Looking to start raising Cortunix quail - can't find a breeder near me!

QuailTail

Songster
Aug 21, 2021
124
119
101
NSW Mid North Coast, Australia
Hi everyone,

I have recently moved to the mid north coast of NSW, Australia and am looking to start a small 12-15 bird aviary for eggs and meat (if I can muster the courage for the latter!). This will be my first time owning quail.

I have done all of my research, looked into what they need and how to care for them, and now I just need to find the quail! 🤣 Easier said than done, apparently!
Living in a rural area I would have thought that it would be fairly straightforward to find them online, but I seem to be living in a 150km radius bubble in which no one breeds or sells quail. Normally not a problem, I'm happy to jump in the car, but we're in a regional lockdown which could go on for a while (expected to end this week, but has been extended) so I can't travel as I usually would.

There are plenty of breeders who are happy to send eggs in the mail, but as this is my first time raising quail I wanted to start out with the adult or juvenile birds to get the hang of it before I lunge into hatching - particularly since the setup for incubation and brooding isn't cheap, and then if I end up with males I either have to kill them, try to find someone to take them, or house them seperately ($$$) until they're old enough to process for meat. Which is all just a bit too much for me when I'm just starting out and want to find my feet.

I suppose my question is, does anyone know of any breeders or keepers who sell birds who are local to the Taree/Forster area of NSW?
Alternatively, is hatching quail really as simple as everyone says? If I plan to keep raising birds, and since they live for such a short few years, I'll have to top up my flock fairly regularly to keep my numbers up so is it actually a sensible option to start straight away with hatching eggs even if I've never kept quail before?

Feeling frustrated and stuck that my plans to simply go and buy some quail have been foiled! Any suggestions or guidance would be really appreciated.

Thanks!
 

CovidtimeQuail

Highly quailified
Premium Feather Member
Nov 28, 2020
742
1,608
231
Honolulu, HI
I found myself in the same situation here in Hawaii. No birds available at the start of the pandemic. Because of our agriculture rules, I couldn't even have hatching eggs shipped from other states in the USA. I finally found hatching eggs on a different island within the Hawaiian islands.

If you're planning to raise quail over a period of time, you'll need to have an incubator. Hatching wasn't too hard, although I wish I discovered this valuable site before my first try.

Rather than buying, you could see if you could borrow an incubator. Technically you don't need much in an incubator, but it's the little things that determine hatch success, such as constant reliable temperature and humidity within the unit.

My first try hatch rate wasn't fabulous, but it was enough so that I had some fertile eggs for the next try, which went well. I said I'd try raising quail for a year to see how it went. Now, I'm absolutely convinced of the value. In addition to the eggs, the composted bedding has been excellent growing material and my garden has never been happier.
 

QuailTail

Songster
Aug 21, 2021
124
119
101
NSW Mid North Coast, Australia
I found myself in the same situation here in Hawaii. No birds available at the start of the pandemic. Because of our agriculture rules, I couldn't even have hatching eggs shipped from other states in the USA. I finally found hatching eggs on a different island within the Hawaiian islands.

If you're planning to raise quail over a period of time, you'll need to have an incubator. Hatching wasn't too hard, although I wish I discovered this valuable site before my first try.

Rather than buying, you could see if you could borrow an incubator. Technically you don't need much in an incubator, but it's the little things that determine hatch success, such as constant reliable temperature and humidity within the unit.

My first try hatch rate wasn't fabulous, but it was enough so that I had some fertile eggs for the next try, which went well. I said I'd try raising quail for a year to see how it went. Now, I'm absolutely convinced of the value. In addition to the eggs, the composted bedding has been excellent growing material and my garden has never been happier.
Thank you so much for your reply! That must have been so frustrating to be limited to only what you could find within Hawaii. At least I'm on the mainland, so no biosecurity issues thankfully.

It is a fantastic resource, I've been spending hours pouring over all the threads and all the invaluable information people are sharing. Thank goodness for this community :)

I would gladly borrow an incubator, I think there might be someone at my work from a chicken raising family so that's a great idea to ask around! Thanks! I'm still very overwhelmed at the idea of having to hatch them, and all of the details you mentioned - I've never done anything like it before so I'm a bit of a deer in headlights. I've been reading a lot of threads about humidity and temperatures and lockdown and it sounds like there's no set in stone rule for anything other than trial and error which is a bit nerve wracking.

I'm very excited for the compost actually, I'm sure my veggies will be very happy!
 

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