An Introduction to Quails

When our friends acquired three chickens for their backyard, I was pretty jealous.  Fresh eggs every morning?  Heck yes!  I considered the possibility of getting my own, but their size and their obvious chicken-ness seemed prohibitive.

Then, I read an article that talked about quails and how they produce more eggs and meat for the amount of feed you give them.

Coturnix quails only require 1 sq. ft. of space per bird, are rather unobtrusive, and are quieter than hens.  You can keep them in wire cages, rabbit hutches, or even aquariums.

Their eggs taste just like chicken eggs, with a higher yolk to white ratio.  They make the cutest bite-sized deviled eggs known to humankind.

Extra eggs that wouldn't fit in the incubator

Extra eggs that wouldn't fit in the incubator

Coturnix quails can be kept in colonies, with a ratio of 1 male to every 3-5 females.  As with chickens, you can keep hens only if you’re just interested in eggs.

They reach maturity at 6 weeks and will start laying around then.  If you’re interested in eating them, they can be butchered at 8-10 weeks (for maximum size).  They’re easy to care for, taking about 10 minutes of your daily time.

Downside – unlike chickens, it’s difficult to have live chicks shipped to you.  They’re much smaller and much more delicate.  You have to order upwards of 50, and from what I hear, many pass away on the trip.

I decided to incubate some ebay-bought eggs (yep, you can buy ’em off of ebay!) in my own homemade incubator.  Earliest expected hatch date for my eggs is April 1st, latest April 3rd.  I’ll keep the blog posted.

I’ll also show you how to build your own one of these:

My homemade incubator and homemade egg turner

My homemade incubator and homemade egg turner

And I’ll show you how to build one of these:

Built from scratch by 2 people who didn't know what they were doing!

Built from scratch by 2 people who didn't know what they were doing!

INITIAL TIME INVESTMENT: Still working that out…will post time investment for each related project.

DAILY TIME INVESTMENT: Estimated 10 minutes, will be posting daily time investments for each stage from egg to brooder to outside pen.

4 thoughts on “An Introduction to Quails

  1. I love your quail hutch and plan on building one like it. I too am into urban farming and have chickens in a run and doing square foot gardening for veggies and have planted fruit trees.

    Here is my question. On the hutch, can you give me the measurement placement for the cross bars on the legs. I am not sure how big the pens are, so How high should I place each cross board?

    • The first set are 6.5″ from the ground, and the second set are 32.5″ from the ground. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions, I am always happy to help!

    • Those are plastic lids for Rubbermaid tubs. I believe we bought the tubs too, but it just happened that they were the perfect size.

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