Raising quail for eggs is profitable. Quails are smaller sized birds, but they are very good alternative to laying chickens.
Like many other poultry birds, the quails are highly productive and they produce good number of edible eggs. And quail eggs are considered a delicacy in some countries.
Along with very high egg production rate, quails are much cheaper to by and they require less care and management.
They also require less space and food compared to other poultry birds such as ducks or chickens.
Raising Quail for Eggs
Raising quail for eggs and also for meat is gaining popularity day by day. Quails require less space, less food and less care and they can be kept in both rural and urban area.
Laws & Regulations
First of all be sure about the laws and regulations in your area about quail farming.
Ensure whether there are regulations put in place from the government of your area. Some areas or states may require a permit for raising quails.
And raising quails can be completely banned in some areas. So, ensure about the laws and regulations before thinking about raising quail for eggs.
There are many quail breeds available throughout the world. Some of those breeds are good for meat production, and some are good for producing eggs.
And some quail breeds are very good for both meat and egg production. But in case of raising quail for eggs, you must have to choose those breeds which are good for egg production.
Generally Button and Japanese quails are very good and the most common breed for producing eggs. We recommend Japanese quail for producing eggs.
Determine the Number of Birds
Determine the number of quails you want to have. Quails requires less space compared to other poultry birds (such as chickens or ducks).
You can raise up to 6 quails in the same space required for raising a chicken. If you want to raise quails commercially, then the numbers will be high.
But a few quails will be enough if you want to raise the quails for personal egg collection. A female quail generally lay between 3 and 4 eggs a week.
So set the number of birds depending on the number of eggs you want to have.
You can purchase quail chicks from any of your nearest quail breeders or from any pet supply store in your area.
You can also order online, or search your local classifieds. You can also hatch quail eggs if you have an incubator.
Purchasing fertile eggs for hatching will cost less than purchasing chicks. Learn more about hatching quail eggs.
Set a brooder before purchasing and bringing the chicks home. Use a container or plastic box for bringing the chicks. Plastic box or any such container can be used as brooder.
The brooder needs to be comfortable and safe for the chicks, because it is going to be the home for the next 3-5 weeks. Add absorbent bedding inside the brooder, and wood shavings can be very good for this purpose.
Keep adequate number of feeder and waterer inside the brooder. You can purchase smaller sized feeder and waterer from your nearest farm store.
Keep a heat lamp inside the brooder to keep the chicks warm. The quail chicks will require heat for 3-5 weeks or until they grow their basic feathers.
Set the heat lamp at 95 °F for the first week and lower the temperature gradually at the rate of 5 °F each week until it reaches room temperature.
Transfer the quails to their permanent home after their 3-5 weeks of age. Feed them properly and adult quail generally require a lot of protein.
So ensure feeding them protein enriched food. You can purchase ready-made quail feeds from the market.
You can also feed the birds with layer chicken feed if commercial quail feed is not available in your area. And always try to supply with sufficient clean water.
Ensure enough space is available per bird inside the house. Because over-crowding will become a problem for your birds as they get older.
They may get aggravated and start fighting if you can’t give them enough space. Clean the cage on a regular basis. It is also good if you can separate the male and female birds.
One male is enough for every 5-10 female quails. You can separate the male and female by their 6 weeks of age. Read more about differences between male and female quail.
Caring Laying Hens
Caring laying hens/female quails is the key for getting good number of eggs from your birds. Here we are describing more about caring for laying quails.
- Ensure Suitable Environment: You must have to ensure a very good and suitable environment for keeping quails happy and also for getting good number of eggs. A cage that hangs above the ground with an opening and the waste distributed below is very good for better egg production purpose. And it will be better if the cage is isolated from other noise and animals and get plenty of fresh air and light. Generally a barn or shed is good place for holding your birds, because it provides a weather-proof area isolated away from potential threats.
- Keep Some Nesting Boxes: Keep some nesting boxes inside the cage. Because female quails require a comfortable place for laying their eggs. General or common chicken nesting boxes will be too large to provide comfort to the birds. So giving them aviary bird box will be good or purchase quail nesting boxes from the market. But don’t give them empty box, and if possible fill the box with wood shavings, hay and few nesting materials. Generally quails lay eggs on the ground in a nest.
- Provide the Laying Birds With More Space: Generally a laying quail require at least around 1 square foot of floor space. The more space you can give your birds the less issues your birds will face.
- Adequate Feeding: Always try to feed your birds with adequate and quality foods. Regular quail feeds should contain over 20 percent protein enriched food. Also if possible provide a source of calcium in the cage. Calcium is necessary for the birds and it will promote a strong and healthy egg production from your hens. Crushed oyster shells or crushed egg shells are good source of calcium.
- Lighting: Proper lighting stimulates egg production. Provide artificial lighting in the quail’s cage if there is no natural lighting. You need to arrange about 14 hours of lighting a day for maximum egg production. But anyhow don’t exceed 16 hours of light per day, because your birds also need some dark time for sleeping.
Check the nesting boxes daily and handle the eggs with care, because quail eggs are very small and fragile. Use your fingers to pick the eggs up and transfer them into an egg collecting container (such as a basket).
Generally quail eggs can last up to a week and even more if refrigerated. Always wash the eggs before using.
Tips for Raising Quail for Eggs
Quail are small game birds that are known for their delicious eggs. They are easy and inexpensive to raise, making them a popular choice among backyard farmers. Now, we are going to share some tips for raising quail for eggs.
1. Choose the right breed
There are many different breeds of quail available for farming. Some of the most popular include Coturnix quail, Bobwhite quail, and Gambel’s quail. Each breed has its own unique characteristics, so it is important to research which breed is best suited for your needs.
2. Plan for adequate space
Quail require a minimum of one square foot of space per bird. This means that if you plan to raise 10 quail, you will need at least 10 square feet of space for them to live comfortably.
3. Provide proper housing
Quail are housed in coops, cages, or aviaries. Make sure that the housing you choose provides enough space for your quail to move around freely. Also, ensure that the housing is secure from predators.
4. Invest in quality feed
Quail require high-quality feed in order to produce healthy eggs. A diet rich in protein and vitamins is essential for egg production.
5. Provide clean water
Access to clean water is crucial for quail health and egg production. Change their water daily to ensure it is fresh.
6. Monitor temperature and humidity
Quail require specific temperature and humidity conditions in order to thrive. Temperature should be between 60-75°F, and humidity should be between 50-70%.
7. Use proper lighting
Quail require a certain amount of light each day in order to lay eggs. Use a timer to ensure they receive 14-16 hours of light per day.
8. Keep a clean coop
A clean coop is essential for quail health and egg production. Regularly clean out their bedding and remove any waste.
9. Provide proper nesting boxes
Nesting boxes should be placed inside the coop, with one box for every 3-4 quail. They should be filled with clean bedding to encourage egg laying.
10. Collect eggs daily
Quail eggs should be collected at least once per day. This helps prevent them from becoming damaged or dirty, while also ensuring they are fresh.
11. Handle quail carefully
Quail are delicate birds that should be handled with care. Avoid grabbing them by their wings or legs, as this can cause injury.
12. Monitor for signs of illness
Quail are susceptible to a variety of illnesses, including respiratory infections and parasites. Regularly monitor your birds for any signs of illness or distress.
13. Maintain proper ventilation
Good ventilation is essential for quail health. Make sure your coop has adequate airflow to prevent the buildup of moisture and harmful gases.
14. Provide dust baths
Quail enjoy taking dust baths to keep themselves clean and healthy. Provide a designated area within their coop for them to do so.
15. Use natural remedies
There are many natural remedies available for treating common quail ailments. Garlic, apple cider vinegar, and oregano oil are just a few examples.
16. Implement biosecurity measures
Biosecurity measures help prevent the spread of disease in your flock. This includes limiting outside visitors and quarantining new birds before introducing them to your flock.
17. Consider using artificial incubation
Artificial incubation can increase egg production, as well as allow you to select specific genetics for breeding purposes.
18. Keep males and females separate
Male quail can become aggressive towards each other, and may also over-mate with females. Keeping them separated will prevent these issues from occurring.
19. Practice selective breeding
Selective breeding allows you to choose the best birds for egg production and breeding purposes. Over time, this can improve the genetics and overall quality of your flock.
20. Use a culling system
Culling is the process of removing birds from your flock that are not meeting desired standards. This helps ensure that only the healthiest and most productive birds remain in your flock.
21. Consider free-ranging
Free-ranging allows quail to live more naturally, while also providing them with access to a wider range of food sources. However, it also increases the risk of predation and disease.
22. Sell or trade excess eggs
If you have more eggs than you know what to do with, consider selling or trading them with other farmers or at local markets.
23. Enjoy the process
Raising quail for eggs can be a fun and rewarding experience. Take the time to enjoy the process and learn as much as you can along the way.
These are some of the best tips for raising quail for eggs. Hope these tips and the whole guide has helped you! Good luck & may God bless you!