Quails are small wild birds that can be raised at home. Unlike chickens, their rearing is not restricted or considered illegal. They are small, quiet and peaceful and can produce 5-6 eggs per week. Provide them with plenty of light, water, food and good hygiene.
Method 1 of 3: Preparing to raise quail
Step 1. Think carefully before raising quails
Although small and easy to raise, you will need time to feed, water, clean the cage, catch eggs and care for your quails. You will also have a lot of problems if you are a first-time breeder.
Step 2. Find a space in your yard to hang a quail cage
Clear the space below. You will need to add straw to collect and remove waste.
You can also leave your quails in a rabbit hutch or something like that. However, a specific cage for quail is useful to prevent disease, as its installation helps to keep ammonia-rich and potentially dangerous bird droppings away
Step 3. Hang a long, thin cage in your house, garage, or porch
Choose a place with access to light but protected from strong winds. Most quail cages are built with an open screen, as the birds need a lot of air.
They must be sheltered away from predators
Step 4. Hang some lights around the cage
This will allow you to increase egg production in the fall and winter months. Birds need 15 hours of light a day to produce them.
Step 5. Decide whether you want to buy bird couples or fertilized eggs
Research the prices of each one before making your choice.
Step 6. Decide how many birds you need based on your egg consumption
To do this, find out your weekly hen's egg consumption. Five quail eggs equal one chicken.
- Plan to get a female bird (either by eggs or pairs) for every chicken egg you consume.
- Quail eggs can be eaten like chicken eggs. However, more birds are needed to produce the same amount.
Method 2 of 3: Purchasing and Hatching Eggs
Step 1. Look for a laying species
The Coturnix quail is highly recommended. In addition to laying hens, these quails are easy to care for and give a lot of meat. Jumbo Coturnix lay larger eggs.
- Coturnix are also called Japanese quail. Some have different colors like black and white.
- Coturnix take 6 to 8 weeks to mature. From there, they lay an egg a day.
- Depending on the region, you can find other species that are more suitable.
Step 2. Look online or in a newspaper
The best idea is to look for breeders or specialty stores to get birds used to the weather.
Step 3. Look for fertilized eggs on eBay or eBay
They can be mailed. However, the mortality rate can be higher if compared to a purchase at a local breeding site.
Step 4. Go to a feed or farm produce store
If they can't get quails in spring along with guinea hens, it's possible to order them.
Step 5. Buy at least two females for each male, but keep them separate
The predominance of females will ensure good egg production. If two or more males stay in the same cage, the dominant male will try to kill all the others to ensure that only he mates with the females.
Step 6. Buy an incubator at the feed store if you are planning to get fertilized eggs
It is also possible to order online in advance. Your incubator should include an egg spinner.
Step 7. Keep humidity between 50% during incubation and 70% during day 23 of hatching
Keep a humidifier or dehumidifier nearby to adjust the humidity. Moisture controls unnecessary losses of water in the egg.
Step 8. Adjust incubator temperature to 37.7°C
It is essential to keep it at a constant temperature. For a Couternix egg, it will take 16-18 days to hatch at this temperature, while other breeds will take 22 to 25 days.
Step 9. Do not turn on the egg spinner until three days after the eggs are laid
Then, the tray should rotate 30° to each side every day to prevent the embryos from sticking to the shell.
Method 3 of 3: Raising Quails
Step 1. Keep the quails in a small space after the eggs have hatched
Lower the temperature to ambient by 3 degrees a day. Cold birds will cluster on top of each other.
Step 2. Have up to 100 quails in a 0.6 by 1.8 m space for the first 10 days
Then create more space.
Step 3. Ensure that each bird has 0.27 to 0.37 m² of cage space
Step 4. Feed the younger animals a good quality feed
Feed provides more nutrients for the chicks that become unnecessary in adulthood. You can buy turkey or chicken feed and grind it to make your quails more palatable. Any protein-rich feed is a good option.
Step 5. Provide the quails with clean water to drink
Clean and refill containers daily.
Step 6. Change the straw under the cages daily
You can use some of it in your compost. Quail waste is rich in ammonia and must be changed frequently.
Step 7. Clean cage if debris accumulates
Wash it once a week to avoid illness and disease.
Step 8. Begin adjusting conditions and change food to a mix suitable for birds that are laying eggs after 5-6 weeks
This special food is available at most feed stores. Make sure it is the right one before you buy it.
Step 9. Use gravel and oyster shell for the quails
Gravel helps grind food and oyster shells provide calcium, increasing egg quality.
Step 10. Do not disturb animals after six weeks of age
Females will start laying eggs and will have a low production if they are exposed to other animals, noise or any disturbances.