Why We Added Quail to Our Homestead

Originally we were going to add thirty turkeys to our backyard homestead, but after hours of searching we couldn’t find any. Well, we could find older toms, but we want to raise turkeys so we don’t have to buy more later. Can’t do that without at least one hen. So we started looking into quail.

Cortunix Quail
Four day old Cortunix Quail

Then we started looking for chickens, specifically hens. We couldn’t find any of them either. This left us with lots of questions. A) What the heck is going on? and B) Now what?

So, I went to Facebook and found someone who raised quail in our area. After talking to him and doing some research, we decided to get quail. They’re small, especially compared to our chickens, but they produce a lot of eggs starting at ten weeks old and you can eat them around that time, too. If you’re new to raising chickens then you should know that it takes months to get eggs and meat if you raise heritage birds like we do. Having something in the meantime just made sense to us and I thought it might make sense to y’all as well.

The only problem we have run into is a common one called piling. The chicks have heat and are still climbing on top of one another and smothering those on the bottom. We split them up and it happened again, but we didn’t lose as many so now we’re working to create a quieter environment to see if that helps. We’re brooding them in our only bathroom, like we did our chicks, but quail seem to spook easier than Barred Rocks. (You can read more about our chickens by clicking here.)

My goal with this blog is always going to be transparency. I’m not claiming to be an expert about everything, but I want to share what I’m learning in hopes that it may help others. Or y’all maybe can share your wisdom with me. We did use boxes with rounded corners so they’re actually piling in the middle, which there isn’t much information about at this time.

I will likely update this post as we learn more from these babies, but as of right now we’re still trying to improve the brooder. We’re using two very large Rubbermaid containers with heat lamps in the middle. They have clean shavings, access to clean food and water at all times, so we’re at a loss on what else we can do besides move out of our house and into a tent for the next nine days. (I’m kidding, it’s supposed to be 30 degrees this Friday night again).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *