5 Reasons to Start Raising Quail

Quail Farming Guide: How to Get Started with Quail

5 Reasons to Start Raising Quail

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While quail certainly aren’t as popular as chickens, their advantages to both rural and urban farms cannot be more underscored. Raising quail is also easy, and since they are less than half the size of chickens, they do not take much space, time, or resources. On our homestead, we raise Coturnix quail as an accompaniment to our flock of chickens and learning how to start quail farming was simple.

Here are 5 reasons quail are a perfect addition to every homestead, both urban and rural.

Quail lay eggs daily, just like chickens.

If you decide to keep quail on your farm, you’ll look forward to their eggs, which can be used in recipes and eaten just like chicken eggs. Coturnix quail lay daily just like chickens, and their eggs are spotted and speckled. In many parts of the world, quail eggs are considered a delicacy. Their eggs are smaller, tiny really, so you will have to use more of them, about 3 quail eggs per one chicken egg. But their quality is comparable to chicken eggs. As the days get shorter, you will have to use a supplementary light to keep them laying. In my experience, keeping more than one species of poultry for eggs is necessary for a homestead; you never know when disease or a predator might devastate your chicken flock. Just like you would not put your entire retirement account into one stock, diversifying your egg sources is a good idea.

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Quail are a good substitute for chickens.

If you live in an urban area, one of the main advantages to raising quail for their eggs is that cities and towns that do not permit chickens might have exceptions for quail, or might leave them out of legislation altogether. Quail do not crow, instead their calls are quiet chirps and coos that give little indication of their presence, and they’re much less likely to annoy your neighbors than a 4:30 a.m. rooster wake-up call. You cannot let Coturnix quail free range like chickens (they fly very well), so they won’t annoy your neighbors like loose chickens. Nothing is worse than a neighbor who’s angry because your chickens pooped all over their yard or dug through their trash, you’ll avoid those awkward moments raising quail.

Quail don’t take up much room.

We keep our Coturnix quail in a hutch that’s housed in an 8’ x 6’ greenhouse. They live entirely out of the sight of other people, in an attractive outbuilding, but the quail are still kept out of the elements. As a general rule of thumb, quail need one square foot of space per bird. Raising quail this way means they’ll be less prone to behavioral issues, and leads to happier lives. Our hutch is 2′ x 8′, perfect for the 12 quail that live in it. It’s made of wood with hardware cloth sides and bottom, and tin roofing. I find the hardware cloth on the bottom of the hutch advantageous because their manure, excess feathers, and whatnot simply drop to the ground where the chickens can scratch through it for tasty goodies, and help it compost. Unlike chickens, quail do not perch; instead, they lay on the ground. They don’t nest like chickens either, and lay their eggs wherever it suits them. When raising quail at your home, keep this in mind as you build or purchase a hutch for them. You don’t want them living in or laying their eggs in their own manure.

Coturnix quail mature quickly.

Breeding quails is similar to breeding chickens, except quail eggs take only 17 days incubate (although you can expect hatching a little before and after). And unlike chickens, Coturnix quail, which are what we raise on our homestead, mature and start laying eggs in just 6 to 8 weeks, a blink of an eye compared to the 7 month wait period for chickens. In as soon as 3 weeks, you can begin to see differences between males and females. This is a huge advantage, because you can sell your excess roos sooner (quail chicks can fetch a higher price than baby chickens).

Quail are hardy.

Although they’re not invincible, quail are hardy birds that don’t get sick frequently. As long as their environment is kept clean from manure and they are not crowded into a hutch that is too small, quail have few health issues. Clean their feeders and waters weekly, and scrub any manure out of their hutch to avoid issues such as coccidiosis and Quail Disease, which are transported by manure. Ensure they are kept out of the elements so they neither get too hot nor too cold. Successfully raising quail is easy, and I think you’ll find them as rewarding as keeping chickens!

Are you raising quail on your homestead? If so, let us know what you like about quail.

9 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Start Raising Quail”
  1. I’ve been raising Coturnix Quail for 2 years now. They are amazing little birds. I sell my eggs for $5 per dozen and my chicks usually sell for $ 3/4 each. They meat is amazingly tasty also.
    I live in Harmony NC. Dixie Delight Farm and Homestead.

  2. That was really nice information about the quails. I’m going to start to live on a boat and I think that the quails are the way to go. If anyone knows an easier bird to raise and on a boat please give me a message on my email

    1. I live in northern Arizona at 7,000′ elevation. Temperatures from below freezing to 92 degreesF. Can I leave them loose in a fenced back yard while I am out there with them?

  3. Depends on the type of quail. In our area bobwhites need a permit, while qoturnix do not. You need to research your area.

  4. I just got chicks today and I am curious about owning quail. I would love to have some quail to raise and also to sale. It would be a good investment and income. Thank you for the information.

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