raising quail naturally

Discussion in 'Quail' started by ashima1379, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. ashima1379

    ashima1379 New Egg

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    I finally created an account so i could be a part of this wonderful community. I've learned tons just reading, but although I've searched and searched no one's really addressed this. I hate the idea of putting precious little quail in battery cages. I'm trying to come up with something as natural as possible. Like putting them in my garden and making some sort of tractor. I found only one woman who does this but I'd love to get as much information as possible. We have very little money, so I'm trying to be as creative and resourceful as possible. I'd also love to teach them to footage and get their diet as organic as possible. Fortunately I'm surrounded by small farming towns and was blessed with the sweetest landlord who is allowing me to create a homestead on her land (with some veggies and livestock given as gifts, of course lol). So throw any ideas or thoughts my way, please.
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC!

    You don't have to go the cage route for quail. I have always kept my quail in aviaries, rabbit hutches or small chicken coops with attached runs. Quail appreciate natural surroundings, brush piles as they find in the wild, natural dust bathing areas and grass hay for constructing nests. My aviaries were all made from dog kennel panels covered with hardware cloth. Rabbit hutches and small chicken coops with runs are not expensive and any of these can be purchased for a few hundred dollars after all is said and done. Quail thrive and live very long lives in a more natural environment. I have had quail live into their 7th and even one hen at 8 years of age.
     
  3. ashima1379

    ashima1379 New Egg

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    Thanks for the welcome! Andl I'm looking to raise them for meat and eggs so i wanted to make sure they live a good a life as possible while they're being grown out. I figure i spoil all my other furbabies why not the ones i raise for food. We were fortunate to find 3 free chicken coops, just need to pick them up. A couple hundred dollars is way more money than we can spare so it doesn't hurt to work for it lol. Any ideas on what to feed them? I'd love for them to forage but i know there's no organic feed specific for quail
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Yes I dont THINK the organic feeds have made it to the quail sector yet. I use Manna Pro Gamebird/Showbird feed on my quail. Of all the poultry feed brands out there, me and my birds like what Manna Pro makes. Quail need high protein and a diet rich in nutrients and rarely can captive quail meet these requirements without bagged feed. Baby quail need somewhere around 28% protein for proper development, adults need somewhere between 22% and 26% for good maintenance. Males can get away with 18 to 20%, females need 24 to 26% for egg laying and keeping them from drawing on their own bodies to produce eggs.
     
  5. ashima1379

    ashima1379 New Egg

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    Awesome. I will look into that feed then. We're going to get some quail really next year. We're just getting the yard prepped and the housing for them and chickens going. I don't think young quail would do too well in winter even if it doesn't get very cold here. Appreciate the info.
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Turkey feed or gamebird feed will work well for quail. They also love greens, quartered fruit, veggies like corn, peas and squash, mealworms, etc...pretty much the same goodies chickens like as treats
     
  7. Ntsees

    Ntsees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many things love to eat quail and so the suggestion provided by TwoCrows is one of the most safest method (and you still get the natural environment). Whatever containment you decide, just know that there will be danger from above (hawks) and on the ground (cats, dogs, fox, coyotes, etc.). And at night, if you netting/fencing isn't full-proof, wild animals will chew through them or dig under the fencing to get to your birds.
     
  8. ashima1379

    ashima1379 New Egg

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    Yeah. I'm a bit nervous about it but my husband told me it comes with the territory. He's a country man so he came up with a few ideas to protect them as best we could but I know nothing is fool-proof. It may be a silly question, but are gophers a threat? Our landlord said we'll have to dig a few feet down and put netting just to protect the garden and that's kind of where i want to put the quail if it can work that way.
     
  9. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think a gopher would do anything but another animal might use its tunnel to get in. If you dig down and put in wire netting it should stop gophers and predators from digging under. So you'd be solving two problems with one solution. Good deal.
    I wouldn't suggest getting chicks now. By the time they are old enough to lay there won't be enough sunlight. So you'd be feeding them all winter and not getting anything out of it. Definitely better to wait till spring like you were planning.
    Keep in mind that you will likely have to get an incubator to hatch eggs. Most domestic quail don't go broody.
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I am not sure about gophers, although you never do know with any animal. I am a fan of burying railroad ties. If you can get a hold of any, they make wonderful barriers. I like to fully bury one so it is level with the surface and then put another one on top. That is the one I attach my fencing, coop or what ever I am using, to. One nice thing about railroad ties is the creosote in them repels mites.
     

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