Healthy and quality chicks is the key to success in quail farming business. So you must know some important things before buying quail chicks. You must have to purchase high quality quail chicks from safe and trusted breeders.
Quails are becoming more and more popular for both business and also for raising as pets. Nowadays quails are being kept as an alternative to chickens mainly due to their similar egg production capabilities. But the main advantage of raising quails is their small size and they require less space, care and management.
Today there are different types of quail breeds available throughout the world which are used for different purposes. They are used for both meat and egg production and also raised as pets. You can raise some quails in your backyard instead of chickens.
However, whether you are planning for raising quails for meat, egg or as pets, you must have to purchase quality chicks. Here we are describing more about buying quail chicks.
Check Local Land Laws
First of all check your local land laws. Check whether quail farming is permitted in your area or not. Raising quails is permitted in some areas and not allowed in some areas. So there is a possibility that regulations are put in place on how quail are kept and whether you can keep them in your farm or backyard. Quails are considered as livestock in some areas, which will make rules stricter. Quails actually make some noise constantly, but they are not as noisy as chickens (especially roosters). Quail’s noise may be considered a nuisance to neighbors in some areas.
Choose Your Desired Breed
Select the breed you want to raise. There are many breeds of domestic quail, but not as many as domestic ducks or chickens. Choose your desired breed depending on the availability in your area, because some areas will only have a certain breed available. Some common and most popular quail breeds are Button, Bob, California and Japanese quail. Button quails are fun to raise, while the Japanese quails are most popular and widely available.
Day-old Chicks or Fertile Eggs
Decide whether you want to purchase day-old chicks or fertile eggs. Purchasing fertile eggs will be a better option if you have an incubator. You can purchase eggs in bulk for getting more chicks and a better hatch rate. But purchasing eggs will not be a good decision if you don’t have an incubator. Because purchasing a new incubator will cost you a lot. So purchasing day-old chicks will be good for you in such case. However, it actually makes no difference whether you choose chicks or eggs except for the price range.
Determine your flock size before buying quail chicks. You can raise hundreds, thousands or even more quails. At the same time you can also raise as few as 2 or 10 birds. So determine the number of birds first. High numbers of birds are needed if you want to keep quails for making profit. But in case of small flock size, it is advised to buy more than one chicks. Because quails are social birds and they interact in a flock. Quail breeders often offer a discounted price, so the more you buy the cheaper the chicks will be.
Set Up Brooder
After buying quail chicks brooder is mandatory, because it is going to be a home for your chicks for the next 4-6 weeks (or until your chicks grow feathers and mature). Keep everything inside the brooder, such as waterer, feeder, bedding etc. You must have a heat lamp inside the brooder. And set the temperature at 95 °F inside the brooder for the first week. And decrease the temperature at the rate of 5 °F each week until it reaches room temperature.
Where to Buy Chicks From
There are many options for buying quail chicks. But purchasing from local breeder and farm stores are good option. You can also order chicks and eggs online. It’s possible to ship fertile eggs via mail, but chicks are not often available for shipping. Some online classifieds are also good option for buying quail chicks.
Test the Chicks
If you are planning for buying quail chicks from local breeders or farm stores then test the chicks. You can hand-pick the chicks and examine them. You should choose clear-eyed, alert and active chicks. You can also examine the housing thoroughly. The hygiene of the housing represents what kind of breeder the seller is and how he/she takes care of their animals.
Take the Chicks Home
After testing and buying quail chicks, bring a box and take them home. A simple cardboard box or a cat carrier will be good for carrying purpose. You need to bring a bigger cage or large enough one if you buy a large hatch. The carrying box should have absorbent bedding inside fro stopping the chicks from getting their feet dirty or a possible infection.
Keep the Chicks to Their Brooder
After bringing the chicks home, keep them inside the brooder you have set previously.
Provide Water and Food
Feed the birds enough food and water. Nutritious feeding is a mandatory for getting healthy, active and productive birds. Learn more about caring for quail.