Why do you raise quail?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Schroeder, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Schroeder

    Schroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    There certainly have been discussions on this, but I can't seem to locate them. I am a chicken person who is fascinated by all the interest in quail. I know you can eat the tiny eggs, but why not just raise chickens if that is your motivation? Do you raise them to stock the freezer, or is it for hunting purposes? I'm lead to believe they rarely will naturalize. Maybe its just for the fun of it, it does sound like fun.
  2. Bil

    Bil Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    Cottage Grove, OR
    I have chickens & quail, and I enjoy them both. I thought the same thing about quail last year but then my daughter talked me in to purchasing 12 quail eggs (because they are sooooooo cute daddy!!) and we incubated them and 10 hatched. We were hooked.

    We raise them for eggs, breeding & meat now. We really enjoyed the taste, and the processing is so much easier than my meat chickens. They are easier to raise than chickens (at least for me), and they are fully grown in about 6 weeks and they don't smell anything near as bad as the cornish X did!!

    Will I ever give up on my laying chickens or meat chickens? Nope but I also don't want to eat the same thing every time I want to eat poultry. Just like my stocks, my farm needs diversity! [​IMG]

  3. Emilys3guppies

    Emilys3guppies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2009
    We like their eggs. Chickens are currently illegal where I live...working to change that though.
    Once chickens are legal I'll still keep my quail...their eggs are adorable and add such life to my egg basket. I love seeing them in the fridge. And I enjoy the tiny little chicks that hatch out of them too.
  4. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I raise Quail for meat, I like how quick they grow and start to lay early. I can raise a big batch till they start laying then process the birds and hatch a new batch. I do this 3 times a year and has been working great.

  5. Rebel Rooster

    Rebel Rooster I Will Love! :)

    Jun 29, 2009
    Central SC
    My Coop
    OK! I'll do my best to answer your question... I raise Coturnix quail (A&M white), Bobwhite, & Ringneck Pheasants. As far as the "why"...
    For me... I love the coturnix as meat & egg birds. They have a lightning quick turn around rate. The eggs incubate and hatch in about 15 to 18 days, and within 6 to 8 weeks, they are laying and breeding and are at a good butchering weight... But that's me... [​IMG]
  6. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    I tried my hand at raising "A&M" quail this last year.

    I was very excited to try the "all white" meat. Lie. White feathers, yes. White meat like you think, a lie. The amount of meat... well, I wasn't expecting much but lets just say I can eat 4 myself (that would depend on if your 200 lbs like me, or a tiny school girl [​IMG] )

    The eggs. When they are laying, they are laying!!! So, what to do with them? Our laying spree just happened to work out with the summer picnic and party activities. While it's alot of work, nothing is a bigger conversation piece than a few hundred deviled quail eggs. HUGE hit!!! We were able to sell a few dozen here and there. I had a friend hatch a couple dozen for me and gave away a few dozen here on BYC's. Then they molted. DONE, no eggs in months. So the little free loaders are eating and I am getting nothing in return.

    I would send the remaining few I have to freezer camp but they are so neat sounding.

    I think I have 8 left after getting rid of a couple dozen to a barn cat [​IMG] I have always heard of coon and weasels reaching in a cage... found out that a cat will do the same. The only way I figured out it was a cat was one morning while doing chores the little $&!% was IN the cage! He got the latch open and since the door only opens inward was trapped all night. Oh well, like I said I was done with using them for meat and since I am getting no eggs for my family I may as well think of it as I saved money on cat food that week [​IMG]

    I guess my advice is not to get a hundred like I did and just get a manageable flock to see if you like them. Some like the beauty of them, I tried for food production on a smaller scale. Didn't work out for me. They say there is a market for them (Asian restaurants) but you would need alot of them to be consistent about being able to deliver. My experience so far is that quail are anything but consistent.
  7. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    I have a small yard. Quail will fit in my suburban setting.
  8. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Quail take a lot less space to raise than chickens do. Coturnix do well with 1 sq. ft. of space per bird, and that is being generous (for coturnix). Most mine have less than that.

    As others have stated, the coturnix have a very quick turn around. They are not full grown at 6 weeks as stated, but they are almost full size then. Full grown is about 10-12 weeks old, but most start laying eggs at 5-8 weeks old.

    Mine are my money-makers [​IMG] I did not spend any out of pocket cash on feed for my birds last summer, every bag of food bought was from money made off the sale of the coturnix's eggs. About $45-$50 a week.

    I have not processed any of mine (can't kill my BABIES!! [​IMG]), but have sold some extra males to others for a decent price.

    They don't eat as much as chickens do either, though they do need a good quality feed if you want maximum production from them.

    Their feed-to-egg ratio is also lower than for a chicken. I've read that for every 1 lb. of feed a quail eats, it will lay 1 lb.'s worth of eggs.

    They will lay eggs year round, if given supplemental lighting. My jumbo browns are still giving me 3-5 eggs daily, from 8 hens, with no additional lighting. I have a golden that has been laying daily since spring. Most of the others have stopped laying, but I don't give them any light either.

    This summer I was selling eggs for $6 for a day's worth (about 2 dozen), and sold every one. I took some quail to a local auction, 27 birds total, and made $75 off the birds.

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  9. Schroeder

    Schroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    Darn you all! Now I'm getting enthused so I guess I'll start searching this site for housing info. I'm going to wait awhile before telling my wife what I'm thinking. She's just getting over how much I spent for the chicken compound.
    MontanaChickDoc likes this.
  10. _Randall_

    _Randall_ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 3, 2009
    Grenada, Ms
    Why? Been wanting to for years. I'm 50, and have wanted to for several years now.......finally got into it this summer. When I think of quail, I think of Bobwhites. They're common around here, although not as plentiful as they once were because of fire ants and coyotes. I used to hunt them, and loved the challenge. No ATV's......was all on foot. And the Pointers and Setters working........oh, yeah!! I love the meat. Quail smothered in gravy, homemade biscuits.....can't be beat. And that infamous Bobwhite whistle.......who can't love hearing that, and the more, the merrier. It's one of my hobbies now. I love keeping them fat and happy. (I know they'd be happier out of that coop, but.....oh, well). Mine will be food for my family, and probably some friends. And yes, the egg-pickling will be given a try (those suckas are good [​IMG]) I don't see going commercial, by no means. Again, it's a hobby.........and a "fine-food" source. [​IMG]

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