Do you dream about raising birds, but you can’t raise chickens in your urban area? Or maybe you do raise chickens, but you’re looking for something different. If you want to raise birds that lay delicious eggs and have meat that is considered a delicacy, then you need to think about raising quail. Here are 10 reasons that you should be raising quail.
1. Space Requirements
Quail are considerably smaller than chickens, ducks, geese or turkeys. Their smaller size means that they also require less space than some of the larger poultry birds. Quail need about 1 square foot of space per bird.
Quail hens lay daily, just like chickens. The eggs are smaller, but are rich in nutrients. Many bakers prefer to use quail eggs over chicken eggs if they can get them.
One of the reasons many people raise quail is for meat. Quail are smaller and easier to process than chickens or turkeys. They also don’t have to be plucked. If you’ve ever processed your own birds, you’ll know how time consuming plucking can be.
4. They aren’t livestock
Many cities don’t allow chickens because they are considered livestock. Most cities do not include quail as livestock. Check with your local ordinances and make sure, but you will probably be surprised to know that you can keep quail.
5. Feed costs
Since quail are smaller, they don’t require as much feed as chickens, ducks and turkeys. Less feed means lower feed costs for you.
6. They won’t disturb your neighbors
One of the reasons that chickens are not usually allowed in cities is because they tend to disturb neighbors that don’t keep chickens. Roosters tend to crow early in the morning and while that is a pleasant sound for some of us, it can be disturbing to neighbors. Thankfully, quail are quiet. There is no crowing early in the morning. Quail only chirp and coo quietly. You also won’t have to worry about your free-ranged quail pooping on your neighbor’s stuff. Quail are excellent flyers and must be caged at all times.
7. Faster maturing
Quail mature rapidly. You’ll be able to tell the difference between males and females when they are about 3 weeks old. Quail hens will start laying as early as 6-8 weeks of age. If you’re planning on harvesting them, you’ll be able to do that when they are 6-8 weeks old.
When provided with a clean environment and proper food/water, quail are very hardy and don’t get sick often.
There are several ways that you can make money easily with quail. Bakers will often pay top dollar to have quail eggs to bake with. You can also sell the meat at a good price since the birds are considered a delicacy. Quail chicks fetch a higher price than chickens do. If you’re incubating eggs, you can expect to get as much as $5-7 per quail chick.
Quail meat is considered a delicacy. The lean white meat has a rich flavor that is succulent and juicy. Many high-end restaurants serve quail. If you raise quail at home, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious meal that was raised in your backyard. Check out our other posts about raising other fowl besides chickens & quail: Benefits of Keeping Guineas on the Homestead. This was also included in our 2019 New Breed Line up, see whats new this year!