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Pugo

Advantages to quail farming

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There really hasn't been much discussion on one of my favorite topics Quail farming. Here are the advantages I see in it.

1. Requires minimum floor space

2. Needs low investment

3. Quails are comparatively sturdy birds

4. Can be marketed at an early age ie. five weeks

5. Early sexual maturity - starts laying eggs in about six to seven weeks of age

6. High rate of egg laying -280 eggs per year

7. Quail meat is tastier than chicken and has less fat content. It promotes body and brain development in children.

8. Nutritionally, the quail eggs are on par with that of chicken eggs. Moreover, they contain less cholesterol.

Quail meat and eggs are a nutritious diet for pregnant and nursing mothers.

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Hi Pugo,

You can add the following to your list:

  1. Quail are the most productive livestock on two legs.
  2. Quail can provide a complete "cradle to the grave" micro-farming experience - in an urban backyard.
  3. Quail can be bred up to commercial numbers very quickly.
  4. Quail can be sexed, by anyone, from an early age.
  5. Quail production facilities are easy and relatively inexpensive to build.
  6. Quail will eat a DIY diet.
  7. Quail rarely (if ever) go broody.
  8. Quail have the shortest incubation time of all poultry and game birds.
  9. Quail integrate readily with other backyard food production systems.
  10. Quail are a useful protein source for poverty-stricken communities......with no cultural baggage.
  11. Quail are an excellent learning resource for any school or family.
  12. Quail make excellent pets.
  13. Quail will put clean, fresh protein on your table faster than any other type of livestock.

Quail are the quintessential micro-farming livestock. They are the perfect choice for those who live in the city and can't keep chickens or ducks.....and they are an excellent companion project for an aquaponics system.

Gary

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Hi PR,

No problem.....always happy to infect another person with the quail bug.

When you talk about cold, what exactly do you mean? When I think of your place, I get images of dog teams lying semi-covered in snow in a driving blizzard.

Quail would be better inside somewhere that is downstream of your house ventilation.....or, assuming that you have a basement that stays at reasonable temperatures, somewhere like that.

What are your options for someplace like I've described?

Gary

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You are correct in your images, for the winter at least. There are many dog sled teams in town and I regularly ski jor with my dog.

Putting live stalk in my basement is a no-go for several reasons. A heated shed would be possible. How big would it have to be?

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The Japanese quail is becoming an increasingly popular bird worldwide. It’s importance as an agricultural species has its place in the world today. For example, the egg production in Japan exceeds 1.8 billion a year and at least 2 million quail per week are slaughtered for the tables of France. The Japanese quail (Corunix Japonica) originates from eastern Asia. Quail come in various colors. White, white-black, gray speckled red-brown or cream-brown. The Japanese quail is typically speckled yellow-brown with a light creamy strip running from the eyes to the back of the head. Quail where domesticated as early as the fourteenth century. But the big commercial revolution of quail started sometime after 1910 when they were split into two groups, egg production and for the table. Quail well normally lay around 280 to 290 eggs a year. Under optimal conditions quail will start laying 6 to 7 weeks of age and will continue laying eggs for about 14 to 15 months.

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Hi PR,

Your best option might be to create a large cupboard (say 8' x 4' x 8' high) in which you could set up a nice little production unit - big enough to keep you in all of the quail meat and eggs you could possibly want.

I'd suggest two tiers.....with the top tier divided into two pens......one for your breeders (about a dozen hens and 6 males) and the other to be used as a brooder pen. The bottom level would be used as a grow out pen.

You'll need a small incubator.....capable of setting and hatching about 60 eggs which will give you a hatch of between 40 and 50 day old chicks (depending on the genetics of your birds).....and a temperature controller and heater globe for the brooder pen.

The waste heat from your incubator and brooder will help to minimise the amount of heat that you'll need to put into the unit to keep it at a comfortable temperature.

I'd suggest that you set your eggs whenever you're down to your last 20 or so grower quail. In the meantime, you can use the surplus eggs to eat......and when you get sick of shelling quail eggs (which happens relatively quickly) you can boil them up and mix them (shells and all) in with your dog food.....for which your dog will love you.

You could set eggs weekly.....but you'll be overwhelmed by quail in a short time and, unless you have a market for them (a very fickle business in itself), I'd advise that you just produce to meet your own needs (and that of your friends and family).

A system of this size will cost you less than $1,000 (including the incubator and brooder) to put together and you'll have a "cradle to the grave" meat and egg operation with a foot print of less than three square metres.

If you're still keen, let me know and we'll get down to the design of the unit.

Gary

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Thanks, that gives me a good idea of what is required. I don't know if I want that many birds though. I was thinking of something comparable to the 3 chickens for eggs that is starting to be common amongst back yard producers.

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I am gonna start a quail farm now! I raised chickens for many years and was about to start up again. I think I still have the incubator in the attic. Gary do you have any good links about the subject? I wanna start asap. I go off the deep end like that.

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Hi Mojo,

Do a search of the forum......there's some good material in here.

I've been breeding and rearing Jap quail for over 30 years and I'll help you in any way that I can.....and there's several other members who are also breeding and rearing quail.

Of course, googling quail will also unearth plenty of information. As with aquaponics, not everything is accurate so check back here before parting with your cash.

Gary

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Hi Mojo,

Do a search of the forum......there's some good material in here.

I've been breeding and rearing Jap quail for over 30 years and I'll help you in any way that I can.....and there's several other members who are also breeding and rearing quail.

Of course, googling quail will also unearth plenty of information. As with aquaponics, not everything is accurate so check back here before parting with your cash.

Gary

I did and read a bunch. Great stuff and Pickle Quail Eggs sell like hot cakes around here.

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There are a lot of things to learn to start raising quail, but nothing overwhelming for sure. First you need to decide which quail you will raise.. The easiest quail to start with would be the japanese seattle.. great bird to start out with.. if you are going in to egg production, meat birds Bobwhite is the American choice. If you are serious Just Pm me I can send you some more info of quail raising. But to remember it is Asia style. Here is a little video on the how we keep quail in Aisa.

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Hi,

Just a thought.

Some of the high density quail pens that Pugo's posts relate to probably wouldn't pass muster under most Western countries' animal welfare legislation.......and would only be applicable to commercial systems anyway.

Most commercial quail operations in Australia (and I suggest most other western nations) would be in single tier pens rather than cages. I guess space is less of a concern......and pens are much easier to work with.

Gary

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Hi Ravnis,

Both duck and quail processing are quick and easy if you have a plucking machine.

Hand plucking of quail is still quite quick.......particularly if you scald your birds before plucking - rather than dry plucking them.

Eviscerating (gutting) them is also quick once you get your hand in ('scuse the pun).

Gary

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As far as quail scalding or not they are easy to deal with.. Have to run lights 18 hours a day for them to keep them laying. For the Asian system the big issue is cleaning which has to bee done every day on the commercial side of things. Water containers have to be sanitized everyday. Food has to be in front of the birds 24 hrs a day.

I don't have any issues with Asian style of quail keeping as long as it is clean. The Quail seem very find being kept in groups, but Like my fish I look at them as food. If I were keeping as some kind of pet. Then I would keep them differently. But honestly it is a business not a zoo. I am aware of this style in western countries too. But you will not find videos of them. Just because of the animal welfare and farmers don't want to hassle with them.

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Can there not be a way to utilise the natural daylight, at least for part of the time?

Otherwise, isnt it like having a light on in the house even though there is tons of light coming in through the windows?

Reg

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YES, you use daylight as much as possible, But just prior to the sun setting. You need to turn on the lights. You need a good sixteen hours of light a day for the quail to continue laying. Some quail farms leave them on all night. So the birds are always in light. Quail farming is a great business in Asia, Like Thailand, Philippines, India. Japan..etc As you are going to Thailand here is a nice little video to watch..there are other good business to do like Mushroom farms. they take little room and make good money.. This is not a clean farm. so I am not very proud of how they care for there quail. but it is the real deal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uP1AcULgnU&feature=related

Edited by Pugo (see edit history)

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Just because of the animal welfare and farmers don't want to hassle with them.

Hehe, it's not a choise in this part of the world, it's legislated, so if you wan't to be a player at any level pet/hobby/commercial/zoo/.... you, stick to the rules, on animal wellfare,etics................... wether you agree on the regulations or not.

Specially if you are trying to market, and sell, any of your products, as "naturall" "organic" "healthy" etc. etc......

Indeed we see it in the western countries too, often reveled in tv series like "filth files" ............

cheers

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Can there not be a way to utilise the natural daylight, at least for part of the time?

Otherwise, isnt it like having a light on in the house even though there is tons of light coming in through the windows?

Reg

Yes you can use natural light

cheers

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Hi Gary, just searching your site for imfo on quail breeding, came across one of my posts to you from 2 yrs ago. 2 yrs ago i was living in FNQ, we have since escaped the humidity and bought a few acres in Sth Victoria. (from the sublime to the ridiculous).

We have done here all we had dreamed off, we now breed poultry, ducks (soon to go) rabbits, (in a vermin and mozzie proof rabbitry). Have all the vegies we need plus plenty for the animals, most are grown in my own design of raised wicker beds. Fruit trees and grapes.

The first thing I started when we first moved in was to start an Aquaponics system, well i sunk a big sump in what was going to be the fish room, got some 1,000 litre fish tanks, set up four baths outside, put all the pipes in............Then stopped.

Although we are retired, I just dont seem to get enough time to do everything....We only work about 3 to 4 hrs a day around the property. We also have lots of trees and big gardens to look after.

Anyway.......I made a brooder from a fridge........Laying down, all cleaned out and the door cut in half with a heat lamp fitted in it. Works like a beauty for chickens, now im going to start doing Quail. Went back down the fridge shop and came back with a big upside down fridge/freezer, stripped it bare, took off the big door at the top, left the bottom one on to keep food and "Stuff" in. Then I built 3 cages in the top section, Added pull out trays and water nipples....Violla....beautiful insulated Quail cage....Oh yeah, also drilled a 3" hole in the side wall of each cage and fitted nesting box's outside.

Thank you for all the imfo Gary. I will take some pics when wifey gets back from trip to Canada and Alaska, she has the cameras.

Cheers.......Lindsay

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Hi Lindsay,

Hi Gary, just searching your site for imfo on quail breeding, came across one of my posts to you from 2 yrs ago. 2 yrs ago i was living in FNQ, we have since escaped the humidity and bought a few acres in Sth Victoria. (from the sublime to the ridiculous).

We have done here all we had dreamed off, we now breed poultry, ducks (soon to go) rabbits, (in a vermin and mozzie proof rabbitry). Have all the vegies we need plus plenty for the animals, most are grown in my own design of raised wicker beds. Fruit trees and grapes.

The first thing I started when we first moved in was to start an Aquaponics system, well i sunk a big sump in what was going to be the fish room, got some 1,000 litre fish tanks, set up four baths outside, put all the pipes in............Then stopped.

Although we are retired, I just dont seem to get enough time to do everything....We only work about 3 to 4 hrs a day around the property. We also have lots of trees and big gardens to look after.

Congralations, you've made excellent progress by the sound of things.

Anyway.......I made a brooder from a fridge........Laying down, all cleaned out and the door cut in half with a heat lamp fitted in it. Works like a beauty for chickens, now im going to start doing Quail. Went back down the fridge shop and came back with a big upside down fridge/freezer, stripped it bare, took off the big door at the top, left the bottom one on to keep food and "Stuff" in. Then I built 3 cages in the top section, Added pull out trays and water nipples....Violla....beautiful insulated Quail cage....Oh yeah, also drilled a 3" hole in the side wall of each cage and fitted nesting box's outside.

Using the old fridges is a great idea. Just remember that your birds will need plenty of fresh air (at the same time that you're keeping them warm) so don't box them up too tight.

How are the quail nesting boxes working out for you? Do the quail use them?

Thank you for all the imfo Gary. I will take some pics when wifey gets back from trip to Canada and Alaska, she has the cameras
.

I'm keen to see what you've achieved so I'm looking forward to the photos.

Gary

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