How To Raise Quail
If you are looking for a new hobby or simply want to supplement your income, raising quails can be a good choice. For hundreds of years, these birds were raised by the Japanese before the practice was eventually adopted all over the world.
Quails are small in size and therefore they are easier to raise than most food birds. They can be raised in small areas, unlike other fowls that need more space. With only a square foot of space, you can raise between 6 to 8 birds.
Getting Started With Raising Quails
When starting, you can raise up to 20 birds in a one square foot space. The males have to be more than the females, preferably in a ratio of one male to three females. Keep in mind that outdoor quails do not lay past autumn and thus if you are planning to collect eggs throughout the year, you will have to keep the birds indoors.
The males breed freely with any female in the fowl and within 6 weeks the birds should have started laying eggs. On the other hand, if you are raising the quails for food, they will be ready to be consumed at after 4 or 5 weeks.
Quails produce very healthy meat, which has very low cholesterol levels. Moreover, it also contains other important nutrients. Quail meat is nutritious and is fast becoming the choice meat among people who are health conscious but still want to enjoy eating meat.
Housing The Quails
Before you start raising quails, make sure you get a license permit to keep game birds. Most states require you to get a license because the birds are wild animals. You then have to get proper cages to keep the birds. You can either build the cages or buy pre-made ones.
The cages should have enough space for the birds; not less than 2 square feet for each adult bird. The lower base of the cage should be solid while the upper part should be an open mesh that has enough room for the birds to fly.
The location where you place the aviary is important. If you are raising the birds outdoors, ensure they are protected from outside elements like wind, cold, dust as well as predators like hawks, cats and dogs.
Indoor aviaries are much easier to control but you still have to maintain cleanliness to keep the cages free from germs and diseases. Clean the cage of droppings frequently. Disposing the droppings is easy especially if you are using them to make compost.
Feeding and Hatching
Quails have to be fed the right feed for them to mature quickly. Commercially produced game chow as well as turnkey feed will do just fine. Fresh greens and wheat seed are nutritious for the quails.
You have to know the details about hatching and brooding of quails especially if you are keeping the birds to get income. When the baby quails hatch, they should be kept in a warm brooder. Ensure the brooder base is covered with soft litter and is dry. Use a standard heat lamp to increase the temperature in the brooder.
What To Remember
• Keep the quail cage off the ground to keep predators off the fowls. Also, ensure that the cages provide enough protection from natural elements like cold and rain.
• Provide the birds with plenty of water and food. Ensure the food is not affected by outside elements
• When starting with quail chicks, buy extra. Not all of them will survive since they are very fragile.
With the above information, you are ready to raise you own quails either for food, as a hobby or for income purposes.