Information about our coturnix quail will go here.
I am starting Coturnix Quail in summer of 2012. I am hoping to specialize in the yellow and red dilutes – Manchurian, Roux, Italian, Red Tuxedos if I can get them. I am also interested in Silvers/Blues but only know of one breeder near with them at this time (and they are across the border in Canada) so who knows if I will get them.
Coturnix Quail or Pharoah Quail are a neat little bird that has been domesticated for many many years. The Egyptians and the Japanese kept these birds as pets, songbirds and egg layers. Unlike many wild species of quail, Coturnix do not set eggs in batches, but instead lay all year round, and almost never go broody. This makes them ideal for captive cage raising. They are also much calmer than say Bobwhites or Valley Quail, mature quickly (start laying around 5-7 weeks, ready to eat around 8-10 weeks, dependant on subspecies and breeding) and require very little space to be content.
The downsides to raising quail is they do poop, a lot, they can scare easily and bonk their heads if your cages and management are not sound, obviously need to be WELL protected from predators, and while they do have a great conversion rate of feed to eggs the conversion of feed to meat is not as good as commercial poultry. Also, quail are very small, so if you are wanting to get much meat at all they should be raised in large batches (very possible with their minimal housing requirements).
My quail cages are still being built – will update with photos as they progress!
Breeder cages will be 2ft W x 18in D x 18in T. I am building them shallow and long because I have a bad back, neck and shoulder so I need it to be very easy to reach into the cages to clean and grab birds if needed. Each of these cages will house three hens and one cock bird. This is like a mansion in the Coturnix world – commercial producers offer them less that .25sqft per bird. Our birds will also be housed on sand flooring, not wire, as I personally can’t stand the sound of them all running on the wire (am I the only one that notices this?). Hopefully the birds will be happier as well.
Grow-out cages are my chicken/rabbit tractors – these are 4ftx8ft and are moved around on pasture/orchard. I am hoping to house around 50 birds in these cages for meat growout.
Quail brooders will be large tubberware totes – already have these in place, not much to look at so no pictures needed, just cut part of the lid out and replace that with hardware cloth or screen and you have your brooder. 🙂