Why Grow Quail ?????

gardendawgie(5)June 25, 2009

I am interested in why people seem to grow so many quail. How can they get rid of so many birds. From reading on the internet some people seem to have thousands of them. What is going on.

Are people selling them for hunting or what.

I live up north and I do not think there are any wild quail up north. So I think it is a Southern thing and always living up north I just dont do not know why people have so many quail.

For example if you go on ebay there are people selling 2000 eggs of quail in one sale. WOW. People will buy 2000 quail eggs at once. Incredible. If they all hatch out on the same day what could a person possibly do with 2000 baby birds. Blows my mind.

Thanks for the answers.

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I can't answer for everyone, but when I was a kid my dad had a master plan to raise quail and sell their offspring and the eggs to high-end restaurants. Needless to say, it flopped... *L*

Little suckers bred like rabbits, too! We ended up having to give them away. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 6:24AM
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good idea too early in life.

Basically your dad might be more successful today on the internet.

From what I see on the internet they basically sell only the skinned breast meat and throw the rest away.

Someone else mentioned pickling the eggs. I can only guess they hard boil them first.

I was scanning youtube last night and wow. So much to learn on the internet. I watched them skin and clean a quail. But the most amazing was someone who did basically the same to a couple of pheasants with a device. He also took only the breast meat. but amazingly fast.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 8:36AM
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They taste great - looks like a mini cornish hen. We raised quail when I was a kid and it was a much needed addition to our dinner table. My Dad even made the incubators and we hatched out our own baby chicks. Really like hearing them call to one another and my Dad had a pet female that followed him everywhere he went and came when she was called and sat on his shoulder. I have often thought that maybe someday I would pick up where he left off. The eggs we boiled and they were great little snacks! We even made BBQ Quail and Quail and Dumblings-LOL it took alot but we were always replenishing our stock-we even put them up in the freezer.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 10:14AM
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nelda that is great. Can I ask a few general questions so I can understand better. like how many did he have. did he eat only the breast meat. did he pluck the feathers or just skin the breast. I think he had to keep them fenced in or they will fly away. how many would he hatch out in the incubator at a time.

I understand they are super efficient on food use. for example you get a pound of eggs for 2 pounds of food where chickens take 3 pounds of food to get a pound of eggs. That was the quote I read anyway not sure it is scientifically correct or not.

I know from years ago that they convert food or grain to meat most eficiently but it seems to me a lot of meat is thrown out if you only eat the breast.

One point I ran into was you can basically grow them in your house without trouble. for example in a town that does not allow chickens in the backyard.

another point I noticed is that they are fully mature in 6 weeks that is only a month and a half. Big chickens might take as long as 6 months but some start at about 5 months and a few a little quicker. But still 6 weeks to 6 months is 4 times longer.

sounds like all one needs is one mated pair and hatch all the eggs.

I still wonder why so many people will bid on 2000 hatching fertile eggs at one shot on ebay. The going bid they want is about 30 cents a bid or approximately $600.

I wonder if most of these go for eating or for hunting. My idea is some sportsman's club raises a few thousand and releases some every day for the members to go hunting.

To be honest I might want to raise them just for BBQ Quail and Quail and Dumblings. It sounds so goood and Yummmy !!!

From another reading it said you must separate the males only one per pen. and you get better fertility if it is only one female per pen. That would be a lot of pens. So it might be an aweful lot of work for one pound of meat.

Anyway I really enjoy the discussion. I love to learn

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 12:57PM
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A lot of falconers feed quail to their birds. Most have their own quail to rear from since they are usually taking care of a large group of caged raptors, but if they are short on time or space it is easier to buy whole quail carcasses and freeze them. Hawks and falcons love to eat quail.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 1:31PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

Poop! Can you imagine cleaning up after 2,000 quail.I have 11 dirty ducks and they are filthy.Cute but filthy!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 1:39PM
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pris(8B TX)

Unlike chickens or turkeys, quails are wild game birds. They can and are being raised as described by other posters here but even then have not evolved into domesticated birds with meatier legs and wings. That is why the only usable meat is the breast meat. It would be a total waste of time to pluck the feathers and try to conserve anything else. Skinning the breast out and discarding the rest is the least time consumming as you would discard those bits anyway.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 6:18PM
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We had 500, we hatched all the eggs except the ones that we boiled up and kept in the ice box for snacks. We cleaned them just like you would a chicken-we baked them just like you would a cornish hen. We the family ate them not just my Dad! We did not separate the males and females, they were kept all together in a hutch that he also made, it was kinda like a rabbit hutch, up on legs with a screened bottom so the poop went down to the ground - we placed saucer sleds (back then they were made of medal/Alum?)in their pens and put sand in them. we had little doors cut out so that they could go from one end to another. The poop was shoveled when it got deep and then composted, which he made also and then to the garden it went.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 7:45PM
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Wow Nelda that is awesome. 500 quail in one pen above ground. I assume it was not too huge. I wonder about how big that would have to be.

anyway if a quail is more efficient at turning grain into meat then it would cut down the cost of the meat. if you can clean them so easy this could be a reasonable way to go. especially if the meat taste better.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 7:24AM
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is a good write up on raising quail with financial analysis. toward the end it comes up with a feed conversion ration of 3.85 pounds of feed to one pound of food. they include meat and eggs and weight of the entire bird not just the breast meat.

The modern broiler chicken has a feed conversion ration today of less than 2.0 pounds of grain to one pound of chicken.

Also the quail needs high protein 28% Game bird feed which is going to be more expensive then the chicken feed.

The comparison is not quite equal here as the quail includes more items and eggs production then the chicken analysis. One way to compensate for this is to add on the cost of purchase of the baby chicks lets say $1 each and how much food can be purchased for the dollar. say 6 pounds of feed per bird. So if the bird grew to 6 pounds on 12 pounds of grain then we now say it grew on 18 pounds of grain and the conversion 2 goes to 3. the quail is at 4 in the same system. If you pay $2 for the chick then your equivalent conversion goes to 4 and you are the same as the quail.

So modern science of the meat chicken is doing a good job today.

It makes sense. Look in the veggie garden lots of people on GW claim their total cost of gardening is more then what they could buy some food in the store. Of course we do all this for other reasons. It is a great fun hobby.

Let me also add that the cost to purchase quail meat on the internet looks to be a good $5 a pound or more. And you can raise it for $2 a pound or less. So that is good. It might cost you $1 or $2 a pound to raise chicken while you can purchase it for the same in the local store. Although some free range chicken costs up to $5 a pound also. So there is a quality advantage on Quail if you appreciate the gourmet Quail.

Here is a link that might be useful: HOW TO RAISE QUAIL

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 8:20AM
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I've read that quail eggs and meat are more nutritional than chickens are. I plan on raising some. Japanese quail in particular seem to have the best feed conversion ratio of all quail and, if kept under the right conditions, will lay an egg a day more or less. Those eggs go for a much higher price than chicken eggs if you can find buyers.

The way I see it, their size is a plus. You'll eat the entire bird, probably more than one. No refrigeration required, except for the eggs, if you just cull them as you need them. It only takes them about 17 days to hatch and 6 weeks to reach an ideal weight for culling. That's pretty quick. Better than rabbits!

Only 1 to 2 sq ft per bird is required it seems, so you can put a lot of birds in a small space. I have worm farms that I use to create worm castings for my garden. I plan on putting the quail pens directly over the worm bin, so they their droppings will just fall directly in there for the worms to compost.

They look like some cool littler critters to have around too. Not too loud from what I understand. That's definitely a plus. A WHOLE lot quieter than my parrot heh.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:23AM
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little help please. I just got some 1 week old quail. I am keeping them outside during the day time (we are in the upper 90's this week and bringing them in at night into a room that is 80 and put a thermacare heat wrap in with them. Is the upper 90's outside too much heat for them? there is a little bit of wind coming through. For now, they seem to be doing just fine. but I just want to make sure I'm not killing them.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 7:32PM
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90's is not too hot for them. We were told to keep them at 99 degrees for the first week, then reduce the temp 5 degrees every week until the temp is consistent with the room temp. Ours are indoors in a makeshift brooder (guinea pig cage) with 2 25 watt red light bulbs. You should keep them out of drafts.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:56PM
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Thanks Groomie. It's been 102 here for the past two days and they seem to be doing fine. Night time low is in the upper 70's for maybe a few hours. I have not made an enclosed space for them yet but I do have a corner covered with an old shirt for when they want to get out of the breeze. I think i'll cut a hole in a large shoe box and put that in there for the time being. They were hatched on June 28th, so just a little over 2 weeks old. these suckers grow fast!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:14PM
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They sure do! :) Ours are about a week older than yours. I haven't taken them outside yet, poor things!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:05AM
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