Preparing to Raise Quail
If you're starting out as a beginner, you should have everything you need in place before making a purchase of quail eggs, chicks or adult birds. Purchasing Quail Eggs cost less up front, however, you would need an incubator and brooder. It's rare for quail to hatch their eggs in captivity. Quail chicks, ship at one to two days old and a brooder is necessary for their survival. Adult birds cost more up front, but may save you money in the long term, it really depends on the individual's intentions. Some questions and answers which could help with your decision:
- Are you having any hesitations and not sure if you want to try raising quail? Starting out with a pair of adult birds, could be your best solution. Your only investment would be in a cage, feeder and watering device. Once they start laying eggs, you can then decide whether or not to get into incubation and hatching out chicks.
- Do you like seeing animals grow from babies into adults and be more involved in this growth? Maybe your answer would be yes, however, you find the idea of incubation and a possible bad hatch rate or none at all, somewhat intimidating. Building your own, or purchasing a small brooder and quail chicks, could be right for you. This way, incubation would be taken out of the equation.
- Are you the type of person that wants the full experience, you may want to be involved right from the beginning? You would love to see the quail chicks picking their way through the shell and be a part of the gift of life. If this sounds like you, starting out with quail eggs is what you should do. If you aquire all the proper knowledge up front, you could bypass much of the disappointment.
Things to have in place before any form of quail purchase:
- A quail cage large enough to support the amount of quail you're starting out with. This will be needed for raising quail in all occasions; adult, chicks, or eggs.
- Chick brooder, and again, large enough for the amount of quail chicks being purchased. Keep in mind, overcrowding kills. A quail chick brooder is needed when purchasing quail chicks or eggs.
- An egg incubator, forced air with automatic egg turner is recommended, however, a still air and turning by hand will work. Adjustments can be made, and timers can be set for egg turning reminders, these are somewhat cheaper. One of these would be needed if you're going all in, for the complete raising quail experience.
Here are a few more items you should have in place:
- High quality gamebird food, such as a starter food for chicks up to six weeks of age. The next stage of food would depend on what the quail is being raised for.
- Several feeder and watering devices.
- A good litter, if purchasing eggs or chicks (nothing made from cedar).