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