Sep 23, 2019
Hi, I have no experience with owning birds of any sort, but I would like to buy two or three quail hens for a source of eggs. The thing is, I have plans to move out of my parent's house and live full time in a van/ mobile home. I've heard that moving around can be stressful for quails, and I plan to do a bit of traveling. If they are born and raised in a mobile home that changes location often, will they become accustomed to it? Since I plan on only having a few, would it be suitable to put them in diapers and harnesses, and treat them like you would treat dogs that you travel with? And setting up temporary fences (with some kind of roof to keep them from flying out?) for them in while stopped? I can't seem to find anyone else who has done this, and I really want to be careful so I don't end up making a choice that would be harmful to my future quails.
Why not just a couple of small chickens, like silkies? Much less easily spooked, much better for handling (quail are VERY hit-or-miss when it comes to handling), and they won't take off like quail will. Chickens should do well with that sort of thing, but I'd worry about the quail getting stressed and/or escaping.
I took one of my quail to Colorado with me in a motorhome when she was 4-6 weeks old. I brought an outside pen for her and she also had a tub inside for night, storms, etc. I think she had a good time. She didn't like the driving part very much. But I think she did enjoy the change of scenery.
This sounds like a horrible idea. You have no experience, but you've read/heard enough to understand its a stressful situation for the birds.

So why even entertain it? :barnie

When your vehicle moves, those bird's entire world is going shake like an earthquake until you reach your destination.

Stressed birds don't lay eggs very well.

Perhaps you where not able to find examples of people with traveling quail because it's a really bad idea.

I think it would be great if you got some quail, and experience before moving out. However, if you're going to travel, leave the birds at home.

If you want a traveling food source, look into a growing micro greens in the windows. Pending the size of your van/mobile home you could even build a small cabinet, get a grow light and have a traveling garden. Keep the plants in the cabinet while driving, and out in the sun or w/e you planned on having the quail when parked.

This is the kind of idea you have when you're joking with you're buddies. Jokes aside, it's a bad idea.
I've been forced to bring my quailies on a few roadtrips with me and it was a pretty unpleasant experience all around. Mine, at least, really hated the ground moving beneath them or sudden jolts, so every single pothole, speedbump, or rough strip scared the heck out of them. They stopped laying for a few days after each hour and a half car ride. Another less spook-able type of bird might be a better bet.
Again, chickens. Get some calm ones, and I'll wager you could teach them that the driving isn't going to hurt them. I very much doubt you'll ever be able to teach quail that the driving isn't dangerous. Plus, chickens are big enough to put diapers and leashes on, but that's going to be very difficult with quail due to their small size and lack of handleability.
Hope everything works out. Leaving home and traveling full time will be challenging. Sustainable food source is essential. I think two or three may be okay... If the ride and jostling didn't spook them. Worst case, No eggs to eat.

Perhaps a better suspension. Be creative. Limit the uncomfy ride for them. Maybe a travel trailer? Airbags suspensions? Idk. Use bubble wrap when traveling? For their feet? Make it happen. Be the first. I would like for u to have success.

But if nothing else...

U can boondock for a couple months or a month at a time, a week or two... Wutever. Someone said his hen didn't lay for a few days after the ride. Well, wen u stop moving and she does start back laying eggs.... get to incubating !!! lett hen(s) lay a few. Travel/drive while those are in the incubator. 30 days later, poof. U got protein. If the ride doesn't crack the thin shells while incubating. Now that is another problem. (Find small incubator that fits ur needs and with that, use ingenuity and creativity...)Hope you Gud luck. Rince and repeat as needed. Sorry no eggs for breakfast. Unless u can stay put long enough to calm the hens to lay enuff eggs. Perhaps if u keep a few extra.. u can barter or sell. I've seen videos of people letting them run free in their home. Like a cat or dog. Not saying u should, but a couple hours at a time won't hurt them. At least not kill them. And sure, If u keep them long enough.. they mite get accustomed to a routine. Idk. Gud luck.
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Best case is if your 3 quail lay eggs everyday you will get the equivalent of about 1/2 of a large chicken egg every day. Seems like a PITA for not much of a reward.
I'm curious as to why you chose quail? They are cute buggers, aren't they? Though they are cute, small, and do lay a tiny egg, this is a species that would do best staying in settled surroundings. However, there are things you can do to help them enjoy your lifestyle. One is to remember they are a prey animals prone to fits of terror and will try to fly at any moment. I've seen them break their necks in the attempt to get away only to slam into the side of the cage. So they will need to travel in the dark-cover the travel cage while moving. And to help them feel protected when not moving you will need to house them in something that will help them feel secure yet give them room to forage. The nylon puppy playpens work great and they come in various sizes. The soft nylon will reduce the chance of the quail breaking their necks during a panic episode. Another thing to consider is the air quality in your van. Any carbon monoxide build-up will kill them-kinda like the canary in the coal mine situation. So keep those windows open to get the air circulating and put them outside if you are cooking inside. Remember, if your quail are outside put them where you can see them as every predator within five miles will want to eat them. There is lots of hard work and consideration when traveling with any pet. Quail do require a bit more thought as they are sensitive to their environment. If I were you, I'd get a pair of those tiny bantam hens. Some are as small as a coke can. Bantams have lots of personality and can be trained to walk on a leash. (Quail won't do that). Yes, they may be a bit noisier but they are not as loud as a normal sized chicken. They will require the same setup as quail but bantams will be more tolerant of traveling. Yep, I think you would enjoy a pair of tiny bantam hens much more than quail. But that is just my opinion. Thanks for asking this question-it truly is unique and bless you for wanting to learn!

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