The Ultimate Guide for Raising Bobwhite Quails

Like many other game birds, the bobwhite quails are humble and obscure. Raising a bobwhite quail is easier because of its compact size and ease of maintenance. These little feather friends are less considered domestic birds than wild birds or game birds. But nowadays, bobwhite quails have become popular as domestic pets for backyard raisers.

Moreover, raising bobwhite quail has many similarities to raising chickens. So if you have chicken raising experience, it will be easier for you to raise a quail.

There are many advantages of raising bobwhite quails

baby bobwhite quails

Size benefits:

Bobwhite quails are small in size, so you can easily keep them on your veranda or in your backyard in a mere cage or coop. A single quail weighs approximately 5 ounces, averagely. Also, compared to the chicken, the maintenance parameter is more limited than chicken. You can easily keep them in the corner of your house without the mess; especially city dwellers can easily afford the space.

Quiet environment:

Another advantage of raising bobwhite quails is they make less sound to bother the neighbour. They are extremely quiet. Even the male quails don’t make many sounds like a chicken rooster or drake. They only make low coo when they see their favourite owner approaching. Sometimes their cooing sounds like they are singing a sweet song.

Egg and Meat production:

Egg and Meat production

You can’t expect so much meat like farmyard poultry from your tiny bird. Even the large size quail provide less than a pound of meat. As quail grows quickly and hatches in nearly 18 days, so you can get meat and eggs more quickly. 

The quail meat’s taste is delicious, and the egg’s nutritional value is higher than chicken eggs. My advice is if you are looking for higher meat and egg production within 7 weeks in a small space, then raising bobwhite quail is a good idea.

Easy to clean:

Bobwhite quail likes to live in a clean environment. They don’t make much mess like a chicken. Cleaning and caring are relatively easy and simple. You need to clean the quail cage after every 1 or 2 weeks to prevent mites, bacteria and other diseases.

You should also wash the feeders and water containers and refill them with fresh food and water. It is suggested to dispose of all covers, replace the tub with fresh sand and hose the cage down.

Additionally, keep the environment calm because noise can disturb the quail and cause stress.

Feathers and Manure:

Quail’s small delicate feathers are popular for crafting the baits of a fisherman. The most commonly dark brown colour and other certain colours with interesting patterns make them look exotic. So if you are a crafter or seamen, you can put the quail’s feathers in your crafting part.

On the other hand, quails manure can be a wonderful fertilizer for your garden. Bobwhite quails manure can be used as compost. It has a high nitrites level, so using compost with other mixtures like straw is suggested.

Equipment needed to raise bobwhite quail

raising quails

There are many reasons for raising quails, like smaller-sized birds, interesting-looking, small areas and many more. But before starting, it’s essential to know the steps of caring and get all the important types of equipment for raising quail, whether for meat or eggs. Below is the recommended caring description you should follow:

Coop or cage:

Coop and cage

Quails are smaller-sized birds, and they need pretty little space as compared to other poultry birds. In a word, proper ventilation, safe from predators and quiet environment is the major priority in quail raising. Also, select the cage that offers more space, like each quail should get at least 1 square foot of elbow room. Because the more space they get, the better they grow.

Feeder and Water Container:

raising bobwhite quails

Small feeders limit quail from scraping food out in both cages and coops. Always try to maintain a sufficient number of the feeder as per the total quails to get to the feeder easily and the water container.

As quails are smaller-sized birds, they require small deep water containers to access drink water easily. Always try to put enough clean water in the container.

Nesting box and Hiding Spots:

Nesting box

Bobwhite quail do not always need special arrangements to lay eggs like a chicken. They lay their eggs wherever and strangely quiet. But you can offer a nesting box to keep the eggs safe, but if they decide not to use the nesting box, don’t be insulted!!!

On the other hand, sometimes quail love hiding itself from a human. So try to set a couple of large hamster huts in the cage.

Small plants and Sand tub:

Basically, bobwhite quails are game birds, so they love to play and explore. Giving them different kinds of non-toxic plants makes them happy. Additionally, they love dust bathing daily. So you can put a small sand bowl inside the cage to help them to dust baths that prevent annoying parasites.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

01. Is it hard to raise bobwhite quail?

No, raising a bobwhite quail is easier than chicken if you can maintain the right temperature, clean environment and proper food. It’s super easy for me as I have a chicken flock too.

02. How long does it take to raise the bobwhite quail?

Raising a bobwhite quail depends on several critical factors. But normally, bobwhite quail eggs hatch 23-24 days from the time of laying and take 7 weeks to mature to be harvested if reared for meat.

03. Can you raise bobwhite quail for release?

Bobwhite quail is a game bird. So raising them for release as a game bird is a favourite pastime for both conservationists and hunters. 

Normally they are ready to release at the age of six weeks and after. But most hunters process purchase quail at 15 to 16 weeks of age. But if you are not interested in hunting like me, ignore it.

04. Can you raise bobwhite quail with chickens?

No, it’s not suggested to raise your bobwhite quail with chicken for several reasons. In my experience, quail is just too tiny to be able to settle themselves in an inadequate space with a large flock of chickens.

Also, the chicken is curious to peck the little quail egg. So you will find lots of defective eggs if chicken and quail raise together. So giving them their own coop will be a wise decision.

05. Do quail eat chicken feed?

Yes, quail can eat chicken feed. I feed my quails by ‘chick starter’ soon after hatching. But you should check the protein amount as quails require more protein than chickens. Maintain feeding the chick starter till their 6 weeks of age.

Closing Thoughts

Bobwhite quail raising can be a viable project if it is managed properly. The average lifespan of a caged Bobwhite quail is 2 to 5 years. It is sometimes a pleasure to see the dust bath, searching for seeds in the litter, listening to their giggles, and calling them by Bob-bob-white call!

John Boyd

John Boyd has worked in U.S. Agriculture Industry for over 10 years. He now reports on the industry, aiming to give today’s producers up to date information about current and future issues. Read More

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