Are you considering raising quail? Have you ever tasted quail eggs? Well, let me tell you, they're delicious! Their sweet taste with some salt sprinkled on top, is irresistible. And also, once you try one you'll become addicted. So why don't you raise some quail, so you can add quails to your homesteading skill set. It's easy.
Raising Quail For Meat and Eggs
What You'll Need For Raising Quail:
- An enclosure – Unlike chicken, quails aren't so good at staying in one area. They will roam and eventually simply walk away without you noticing. So you'll have to make (or buy) a coop. The enclosure I have is outdoors, if yours will be too, make sure to place it as close to your house as possible, so that predators will think twice before trying to get inside. The enclosure for my quails is pretty interesting, because it is made from a dog house. As you see in the photo, I built a pyramid out of wood and chicken wire. The wood acts as the bones and the wire as skin. A good idea would be to dig a fraction of the pyramid underground, so that animals can't dig to get inside. On the back wall of the dog house, we built in a little door, to collect the eggs.
- Bowl – You will need a bowl for water. You won't need a bowl for the quail food as you can sprinkle it on the ground.
- Bedding – Quails need some nesting material, some good ideas are:
- Bedding for rodents
- Wood chips
- Wood shavings
- Seeds and grains
Feeding your quails isn't costly because all they eat are seeds and grains. Here's how I make the food for my quails. I just add the following:
- Wild bird seed mix
- Flax seeds
- Crushed butter biscuits
Quails also enjoy the occasional worm or dried cricket.
Raising Quail | Homestead Tips For The Best Quail Eggs
Selecting the Right Quail
You can't just walk to a quail breeder and buy a quail, there's much more to it. After all, you could accidentally pick a sick one, or a male.
Here's what to look for:
- Clear eyes
- Active personality
- Feathered coat (no bald patches)
And if you want to feast on quail eggs, you will need a female. In general, the females will have speckled chests and the males will have plain chests. I would recommend buying 4 females and 1 male to start.
Caring for quail is rather simple. Similar to chickens. Feed your quails twice each day. Give them one handful of the quail food in the morning, and another before sunset. If your quails seem very thin and always hungry, feed them more. Females should be fed crushed egg shells so that the eggs they lay are full of nutrients.
Change their water daily. Bad water = bad eggs, and who wants that?
— Homesteading (@HomesteadingUSA) July 7, 2015
Change the straws/bedding each week.
Clean the enclosure a bit too. Scrub the dog house walls a bit, and remove all the poop. Spraying the dog house with vinegar will get rid of all the bacteria.
Let's get to the fun part now: collecting eggs! Yum!
As soon as you see eggs appearing, which should be around 4-7 days after buying the quails, you can collect the eggs. Collect them 3-5 times each day.
You may keep the eggs in the fridge, or in a cool place. The temperature should not exceed 64°F. The quail eggs are okay for 4 days, make sure to eat them before then.
Good luck folks!
Quails are a beautiful creature. Their eggs may be smaller than the chicken's egg, but they do pack a few more health benefits! They're also cute and little if you like that sorta thing. Try your hand in quail raising, and enjoy the benefits of fresh eggs daily, and fresh meat on occasion!
Want to see cute and fuzzy quails hatching? Then watch this video from camelsandfriends: