Raising Quail Indoors
I have raised Quail outdoors and indoors and both have their advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of raising Quail indoors for me is security, safety and climate issues. My winters can be brutal and if I feel I should bring my quail in they have to adjust to a new surrounding and will not lay eggs for a bit. I don't like seeing them stressed and I miss my eggs. They are also fun.
For anyone in an urban area raising your quail indoors may be a perfect solution for limited outdoor space.
My quail are in my basement that used to be an apartment. Its dry and quite nice. In the winter I put a tarp up behind them to catch any window drafts a bad storm might cause. Any other time they are near the window for natural lighting, which they love.
My quail use 3 foot of space. They set on a table in a cage that is about 3 foot by 2 foot by 18 inches tall. This will comfortably hold six quail. I have five: four female and one male. Under the table I have a plastic container to hold all their supplies. My set up, including feeding and cleaning takes 2 to 4 minutes a day. I also have planned how to set their area up if I need to travel. I add an additional waterer, fill the feeder and I can be away five days with no issues. My bin also has a small mini vacuum for dust and dander.
Quail seem to better in smaller pens. In a larger pen they can get flightly and can actually hurt themselves by flying in to the side of the cage.
Notice the egg that has rolled to the front if the cage and can be easily harvested.
I made my cage with a slightly sloping floor so the eggs would roll forward for easy harvesting without having to open a door. The cage was zip stripped together and is very strong. Its five years old and still as strong as the day I made it. I also have a spare cage so I can really clean the cage and disinfect it if it needs it. Its also good to have a spare cage on hand for a sick or injured bird. The floor is 1/4 inch metal wire so manure can fall thought onto the chips and metal tray. Normally I have a small wood piece in the pen so they can have a break from the metal floor, buts its outside drying after being cleaned.
I also have a small bucket with a lid that I dump the manure and chips in to off of the tray. I throw a few kitchen scraps in the bucket and start composting it. There is no smell and it starts breaking down fast!
This cage cost me about $7 to make. The wire was bought at an auction for $1 and made several cages. The water container is an old nut container. I added a automatic fowl water, cost $4. The feeder was given to me. And the zip ties i used were $1. This was a very low start up cost for fresh eggs and meat
My quail are very quiet and at this time are laying 4 to 5 eggs a day. The eggs may be small but they make great scrambled eggs, pickled eggs and deviled eggs. And my nieces and nephew like an egg that is their size.
The photo below is a harvest from six days. I will probably pickle them.
Quail can be used for meat at 6 to 7 weeks old and will start to lay around that time too.
In my area I can purchase quail for $1 top $3 a piece. If I want a different breed it will be a littler more, but still reasonable. Quail do not lay on eggs in captivity so if you want to hatch eggs you have to take that into consideration.
This spring I will be adding to my quail and selecting a few new breed to try.
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