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Author Topic: Keeping Quail?  (Read 7997 times)


  • Joined May 2010
  • Cornwall
Keeping Quail?
« on: May 19, 2011, 12:09:47 pm »
When I was little, my grandad used to keep all kinds of poultry and amongst them were quail.

I'd love some for meat and for eggs but don't have the first idea of how to keep them!

Could somebody please elt me know what their requirements are, if they get on with other poultry and any challenges I might face with them please?! :wave: :)


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Fife
  • .
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 12:12:06 pm »
I had quail for a while. They can't be released like chickens, or they disappear, so they need a decent sized and secure cage. Mine had nasty head-pecking habits so I had to keep separating them and putting Stockholm tar on their heads. They make a very loud screeching noise. Mine only laid a few eggs, then stopped, then a weasel broke into their cage and killed them all. Not the most successful of ventures.


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • swindon
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2011, 09:06:35 pm »
im in same boat i want some for eggs and have got no idea but have a spare 2 tier rabbit hutch for them to use and iv heard they fly up like cannon balls  so need a top to a pen so any help would be great also sorry to hijack. hope you dont mind?


  • Joined May 2011
  • Lincoln
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2011, 09:30:15 pm »
Hi there  :wave:

I'm a novice at quail.  We got 5 hens and a cock at easter. Cock attacked one of the hens  >:(, so got separated.  Squawked like the Cadbury's parrot  :o, so took advice and reintroduced the hens to him in a newly refurbished 6' 3' chicken coop (one of those cheap ones off ebay).  Cock still attacked hen  >:(, so took hen out.... Hen sounds like an alarm clock.. (cheap, Cheap, CHEAP!!!).  Got her two new girlfriends... found out one is a boy  :o.  Now have one rabbit hutch with 2 hens and a cock and one chicken run with 4 hens and a cock... Oh, and 12 in an incubator which may or may not hatch in 8 days (first time with that too ;D).

Just throw yourself in and enjoy the ride!  What's the worst that can happen  ::)



  • Joined Aug 2010
  • swindon
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2011, 09:33:35 pm »
im just trying to source them atm i cannot find them anywhere near me i want 6 and then about the same for my dad lol

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 10:03:49 pm »
We have about 20 quail, in a large enclosure.
The can be quite "flighty" (suicidal!) though ours arent too bad - only fly out occassionally & are so surprised theyve been easy to pick up again... though one went off into the trees & was "retrieved" by one of the kittens!)

We feed ours layers pellets, though you can get specialised feed (not round here!)
I wouldnt keep them in with other poultry, just because of their size & relative possessive/aggressiveness of the males.
I find their whistling quite sweet... but it is seriously loud & can go on quite late into the evening!

We've found them really easy to keep ... major problem is their propensity to get "gummed up" toes & feet - some have lost their claws and even toes following infections once they get sticky balls round the feet, especially in winter.

they lay lovely eggs, almost every day but only between about April & September/October. real fair-weather ladies!

Feel free to ask more specific questions - thats all I can think of for now :)
Little Blue


  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 10:37:11 pm »
If you want to keep quail for meat or eggs then you need the Japanese quail which have been bred for the purpose rather than the ornamental chinese ones.


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Fife
  • .
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011, 07:52:01 am »
I bought the eggs on ebay and incubated them. No guarantee of what sex you get, of course. For the attacking, try the Stockholm Tar, it works really well.


  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2011, 09:17:20 am »
I have kept quail for years and find them delightful. Mine are kept in a second hand aviary with an enclosed run-out to a bit of grass, also enclosed. I have always had Japanese but am going a bit "commercial" and getting some bigger species. I keep six or seven hens to one cock and have had no trouble though the cock birds are a bit rough in their love-making (maybe that's the aggression you saw) They tend to have a favourite to rough up and the poor little thing can look like a battered wife(which I suppose she is!)
But, you get an egg a day, almost every day from the hens which make a welcome gift for people, especially pickled, and some restaraunts will buy them and the oven-ready cock birds.
If you give them a treat like maggots the cock will offer them all to his wives, picking them up in beak and letting them take them.
One thing, never keep two cocks together, even with a load of hens, they will fight to the death.


  • Joined Jul 2009
  • Fife
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2011, 06:52:53 pm »
I'm quite new to keeping Quail as well.

I have Japanese & Chinese Painted Quail which i breed from with decent results.

The Japs are quite placid but those pesky Chinese are all too ready to jump out their enclosures anytime i'm cleaning them out, filling feeders/drinkers etc

Egg wise, the Japs will give me an egg every 2 days & the Chinese 3 per day which are tiny.

One thing i have learned is, the chicks need a higher protein diet. Turkey starter crumb is good for that, but try getting it at this time of year!

Soya meal is a good substitute, mix it 60/40 with chick crumb & it will give you around 25-30% protein, which goes a long way to combating leg problems as they get older.


  • Guest
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2011, 11:39:59 am »
we use to have quail outside in an avairy, they always flew up and cut their heads on the wire. last year we had quails inside in rabbt hutch like enclosures and never had this problem. it made handling and egg collecting alot easy to. they are great fun, meat tastes really good too.


  • Guest
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2011, 02:09:46 pm »
There are many types of quail such as Japenese, Italian, Jumbo Japenese and Golden giants what is best for eggs and a little bit of meat???

Also how many quail to a rabbit hutch?


  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Keeping Quail?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2011, 05:00:41 pm »
I've only kept Japanese so far and can say they are tremendous layers. I now have young Golden Giants as I have a good market for oven-ready. I intend to keep a few hens, though the breeding of them is not straightforward I hear. But will let you know how they do.


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