How expensive are quail to maintain?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by cupman, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I've been incubator shopping for awhile and I'll probably end up picking one up near the end of winter and there's so many different birds I want to try. Guinea, turkeys, quail. How expensive are quail to feed and maintain? I figure I could probably build a cage for them for a couple hundred bucks or so and that isn't bad, but about keeping them fed and breeding and hatching more, is it a drain on the wallet?
     
  2. Chikndinner

    Chikndinner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After your initial cash outlay or investment in supplies and a pen they are very inexpensive. They eat just pennies in food per day per bird and require just a few minutes of time. If you have a small breeding colony then you can hatch as many more as you need to make it sustainable.

    They only way it gets expensive is if you do not limit yourself in how many birds you hatch and then you end up with like 50-100. then you start to burn through some feed.

    Rest assurred if you have an incubator you will start to see all of the eggs as potential quail and will be hatching away like mad.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quail are super easy and super cheap to keep. Getting them set up can be expensive, because they have to be completely enclosed with fine-gauge wire to keep them safe, but it can be done inexpensively with some ingenuity and creative salvaging.

    Mine are in a 10 x 10 pen I purchased for $130 from a scratch-and-dent chain link place. I improved it with about $20 worth of 1/4" hardware mesh from remainders we picked up at a warehouse closing down. Also, zip ties to attach the mesh. Then a $15 bag of game bird feed lasts for months for only a few quail. You'll go through it faster with larger groups, obviously, but it's still not much.

    And they produce eggs like crazy. Very low feed-to-egg conversion ratio.

    They're also a blast to hatch because coturnix take only 18 days to hatch and they hatch FAST. Like popcorn, almost, and then they look like big maggots climbing all over each other till they dry. Then they are the cutest birds in the universe--the size of a quarter, and fluffy like an Easter peep. So adorable.

    Have fun.
     
  4. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh very cool thank you guys. Chikndinner is there any chance you have a photo on hand of your setup? If not don't worry about it. 10x10 is actually kind of what I was thinking of building, separated into two pens and use one for breeding. I was thinking of doing about 40 quail for meat/eggs and keeping a breeding stock of about 15-20.
     
  5. thekid

    thekid Chillin' With My Peeps

    10X10 you could probably keep 150 in there
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's 100 sq ft, so a hundred would be quite doable. I have only two (soon to be five) in mine. For me, they're kinda like pets and they're super easy to maintain when they have so much space--the aviary is pretty much self-cleaning at that level of occupation.

    But 40-50 would be a good number if you wanted to do more than just get a few eggs a day. At 100 birds, you'd run into smell and constant cleaning issues in a 10 x 10 pen, because the waste won't just be falling through wire like it does in battery brooders. But it could definitely be done.

    Good luck, and have fun!
     
  7. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quail I'm talking Bob's need alot of space. Coturnix eat like crazy & don't require as much space. I try & sell some & eat some to stay ahead its the initial cost that will set you back.Building pens etc. is costly. I figure it will just take time but it will even out its just work & determination. You either like it or don't. I've been messing with birds forever so I'm gonna keep on. Its in my blood.
     
  8. _Randall_

    _Randall_ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 3, 2009
    Grenada, Ms
    I think deep dark depression would set in if I put a pencil to "from-start-to-date" overhead.... [​IMG]
     
  9. thekid

    thekid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:That's 100 sq ft, so a hundred would be quite doable. I have only two (soon to be five) in mine. For me, they're kinda like pets and they're super easy to maintain when they have so much space--the aviary is pretty much self-cleaning at that level of occupation.

    But 40-50 would be a good number if you wanted to do more than just get a few eggs a day. At 100 birds, you'd run into smell and constant cleaning issues in a 10 x 10 pen, because the waste won't just be falling through wire like it does in battery brooders. But it could definitely be done.

    Good luck, and have fun!

    The guy I got my quail from made a trailer into a quail pen and had atleast 700 coturnix in there and it didnt smell
     
  10. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anderson, Texas
    Quote:You know your right but I'm not giving up. I lovesssss the birds & they taste so good on the pit.
     

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