Quail Habitats and Organic Feeding

MichelleKing

Songster
Aug 25, 2018
207
339
132
Ohio
Thought I'd share my research with everyone. I've been raising quail for about 7 months now. In that time I have gotten fantastic quail meat, quail eggs, and learned what my quail love and prefer. I keep them happy and pampered and they lay TONS of eggs.

Habitat
  • Hiding places
  • Sandboxes
  • Fine play sand
  • Feeders
  • Quail specific waterer
  • Heat source if not inside (think - cozy coop flat panel tech)

Go to the reptile and hamster section of your pet store. I have found the PERFECT selection of hollow logs which I have added durable fake foliage to, and also fake hollow tree stumps. You can use anything for a sandbox, BUT I would recommend something at least 4 inches high because when they bathe, they bathe vigourously. The males seem to prefer the logs, and the females hang out luxuriating in their sand all day, bathing and laying eggs.

My habitat is 10.5' L x 3' W x 2' H. I house 19 quail in here and they are comfortable and happy. This is a custom built habitat with a small mesh floor, the poop falls through and I have roll paper that I just pull out and cut off when soiled. I clean daily.

I have dividers which I separate my two roosters with their females, the roosters are not together.

Habitat Pics
habitat 4.jpg
habitat 5.jpg

habitat 2.jpg


habitat 1.jpg


Sandboxes are a MUST. This is one of my hens vigorously dustbathing! When I put fresh sand in, they go crazy with delight!

habitat 3.jpg



NON-Waste Ideas

Quail are literally the most wasteful birds...ever. They dump and kick food, they throw sand like 10 inches into the air, and will kick their seeds all over the place. They also will poop in their water, get food in it, and the babies can drown easily.

  • Solution: Water - get the Miller 730 Quail base and 1 quart waterer. I use three for 14 quail, refill once every 3 days. This is the BEST waterer as the birds can drink but barely any food gets in, its too narrow for babies to drown in, and they cant poop in it. You do NOT need pebbles in the water!


This feeder prevents 99% of waste! I use 3 feeders per 14 quail.


Feed + Vitamin Supplementation
Quail eat....a TON. Its shocking compared to my chickens actually. You should know that right off the bat. I have food/clean water available to them 24/7, and their supplements are fed twice a day.

Here's the basics:
  • Game bird feed (crumbles only) is necessary, do not use chicken feed. 28% protein is the best option.
  • Water - I enhance with 1mL Nutridench per quart since its winter. No complaints from the hens.
  • Optional but really works : Manna Pro Omega Egg Layer Crumbles. Enhances yolk. Mix in with feed per directions.
  • Crushed Oyster shells are necessary. I have a bowl and I keep it full at all times for the hens. This makes the egg shells nice and hard.
  • Organic dried mealworms - the quail are busy birds and burn calories fast! These pack a punch at 50% protein plus needed fats. I feed in treat bowls twice a day. If they drop a bunch of eggs (which happens a lot), I also feed these to replenish their stores and as a reward for all the wonderful eggs!
  • Seeds - I ONLY feed seeds that enhance nutrition. The following will provide Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Protein, and Vitamin A. Note: i have researched EVERY type of seed. THESE are the 100% best choices to achieve better laying and better nutrition while providing a treat.
    • Sesame seeds
    • Chia seeds
    • Whole flax seeds
    • Sunflower seeds (crushed up)
    • Pumpkin seeds (crushed up)
    • All seeds must be RAW and UNSALTED
  • Home grown wheat grass - I grow organic wheat grass in my house, its super easy, and the quails LOVE it as a treat. It packs antioxidants and because its winter, the quail enjoy the greenery.
  • Organic lettuce head - treat only, once a week, just something for them to do. They go nuts over it though.
  • Alfalfa sprouts - EXCELLENT source of vitamins
  • Clover and Broccoli sprouts - excellent source of vitamins second to alfalfa

Quail as pets ....
I dont think of the quail as a pet. Its an investment in meat, eggs, and great bird watching. They are my babies and I'll pet them on occasion, but I dont hold them and I dont play with them.

WHY????

Because - quail are extrememly skittish, sensitive birds. They like to be left alone. You can literally stress them out to the point of death. It WILL happen. They fly vertically as well. So if you startle them, they will fly vertically at a fast speed, hit their heads, and die.

However, I pamper the crap out of these birds. They provide me with wonderful meat and eggs, and in return I keep them fed with premium nutrition, make sure they have clean water at all times, make sure they have activities like logs and stumps to play on, make sure they have many areas to dust bathe, make sure they are warm and cozy, and give treats. I talk VERY softly to them, I never use a normal voice. I love to watch them in their habitat, and when they are pleased, they do actually sing. It's really beautiful. If you just sit quietly, they will get used to your presence and will go about their normal quail business.


Quail Basics - there it is! Reply if you want or need product/food/seed recommendations!
 

MichelleKing

Songster
Aug 25, 2018
207
339
132
Ohio
I'm not usually a fan of birds on wire, but it looks like you've done a good job of enriching their environment with cover and interesting food. Hope they continue to lay happily!
THank you! I'm with you on that, but as I've come to learn, the quail are some of the messiest birds ever. The amount of waste they put out is astronomical. None of my chickens are on wire (indoor and out), and I have no problem keeping up with cleaning. I clean the chicken coop/run, Serama "Townhouse", and the Quail Habitat on the daily. With this wire though we made sure to get the smallest gaps, enough so the poop can fall through but still have the quail walk comfortably. And like you said theres lot of cover. THey have 4 sandboxes and their logs and stumps :) .
 

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