3 Tips to Make Raising Quail Easier

Raising quail, no matter which species, can be very rewarding. We raise both Japanese and Bob White Quail on our farm. They are beautiful, docile when raised around humans from the beginning, and are a healthy source of meat and eggs. Once you have verified that it is legal to raise quail in your area, you will want to decide which species you would like to raise. No matter what type you choose, there are things you can do to make maintaining your flock easier.

Housing

How you house your quail is greatly determined by the type you choose and what you will be raising them for. For example, if you are raising Bob White Quail to be released for hunting, you will need to raise them in an aviary type setting. This allows the birds to feel less confined so that they can fly around like they would in nature. If the birds will be released for hunting you will want to interact with them as little as possible. This type of enclosure can be cleaned fairly efficiently by raking out the inside on a weekly or monthly basis.

The other choice for housing quail, the kind we chose, is to build a cage. Quail require one square foot per bird of draft free space. Having hardware clothe for the floor allows for droppings to fall through to the ground or a pan under the cage. For this reason, having cages lifted up off of the ground two or three feet allows for easier clean up and odor control. Generally odor is only a concern if the birds are kept indoors or during the really warm summer months. Regular barn lime, found at your farm store, works well when spread under cages to neutralize smell.

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CAGE ACCESSORIES

While it is not necessary to include any kind of perch in the cages, adding in a limb with branches can provide an area for the birds to sit on or under. A liter box or dust pan filled with sand is a must as they love to take dirt baths daily.

Another item to keep in mind is a light for winter months. Depending on your species of quail, you could get eggs daily throughout the year by providing light for 14 hours per day. Our quail cages each have a hanging work light with an energy efficient 13-watt bulb.

Food and Water

Quail make a big mess of their food and water. We use rabbit water bottles that hang on the outside of the cage with only the spout inside of the cage. I have built two different kinds of feeders. The first design is to cut the first quarter half of a two liter bottle off, and flip it upside down and then tape it so that the top of the bottle is hanging down into the bottom half. Next, cut two holes in the middle of what is left of the bottle for the birds to stick their head in to get food.

If you would like something more substantial that can be protected from rain, put an end cap on a PVC connection that has a 45 degree angle then attach a tall piece of PVC to the angle end opening. Place the angle piece inside the cage and cut a space for the tube part of the feeder to be attached. Be sure that there is not too much open space around the feeder, as well as no potential hazards that could harm the birds. Feeding and watering chores move much faster when it is not necessary to open the cages.

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Taking a few steps to prepare for your new pets ahead of time will make the experience of owning them much more enjoyable.