Quail Keeping - Dietary Eggs And Meat With Minimal Maintenance. Breeds, Conditions, Nutrition. Photo

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Quail Keeping - Dietary Eggs And Meat With Minimal Maintenance. Breeds, Conditions, Nutrition. Photo
Quail Keeping - Dietary Eggs And Meat With Minimal Maintenance. Breeds, Conditions, Nutrition. Photo

Video: Quail Keeping - Dietary Eggs And Meat With Minimal Maintenance. Breeds, Conditions, Nutrition. Photo

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Quails are poultry that can be kept all year round, and only in the warm season. That is, if you wish, quails can be started in the summer at the dacha. These birds are distinguished by high egg production and provide valuable products rich in nutrients - not only eggs, but also dietary meat. One of the important advantages of quails is that they need very little space to live. Those who keep quails for more than one year advise beginners to use brooders no more than 15-23 cm high.What else you need to breed quails, I will tell you in my article.

Quail keeping - dietary eggs and meat with minimal maintenance
Quail keeping - dietary eggs and meat with minimal maintenance


  • Quail breeds
  • Where to keep quails?
  • Quail feeding
  • When do quails start laying eggs?

Quail breeds

If you want to get healthy eggs during the summer cottage only, then it is better to pay attention to the breeds that give large eggs and lay daily. This is considered the quail breed "Pharaoh". In a year each female carries 220 eggs weighing 12-18 g. The carcasses themselves are also large for quails. The live weight of the male is 160-270 g, and that of the female is 190-310 g.

This breed will provide you not only with rather large eggs, but also with healthy meat. In addition, these quails are resistant to many diseases. Novice poultry farmers should pay attention to the "Pharaohs".

If you decide to keep quails all year round, then pay attention to the "Japanese" breed. Fertility of each female is more than 300 eggs per year. The testicles are not as large as those of the "Pharaohs", but for 10 months there will be a dietary product on your table every day. The weight of each egg is about 11 g. These birds are not very large, the live weight of the male is about 150 g, and the female - up to 180 g.

Other quail breeds are also interesting:

  1. "English whites". Each female can lay up to 280 eggs per year. This breed of quail was taken as a basis to breed broiler birds, the weight of which can reach 300 g in live form.
  2. "Estonian" quails are notable for their good health, unpretentiousness in terms of keeping conditions. The survival rate of young animals is up to 98%. In females, live weight reaches 200 g, but the most fattened ones can grow up to 320 g.
  3. "Manchurian Golden" will produce 280 eggs each year, weighing up to 16 g. On average, the female weighs 200 g, and the male 180 g.
  4. "Texas white" quails have recently become very popular, although this is a relatively new breed for our country. Females weigh on average 450, and males - 360 g. Often there are cases when these meat quails weigh half a kilo or even a little more. "Texas white" quail have a calm character, they are unpretentious to the living conditions. But they have low egg production.
Quail "Estonian"
Quail "Estonian"
Quail "Manchurian golden"
Quail "Manchurian golden"
Quail "Texas White"
Quail "Texas White"

Where to keep quails?

Low cages for keeping quails (up to 25 cm) are not just space saving, but a necessity. It turns out that if the cage is too high for them, then the birds begin to fly up, become aggressive, the strong ones bite their relatives.

If you decide to breed quail in the country to get eggs, five females will be enough. For such a small company, a spacious bird cage or for large rodents is suitable.

By the way, some even manage to place brooders in several tiers in an apartment to keep more birds. But you need to keep in mind that the smell from winged pets will be appropriate. Those who breed quail in the country or on their personal plot prefer to place birds outside during the warm season.

You can make a cage for them yourself. To do this, you need to take a grid with rectangular cells measuring 5 by 3 cm.It must be pulled over a pre-knocked box of bars. These will be the sidewalls.

If you need to protect birds from the wind, then such a mesh is placed only on the front wall, and the remaining sidewalls and the roof are sheathed with suitable materials (plywood, chipboard).

The floor in the cage is made of metal mesh with smaller cells, so that the quails are comfortable walking on it (so that their paws do not fall through). A tray or litter box is placed under the floor. You can put such a homemade cage in a secluded corner of the garden on the legs from the table - the droppings fall directly to the ground. You will have to remove it infrequently.

The mesh floor is made at a slight slope so that the testicles roll down through the lower opening in the side of the mesh into the provided groove. To prevent the quails from trampling on food, you need to make special feeders for them. Someone uses bottles made of durable plastic, cutting out long sides. Others make long rectangular feeders from a metal profile. The feeder is attached with a wire to the outside of the front net.

Quails should always have water. Nipple drinkers are great for this. They are attached to the cage from the inside. You can fix plastic cups here, also placing them on the inner walls (at such a height that the birds get to the water poured here, but could not trample it).

Brooders can be made in multiple floors to save space if you want to house a lot of birds. And if you decide to breed a small amount, then you can use ordinary plastic mesh boxes for vegetables. Three pieces make an excellent cage, where there is even a groove that will keep the eggs from rolling out. All parts of this cage are held together with plastic ties.

The drinker in such a budget option will be half an aluminum can, cut lengthwise. It is attached with a wire to the outside of the cage. This will be an impromptu drinker. On the other side of the cage, a metal profile is attached, which will become a feeder. You can also use a plastic pipe for the feeder with plugs on both sides, in which round holes are cut out where birds can lower their beaks to absorb food.

When placing the cages, place them in a shady area. If it is sunny, then be sure to close up and part of the sides. After all, quails cannot stand bright light. Therefore, when breeding indoors, the cells are not placed on the windowsill, but are usually placed away from the window.

Low cages for keeping quails are not just space saving, but a necessity
Low cages for keeping quails are not just space saving, but a necessity

Quail feeding

You can feed the quails using industrial compound feed, cook food for the birds yourself, or combine both options.

Important! Quails should always have sand available to help them digest food.

The finished compound feed contains everything necessary for these birds, including useful additives and vitamins.

The PK-5 compound feed mainly includes wheat and corn. These cereals are fortified with small amounts of animal fat, fish meal, sunflower or soybean meal, salt, phosphates and chalk. It is recommended to give one bird 30 g of this compound feed per day.

Compound feeds PK-6, PK-4, PK-2.2 include wheat, corn, barley. Fodder yeast, meal, fish meal, salt, phosphate and chalk are used as additives.

Compound feed PK-1, PK-2 consists of wheat and corn, as well as additives in the form of a small amount of barley, wheat bran, bone or fish meal, meal. It is recommended to give an adult bird 27 g of such compound feed per day.

If you want to prepare food for quail at home on your own, then take cereals as a basis. They add vegetables, fruits, which are finely chopped (about a fifth of the grain). All this is boiled for 40 minutes, then crushed, cooled, added chalk, salt and fed to the birds.

Another recipe for homemade quail food:

  • cereals - 800 g of corn, 200 g of barley, 2 kg of wheat;
  • 2 tsp. crushed shell rock, salt, chalk;
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (not refined);
  • 2 tsp fish or bone meal.

You can also add fish or minced meat, cottage cheese to this compound feed. The quails, which you feed with your own food, need crushed eggshells, fresh herbs. Adult birds are fed three or four times a day, most of the food is in the evening.

The young have a different diet. The daily quail are fed a boiled egg, on the second day they give an egg with a grated shell and 2 g of cottage cheese for each bird. On the third day, chopped fresh herbs are included in the above menu of young animals. On the fourth, they reduce the number of eggs by adding more cottage cheese. Babies are fed 5-6 times a day.

Such a diet is recommended for the first week of life of quails; from the second week, you can give the chicks compound feed intended for adult quails.

Layer feed should be especially balanced. The fourth part of it should be protein. One laying hen is recommended to give at least 25-30 g of feed per day.

You can feed the quails using industrial compound feed, prepare food for the birds yourself, or combine both options
You can feed the quails using industrial compound feed, prepare food for the birds yourself, or combine both options

When do quails start laying eggs?

Quail eggs begin to lay at the age of 5-6 weeks. Good egg production lasts until the quails reach 11 months. Therefore, usually females are kept until this age, then slaughtered for meat.

In the first month, the hen will bring about 10 eggs, in the second and subsequent months it will produce 25-30 eggs per month.

If you want to breed quail yourself, then there should be one male for 3-4 females. It is important to know here that due to the domestication of these birds, the females have lost their hatching instinct. Some poultry farmers lay such eggs under brooding hens or under domestic pigeons. Another option is to use an incubator.

In order for the quails to hatch from the egg, you need to select only fresh eggs of the optimal weight from females aged 2-8 months. For example, eggs weighing 12-16 g are taken from meat quails, and 9-11 g from egg ones.

It is also important to select eggs of the correct shape so that there are not many calcareous growths on the shell. Hatching eggs should be clean, not very dark in color. But even from such ideal eggs, it will be possible to achieve not 100%, but 70-80% of the yield will be quail.

When the eggs are selected, an incubator is prepared, where they are laid. Here you need to keep the humidity level within 60-70%, use 3 incubation periods.

During the first period, the eggs warm up. During the second, incubation occurs. Then you need to turn the eggs 3-6 times a day. During the last step, the eggs are placed in the hatcher tray as the quail will begin to hatch at this time.

It is quite difficult to get young quail without experience and good incubators, so it is advisable to buy it, and then use these birds for meat, eggs, or for both.

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