Quail is a common name given to all the medium size birds of the order Galliformes. The old world quail belongs to the Phasianidae family, the newer ones are from the family odontophore.
So the question arises: What do baby Quail eat? Quails are omnivorous birds so they eat both plants based as well as animal-based food. Plant-based food includes leaves, seeds, and green vegetation. Animal-based food includes insects.
However, baby quails need finely crushed food as their beaks are soft. They can eat poppy seeds and small pieces of broccoli. Like other poultry farming, Quail Farming is also a very profitable business. Quail farming is very easy, entertaining, and profit-making.
This business can be started in any weather conditions. Eggs of the quail are very nutritious as compared to other poultry eggs. These eggs are rich in protein, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins like vitamin A, B1, B2. Quail farming can be carried out along with poultry Farming.
Characteristics of quail:
- Quail birds are very small in size.
- The weight of an adult quail ranges between 150-200 grams and the weight of the egg is about 7-15 grams.
- At the age of 6 to 7 weeks, the female quails start laying eggs and then lay an egg every day.
- Quail lays 300 eggs during the initial year and the number of eggs laid decreases to half of the eggs in the initial year. Hence the production of eggs decreases gradually after the first year.
- Eggs of quail are very beneficial for human health. The fat content is also very less as compared to chicken eggs
- Quail eggs also provide aid in blood pressure and diabetes, pant, etc
- Quail eggs are very colorful and beautiful.
- Quails do not incubate eggs themselves, hence one has to use an incubator to hatch the eggs.
The lifecycle of quails:
The lifespan of quails is generally 3 to 4 years. The weight of an adult Quail is about 150 to 200 grams. The quail start laying eggs at age of 6 to 7 weeks and the eggs weigh between 7 to 15 grams.
The egg count is more than 300 in the first year however this number decreases with time. These are very beautiful eggs with different colors on them. Quails generally lay eggs during the afternoon and the eggs take almost 17 days to hatch.
The weight of the newly born quail chick is about 7 grams. One male quail is kept with about five female quails for breeding purposes. It takes about two weeks for baby quails to become strong as they are very sensitive in starting. When the eggs weigh around 9 to 11 grams and have a smooth and hard shell then it is said to be perfectly ready for hatching and producing quail chicks.
It is very easy to establish a quail farm due to the small size of these poultry birds. One should have a proper business plant for quail farming before starting anything. This business plan has to include breeds, housing, feeding, care, marketing work, and so on. If one makes and follows the planning properly then one can earn a lot of profit from this business.
- Selecting the quail breed:
Presently there are 18 species of quail available for quail farming. These species are worth it as they are very profitable. As per their production, quails are divided into two categories, that are: broilers and layers.
The broilers quail breed includes:
The layers of the Quail breed include:
2. British range
4. Manchurian golden
Housing and caring of quails:
This step of quail farming is comparatively simple and easy. As these birds are very small in size so they can be adjusted with the other small birds. They don’t require much space due to their size. These organisms are nice pets. They serve a great company as they are lovely to watch.
One can even have these quail birds in their gardens. There are many reasons that people keep these quail birds.
- They are small in size hence easy to handle and don’t need a large space or area.
- They have a different and wonderful look.
The only thing is that one should know how to take proper care of quail.
Initially one has to make a suitable house for your bird. But as told earlier that quail is small in size, they need less space.
However they have to be protected from predators, rats can be a threat to them so one needs to do the needful to protect the quail. Their house should have a proper ventilation system as the dropping of these birds has high ammonia in it if one has rabbit hutches, which can also be used as a quail house. The rabbit hutches are big enough to provide shelter to half a dozen quail however chicken houses cannot be preferred for quails.
Special care has to be provided to quails in winters and summers. It is important to provide bedding to quails in the winter season. For this purpose, many different things like grass pellets, sand, pine shavings, newspaper pellets, Timothy, fir wood chips, etc. can be used. This action can encourage them to lay eggs and they may even want to have eggs.
Housing is very essential in quail farming. Some important instructions that need to be followed while making the house are given below:
- Both litter and cage systems can be used for quails. However, the cage system is more suitable as compared to litter as management is easy in this system and this system is less prone to diseases.
- The house should be well ventilated for air and light flow.
- For about 50 quails a cage with measurements length 120 cm, 60cm breadth, and 25cm hight would be suitable
- Along with protection from predators, it also has to be protected from other wild.
Other special equipment: To keep the quails happy, some special equipment can be used. The list of these types of equipment is given below:
- Water container: Water is a basic requirement for everyone and so is for quails. Small water containers should be preferred for Quails due to their small size so that they can easily have water. Bigger water containers do not allow easy access and even there’s a danger of drowning. Every time fill the container with clean water.
- Feeder: Sufficient number of feeders should be kept according to the number of birds. But again one should keep in mind the size of feeders so that quails have easy access to them.
- Small spots: Quails love different types of plants so growing a couple of plants in their cage or house can make them very happy but do verify that the plants are not toxic to them.
- Hiding spots: Quails love hiding spots. So if your pocket allows then you must arrange large hamster huts and put them in a cage
- Sand tub: A dust bath is essential for quails. They usually love sand baths daily. The sand bath helps in preventing parasites like mites. Make sure that you keep the sand tub away from the water containers as this may cause a mess.
Some important management practices:
- Cleaning cage: You must clean the cage after every 1 or 2 weeks. This will prevent the quails from bacteria, mites, and other diseases. You must properly dispose of the waste and rinse the feeders and water containers properly. Fill it with fresh water and food. Also, renew the sand in the sand tub.
- Lighting: Proper lighting is also important as quails need light for about 15 hours every day otherwise they can’t sleep. To stay healthy, quails need sufficient sleep. This also helps them to remain active. So after spending sufficient time in light, either turn off all the lights or place them in a completely dark room so that they can have sufficient sleep.
- Keep the environment calm: Maintain calmness around the Quails. Keep the other dangerous and noisy pets away from them in another room. A calm environment is important for them as noise can cause stress and disturb the quails.
- Collect the eggs daily: For fresh eggs collect the eggs daily once every day. Especially during hot days of summers, collect the eggs daily otherwise they may get damaged. You can either put the eggs in the fridge or egg cartons. If you store them in the fridge, they will remain fresh for a longer time. The female quail will produce 5-6 eggs every week.
Checking on the health of the quail:
Checking your quail’s health is very important. If the quail is acting a bit different than usual or not eating properly then your quail is not well. However, some small problems can be fixed easily on your own. For example, if you see that all the quails are all together at one corner, this may be due to cold so you can either place the cage where it is not cold or shift the Quails into a warm cage.
On the other hand, if your bird is ill then you need to take it to a vet but never ignore the symptoms as there may be some major problem. Also if any quail is wounded then must keep it separate until it is completely healed. When the temperature is very high then shift the quails to a cooler room as they cannot tolerate high temperature.
- Taming: Taming can be a difficult job in the case of fully grown quails. However, if you are handling them from a younger age then taming would not be that difficult. You need to hold them and play with them for some time, so you can offer them food with your hands. You just need to be gentle with them and visit them often.
- Clipping: Quails are very great flyers and fly very high when they are frightened. So once a quail flies it is almost impossible to catch them again. So to avoid this you can clip their wings so that they don’t fly away.
Special care tips:
Besides the above-mentioned points, some more important tips need to be kept in mind. These tips are:
- Keep the quails of almost the same age in a cage but don’t mix them. Either keep all the adult quails or keep all the young quails in one cage.
- First, raise the young quails and then the elder ones.
- Clean the water containers and feeders at regular intervals. It should be at least once a week.
- Do not use moldy feeds to feed your birds.
- Keep enough water containers and feeders so that each one of them gets sufficient food and clean water.
- Keep a check on insects and also protect them from predators.
- You also need to keep a security check for example if a quail dies then immediately remove it from the cage and if any bird is injured then keep it in a different cage until it is healed.
Feeding Quails ( what do baby Quails eat and drink ? ):
This business can only be profitable if you feed your birds sufficiently. You have to feed them well-balanced food rich in nutrients. As we know that these birds are small in size, so they need small amounts of food daily. The baby Quails eat crushed boiled eggs. Quails Mainly drink water.
An adult Quail eats up to 20 to 30 grams of food every day. Mainly the Quail starts laying eggs earlier than the other poultry birds and lay about 300 eggs in a year, but to get this production, you need to provide proper nutrition to them. They require more protein in their diet.
A good diet not only helps to achieve high production but also prevents them from several diseases. These are not greedy and hence eat only the quantity that they need.
Quail farming is a very easy, entertaining, and profitable business. It just needs proper care and sufficient time. By keeping all the small things in mind that are mentioned above, you can earn a great profit from this business.