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Discussion in 'Quail' started by Ben337, Jun 16, 2019.
Can you share the benefit and cons of raising them on a homestead please.
My neighbor raises them for eggs, others for meat, most use them for both. I've researched it and almost pulled the trigger on ordering them several times. But something always came up and cancelled those plans.
If you want them for eggs, buy some of their eggs and make sure you don't mind the small size. The eggs my neighbor gives me are hard for my big hands, my wife hasn't mentioned if she has that problem. I need to order the little quail egg scissors that are designed to fix that issue.
If you want them for meat see if you can buy some and see if you like it.
One positive for quail is they are kept in smaller pens instead of free ranging like a chicken, which reduces predator issues. The negative to that is you either have to buy the expensive commercial cages, make your own, or repurpose something like a large rabbit cage.
Since I can't build worth a darn, the expense of buying a nice premade setup was one of the reasons for not trying them.
What would be your uses for quail? Meat? Eggs? Both? Pets maybe?
I would say to have quail mostly for eggs but some meat and maybe a little pet type but not a must!
As a neighbor, I notice they are quieter than his chickens, ducks, and horse. And the sound they do make is very pleasant, someone who didn't know better would probably mistake them for a wild songbird.
He built some very nice cages with a slightly sloped bottom so the eggs collect themselves in a little trough in front of the cage. If the small size of eggs isn't an issue then they are very efficient little egg makers.
Kansas City Quail sell the special scissors that are said to work very well for getting the little eggs opened.
The eggs have like 500 percent more B vitamins than chicken/duck eggs. The Chinese viewed them as having medical property's.
Couple things, just like with chickens and ducks, you want allot of girls for one boy so the boys don't fight with each other or overbreed the females.
Also they do need high protein feed compared to chickens. Best to start them with 28 to 30 percent gamebird/turkey starter feed. Many never take them off it, if you do, don't go below 24 percent protein.
That does sound very appealing what types do you raise? And or recommend?
The type of quail you raise makes a difference too. I raise Japanese Coturnix Quail. They're reportedly easier to manage than other types of quail, and from my personal experience they're MUCH easier to manage than chickens and typically healthier too. I raise them for eggs and meat, but they're not exactly 'pet' material as they're very fearful of humans. You'll need a cage with at least 1 square foot of FLOOR space per bird, plus an extra square foot of space to accommodate feed, water & sand box (shoe box size works well). Adding height to the cage isn't overly helpful as they don't perch, but if the cages you get have extra height you can try to add an upper floor as long as they don't have to use a ramp (they won't use it), or fly up (they won't fly up to another floor); what they will do is HOP up to a higher level, especially if the sand box is housed on that upper level. Quail eat about one ounce of high quality game bird feed daily (minimum 24% protein)(NOT chicken food, not high enough protein for them over the long run, and the malnutrition will eventually affect your flock's health, fertility rates, hatch rates, etc.) If you're unable to get 24% or higher feed, then grind up dry cat food (typically 30% protein) and mix that 50/50 with the best game bird feed you can obtain. I have both chickens and quail. I prefer the quail because they're simply easier to care for.
So this first link is the best combo meat and egg producers that I know of.
Now this one puts a bit less emphasis on size, so a bit less meat, but they are gorgeous birds that lay gorgeous eggs. Also have a very sweet / calm disposition which is nice.
My Shire Farm is also a great place to get your quail, and they have lots of informational videos too.
Im your "neighbor" near Baton Rouge. Were lucky enough to live near one of the best quail breeders in the world! Theyre great little birds and id be glad to help you see if theyre for you and just to get to know you! @Tycine1 is very knowledgeable and i dont see anything to add to what shes given you.
He and i are lucky enough to be driving distance to JMF thanks anyway tho! Those are very reputable dealers