Question Quails?

OrganicDisposalInitiative

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So with all the unfortunate drama going on in the world currently I have found myself out in the garden working on a little project using scrap pallet wood, reused and recycled screws and nails as well as other bits and pieces. This is what is currently in progress and it will be used to house some quails.

I have a little question for those more experienced with keeping quails. How many would you say I could house in this set up but also, what type of quail? I would like to have them primarily for the eggs and then maybe a little down the track I may look into them for meat as well as possible breeding if I plan on going the meat route.

Cheers all.
 

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Vicky

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I have no experience with keeping quail - but I have been seeing quite a bit in my cyber travels about quail lately :) First, are they going to be easy to get? Down here in South Australia, all the poultry have sold out really quickly from shops and fodder stores and the going price for heritage was $50 per bird in some places!!
Here is a bit from a Burkes Backyard episode that features quail in a small backyard:
Quails
A small-scale garden doesn’t mean you can’t have poultry to lay eggs and provide fertiliser. You just need to think small – quails! “Quails a fantastic alternative in urban areas where soil contamination, space and noise constraints may limit a flock of chickens” says Kat.

Kat’s Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) are kept in a semi indoor coop on a concrete base with “deep litter”. You can use wood shavings, wood chips, autumn leaves, shredded paper and cardboard, which is eventually used as compost. Here are Kat’s Top Tips for keeping quails:

  • As a rule of thumb keep 3 birds per square metre.
  • Quails are quiet, so won’t annoy neighbours with clucking.
  • The start laying at 6-10 weeks and 4-5 eggs is the equivalent of 1 chook egg.
  • A flock of 10 quail should lay the equivalent of a dozen chicken eggs per week.
  • The taste is indistinguishable from chicken eggs, but they are harder to crack as they are so small – get yourself some quail egg scissors.
  • Like chickens, quails provide fertiliser and compost making services.
  • Don’t keep a single quail as they need friends.
  • They enjoy poultry pellets, kitchen scraps, compost worms, bugs from the garden.
  • Quails are hardy, surviving heat and cold snaps. They prefer to sit on the ground at night, and don’t require nest boxes. They lay eggs anywhere in the run.
A small space isn’t a barrier to being productive. Put it to good use! Kat has some great tips for growing more with less by keeping track of what works and forward planning. We can all learn from our garden how not to waste our valuable resources, time and energy.

this is the full link:
https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/the-pocket-sized-patch/11025694

That is one great looking quail enclosure, will you plant stuff in there for them??
 

OrganicDisposalInitiative

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Cheers for the advice. I have a brief understanding of quails in terms of the ones you keep with budgies as my Nan and Pa used to always have them and breed quite a bit of them and my Nan continues to to do it with canaries to this day, but besides that it's all new to me. Chickens I am OK with but I do know there are different varieties of quail so I guess its just figuring out what suits my needs best.

I hadn't really thought that far ahead in terms of planting stuff for them but it's definitely something I could consider. Have you any recommendations on what I could plant? Only thing that comes to mind would be tree wormwood to help with any parasites, bugs and what not.
 
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Vicky

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I think wormwood would get a bit tall for that enclosure, you'd have to keep it trimmed? we had the same thing as your Nan and Pa, quails in the bottom of a bird aviary, for a while we didn't have them and some of the seed near the feed containers fell on the ground and sprouted, we had some grasses and things like millet and the quail LOVED to make little paths through that patch, we had left it for the birds and they enjoyed hanging off the edge of the aviary and chewing on the patch but the quail just thrived. In the short time we had them in there, they were so happy that they hatched out chicks. It was years ago and I did not have an interest at the time, wish I'd looked into it more now :) but we have silkie bantams and I'm quite happy with them.