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Raising Coturnix Quail
For centuries people all over the world have been raising Coturnix quail for their eggs and for their meat. In 1983, Coturnix quail were recognized as their own breed rather than being referred to as a common quail any more. They are very popular in both Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. And now are becoming more and more popular in the US for small backyard farms and homesteads.
And for our family, we show them at our local county fair in the youth division. Griffen has won a Grand Champion for 5 years in a row on his knowledge of Coturnix quail.
They can even make a great alternative to raising chickens for many reasons. They require less housing space, mature very quickly (about 6-8 weeks), produce daily eggs about 250 days in the year. Females can lay eggs in as little as 6 weeks and their incubation time is 16-1/2 days. They are also little fertilizer makers – They make a lot of poop!!
Additionally, in many areas, residents aren’t allowed to keep chickens and in many of these areas, they aren’t any restrictions on quail!
Housing for Coturnix Quail
The needed housing space should depend on if you are raising quail for meat production, egg production, or breeding.
For egg-laying and breeding it is recommended to provide a space of 1 sq. foot per quail. Allowing 1 sq. foot per quail will provide more than enough space and will make for a healthier and calmer bird. Additionally, if you are raising quail for meat production then you should aim for 3-4 quail per sq. ft. if feeders and waterers are inside the cage.
Cage Requirements: The best cages that I have found are from https://wynolaranch.com/ I am not an affiliate. I just believe in promoting a product that is of good quality and made in the USA.
Here is a youtube video that has some great information on building your own too.
The sides of the cage should be made from a material that allows enough airflow for proper ventilation. Chicken wire or square wire mesh will work well for this. Whichever material you choose to remember it is important that predators such as cats, raccoons, etc can’t reach the quail.
The flooring of the cage should ideally be made of 1/2″ square mesh wire to allow waste to fall through for easy cleanup. Make sure to add a collection tray too for the dropping. Use this a garden fertilizer!!
Ideally, the flooring could also be built at a slight angle with a small enough opening allowing the eggs to roll out for easier collection. I love this ease of collecting eggs.
The height of the cage should be no more than 10 inches tall. Quail many times will quickly fly up when excited or spooked which can easily cause fatal injuries. Be careful!
Coturnix Quail Food and Water:
Young quail should be fed a game bird starter feed or turkey starter feed of roughly 25% protein.
If neither of the above can be found readily, a chick starter feed can be used as a last resort but will reduce their growth rate.
After 6 weeks of age quail should be fed a diet of a commercial game bird feed or turkey feed. We purchase a 28% feed at our local feed store.
Nipple waterers or waterer cups are a great option and should be provided at 1 nipple or cup per 5 birds.
Incubating and Raising Quail
Your incubator should be at a temperature of 37.5°C (99.5°F) with a humidity of 30-40%. This temperature and humidity should be maintained for the first 14 days. Quail eggs take 16-1/2 days to hatch. And need to be turned several times a day.
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