Getting Quail!!! Now tell me what I need!


RIP ?-2014
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
only the shadow knows.....
I'm getting 8 quail chicks off criagslist. They were a week old on Thursday. I raised chickens last year, and got another 20 chicks in the brooder now but have never done quail.

What do I feed them? Chick crumbles? Gamebird food?! Once they are big enough do you think I can keep them in my "playhouse coop" ? (at least for awhile until they are able to be released)

OOOOOOOOO I'm excited!!
My wife is starting in on Quail in a couple of weeks. So far we have 2 male buttons. Next week we pick up a breading pair of Courtnix and Bobwhites (also off of craigslist).
The big thing I keep hearing is to keep them dry! If they get wet from their waterer they practictly just keel over dead. Should also use non slip grip pads in the brooder because they can injure their feet very easily.
Good luck and keep us posted!

edited to add, were feeding our buttons ground up layer crumbles for protein content, finch seed, and fruit.
Last edited:
It's kind of the other way around. The responsible thing is to find out what you need to do before you bring them home.
Actually, UNMEDICATED chick crumbles, ground to a cornmeal consistency for the quail. They cannot handle the medication, and in males can (make them sterile, or at least less virile.) edited to make them temporarily infertile.
This is the gal I'm getting my eggs from. Read her information, and follow what she says about the water and feed.
Last edited:
Also... check with your state's dept of fish and game... you may not be able to release your quail into the wild (if that's what you meant by release).
You'd think we could here in Alaska, but there are VERY strict rules about non-native gamebird species, and I was told that under no circumstances was I to intentionally release my quail into the wild.
Just something to ponder...
Treat quail the same as far as brooding....BUT give them either the smaller waterer top made for quail or put marbles in the standard chick waterer. Quail chicks can drown easily. Also feed them Gamebird Starter...usually 28% protein. And depending on what type of quail you are getting will depend on housing and release. I would recomend NOT releasing any quail as it is just a waste of time and are essentially just giving the hawks a free buffet. And also check your state laws on keeping...selling....and releasing.
Good Luck!
Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

They cannot handle the medication, and in males can make them sterile, or at least less virile.

Interesting, where did you find this information at??

Interesting, where did you find this information at??


I was told that, specifically, by Jodi (see the link a few posts up for Bracken Ridge Ranch)... In preparation for receiving hatching eggs, I've emailed back and forth a bit. I told her I only had medicated chick starter on hand, and asked if that was ok. Her reply (quote) "Thank you for asking about the medicated chick starter, it is not good for Button Quail as they are so small and even small doses of it is not good for them. In adult birds it can render the males temporarily infertile, so stay away from it."
(I almost had it right with the "less virile".
The game-starter is the best. For babies, she told me "The important thing is diet. Between now and the time the eggs arrive try to find some gamebird starter crumbles or chick starter crumbles. You are going to want to run those though a food processor or blender to grind it to about the consistency of corn meal. You can also grind a high protein dry cat food in with that to boost the protein up.
They have a high metabolic rate so they need the extra protein. When they are about 4 or 5 weeks old add a good quality finch seed mix to balance things out."
Last edited:
Yes, definately check with local laws about letting them loose. And forget about "free-ranging" because they will never come home again. Quail do best on wire, rather than small pens because they get sick from the manure very easily. I had mine in wire cages, but they were built for rabbits and not secure enough. We found out that quail are also Houdinis!


New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom