase a lower protein feed (do this when the babies are grown), you can up their protein by adding mealworms, sunflower seeds, or hard boiled eggs to the feed.

If you are raising Bobwhite quail, they are seasonal layers and will quit laying in the fall and start up again in the spring. Coturnix quail will lay a bit longer in the season, although the shorter days will cause them to stop laying at some point. If you want them lay less eggs, then you might want to get them a lower protein feed as they will lay less on say a 20% or a 24% feed. A higher protein feed will cause them to lay more frequently, and do not add any light other than the natural light during the winter months.

You may not get all the 6 eggs to hatch. A 50% to 75% hatch rate is normal. If you are keeping them indoors, you could keep them in a rabbit hutch. I have had good luck with my outdoor quail using a rabbit hutch for a winter shelter.

As for the car ride home, make sure the store the eggs with the big end up. When you get home, set them out on the counter for a full day to allow all the air bubbles that may have formed in the eggs from the ride, to settle. During this time, you can be warming up the incubator.

Good luck!
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I got a free TV cabinet from craigslist. Very sturdy and about 24# deep. Laid it down and WaLa a nice 3' x 6' brooder that was 2' tall. put some screening over the top and corn cobb litter in the bottom.
Thanks guys! That really helped I'm definetly going to buy feed thanks.
I just remembered I can clear one shelf of my bookshelf (i have far too many books I dont read)! It already has all wooden sides except of course the open side. I was thinking I could either make wooden bars out of excess dowels or scrounge up some hardware cloth (that is the stiff, sharp, tiny mesh looking stuff right?). The door could just be a piece of hardware cloth. With dowels naybe just skip a row or 2 on the food/water side and replace it with hinged hardware cloth? I think it would work. Also i only expect 2 or 3 quail to hatch and would be suprised if even 5 hatched. ;p
I really wish I had a huge yard... Wish me luck!

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