Caring quail chicks is very important, because quail chicks are tiny birds and they require very special care and management to survive. Due to the tiny size of the chicks they can easily escape from their enclosure, get hurt by dangerous objects and also can get injured by other animals or birds. So special care is required for keeping your chicks in good conditions. Quails generally grow faster and they don’t take too long to mature. They become mature and start laying eggs by the age of 6 weeks. And hand-raised baby quail become pretty tame. However, read some more information about caring quail chicks.
Setting up Brooder
A brooder is the small space or room with special environment where your chicks are going to stay for next few week. Generally the brooder can be made of anything as long as it is safe, warm and sanitary. For example, you can make a good brooder for your quail chicks with simple cardboard box. The brooder should be kept in a safe and warm place that is away from predators. Also place the brooder inside a room or under a shed.
Always provide a heat lamp for the chicks and set the temperature at 100 °F initially. Gradually lower the temperature at the rate of 5 °F each week until it reaches room temperature. Monitor movement of the chicks. If they are hot and trying to get away from the heat source, then the temperature is high. And the temperature is low if the chicks are trying to keep under the middle of the heat source.
Add some bedding materials inside the brooder. Wood shavings are good for using as bedding materials for the quail chicks. But you can also use paper towels or newspaper for bedding. But towels or newspaper are not as absorbent as wood shavings, and newspaper can be slippery for the chicks.
Keep adequate feeder and water bowl inside the brooder. Quail chicks are tiny and arrange small feeder and water bowl for them. Smaller sized feeder and water bowl will ensure that the chicks have easy access to them.
Clean the brooder on a regular basis depending on the number off chicks you have and how old they are. Cleaning brooder is very important part of caring quail chicks, because the waste can cause serious disease to your chicks.
Quality feeding is a very important part of caring quail chicks. Always feed your chicks with special chick starter feed. Chick starter feeds generally contain more protein than regular feeds. So feeding the chicks with chick starter for 6-8 weeks will ensure good result.
Provide your chicks with plenty of fresh water. You can fill the water bowl of your chicks daily and ensure that it is not too deep for your chicks as they can fall in and drawn. Keeping stones/pebbles in the water bowl will make it shallower. Try to clean the water bowl at least once a week for preventing diseases and the water from getting dirty.
Keeping Hens with Her Chicks
In case of hatching eggs with hens/female quails, keep the mother hen with chicks will keep the chicks warm. The mother will also feed the chicks and keep them safe. And in case of raising chicks with hens or mother quails, it is best to separate them from their mom when they are fully grown and can thrive on their own.
Give the chicks more space as they grow, because older birds will require more space. You can consider moving them to a bigger brooder or cage as they grow older.
Quails prefer bathing, and providing a tub of sand will be good for your chicks. The chicks will soon begin dust bathing and love it very much. Dust bathing is very important for the quails, and it also help to prevent mites, lice and other nasty parasites.
In addition to nutritious feeds, quails also love vegetables, fruit and table scraps. Provide them various items and try to understand what they like and dislike. Broccoli, cucumber, salad leaves etc. are good vegetables for the quails. Apple, pear, melon, strawberries and tomatoes are good fruits for the birds. And good live creatures for the quails are millipedes, woodlice, mealworms and small spiders.
If possible, let your chicks to access outside after a couple of weeks. But ensure and be cautious about predators. You can watch them for sometimes to see how they adapt to their surroundings. Continue taking good care of your birds as they mature. Read more information about caring for quail.