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The Ultimate Guide to Raising Coturnix Quails

coturnix quails

Coturnix quail is an excellent choice for those who want to get into the world of poultry farming.

These birds are easy to maintain, don’t require much space, and are good for meat and egg production.

Raising Coturnix quail has become more popular in recent years as people look for small-scale farming opportunities.

However, before you start investing in these birds, there are a few things you need to know.

This article will provide you with the ultimate guide to raising Coturnix quail.

What Are Coturnix Quail?

Coturnix quail are small game birds that originated in Asia but are now widespread throughout the world.

They are often referred to as Japanese quail since the Japanese were the first to domesticate them for their eggs and meat.

Coturnix quail are small and usually kept in small flocks of up to 20 birds.

Great Egg Layers

One of the most attractive features of Coturnix quail is its prolific egg-laying ability.

These birds lay an average of 280 eggs per year and start laying at around six weeks of age.

Coturnix quail eggs are smaller than chicken eggs but are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world.

They are higher in protein and lower in cholesterol than chicken eggs, making them a great choice for those on a restricted diet.

Easy to Care For

Coturnix quail are hardy birds.

They require less space than chickens and are generally quieter, making them a great option for backyard hobbyists who live in urban areas.

Coturnix quails adapt well to different environments, making them ideal for beginners.

They do require a few specific needs in their living environment, including their living space, temperature, and feed.

Fast Growing

Another benefit of raising Coturnix quail is that they are a fast-growing bird.

Fully grown Coturnix quail can be ready for processing in as little as six to eight weeks, making them an excellent source of meat.

Despite their small size, Coturnix quail are prized for their tender, flavorful meat that is often compared to that of game birds like pheasants or other types of quail.

What Are Cotrunix Quail Good For?

One of the primary uses for Coturnix quail is egg production. These birds are efficient layers and can lay up to 300 eggs per year.

The eggs are small but highly nutritious, and the eggs have more yolk than white, compared to standard chicken eggs.

Because Coturnix quail do not require a large amount of space, they are an ideal choice for those living in urban areas.

They are also relatively low-maintenance birds and do not require as much attention as chickens, making them a great option for busy individuals.

Another use for Coturnix quail is as a source of meat.

The Jumbo variety, which is larger than the standard Coturnix quail, is often preferred for meat production.

These birds grow quickly and can be harvested at around six weeks of age.

Quail meat is highly nutritious, with higher protein and lower fat content than chicken or beef.

It is also a popular gourmet meat, often used in high-end restaurants.

For those who aren’t interested in using Coturnix quail for meat or egg production, these birds can also make great pets.

They are highly personable and social birds and can become quite tame with regular handling.

They make great companions for those who love birds but have limited space.

coturnix quail in a cage

What Do Coturnix Quail Look Like?

Coturnix quails come in various colors, often depending on the variety of their parents.

One of the most well-known color varieties is the Pharaoh Quail, with its golden-yellow feathers and black spots.

On the other hand, Jumbo Coturnix Quail has a more subdued appearance, with feathers ranging between light brown and gray.

Other different color varieties include Tibetan, Rosetta, Tuxedo, Golden, and Italian, each unique in appearance.

These quail are often born with a soft and delicate coat, which can range from shades of brown to almost all yellow.

With time and growth, their feathers start to darken until they reach their adult colors, explaining the colorful diversity within the different breeds.

It is difficult to distinguish between male and female quails upon hatching as they all have the same coat, making it a guessing game until they mature.

Coturnix Quail are smaller than the smallest chickens, approximately 3.5 to 5.6 oz.

Although females can grow larger and may reach up to 16 oz. in size, it’s still a modest size for a bird.

Their small size, coupled with their unique coloration, makes them a favorite pet among bird enthusiasts.

The golden-yellow Pharaoh Quail and the pure white English White Quail are especially popular since they add a dash of color to any aviary or backyard.

Are Coturnix Quails Friendly?

coturnix quails as pets

Coturnix quail can be very friendly if hand-raised from a young age.

They’re easy to tame and can become quite used to human interaction with regular handling.

Once they learn to recognize their keeper, they tend to seek them out for attention and can even become quite affectionate.

This friendly nature makes them great pets for older kids or anyone looking for a docile and entertaining bird to keep.

If you’re a beginner looking to keep quail, the Coturnix is suitable for you.

They require less space than other types of quail, making them an ideal choice for backyard enthusiasts.

However, even if they can become quite friendly, you must handle them gently, especially if you have younger children.

Unlike other types of quail, they are relatively calm and easy to catch, making them an excellent addition to any community coop.

They tend not to be nervous and flighty like other types.

However, they can become aggressive towards their flock mates, especially males.

Young males will often attack each other and should not be kept together.

So, make sure to provide enough space for your quail so they’re not in each other’s way.

Coturnix quail are great if you’re looking for a bird that won’t keep you or your neighbors up all night. They are very quiet, especially females, and won’t make a lot of noise.

However, males often make screeching noises, but you don’t need to keep any males unless you intend to breed them.

Their easy-going nature makes them a favorite among quail keepers.

Although they are not as cuddly as other pets, they are curious and have unique personalities that keep you entertained.

So, when you house them, make sure to give them plenty of space to move around, and they’ll happily explore their surroundings without worrying too much about hiding from you.

Will Coturnix Quails Fly Away?

While Coturnix Quail don’t have strong, permanent wings that are capable of sustained flight, they can flap their wings and fly short distances, such as hopping up to a higher perch.

So, it’s important to ensure their coop is closed at the top so they can’t fly out.

The last thing you want is for them to escape their enclosure and not be able to return to it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that quail can fly away if they’re startled, scared, or stressed.

This can happen if they’re spooked by a predator or a loud noise, especially when they’re young and inexperienced.

Therefore, it’s crucial to provide a stress-free environment for your quail.

You should also be careful when entering their enclosure and avoid making sudden, loud noises that might scare them.

coturnix quail eggs

Coturnix Quails and Egg-Laying

Since most people will raise Coturnix quail for eggs, it’s important to know what you can expect.

Let’s take a closer look.

What Color Eggs Do Coturnix Quails Lay?

Coturnix quail eggs are usually light brown with dark speckles.

The color can vary slightly depending on the individual bird, but this is the most common color.

Some people even collect Coturnix quail eggs for their unique appearance and use them for decorating purposes.

How Many Eggs Do Coturnix Quails Lay?

How many eggs can you expect from a Coturnix quail?

On average, these birds lay between 200-300 eggs per year, which is quite impressive considering their small size.

They usually start laying around 8-10 weeks old and will continue laying for about a year. However, some quail have been known to lay for up to 2 years.

Do Coturnix Quail Go Broody?

Unfortunately, Coturnix quail are not the motherly type.

If you want to have your own quail to raise on your farm, you’ll need to collect the eggs yourself and hatch them in an incubator (or have a broody chicken sit on them) because your Coturnix quail aren’t likely to do so themselves.

coturnix quail in a cage

Benefits of Raising Coturnix Quails

Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider raising Coturnix quail.

Few Regulations and Minimal Outdoor Space Needed

Unlike backyard chickens, Coturnix quail require very little outdoor space, making them a perfect option for urban and suburban dwellers.

There are also few regulations about raising them in an urban environment, which can save you a lot of hassle.

Weather Hardiness

Coturnix quail can withstand a wide range of temperatures, making them a year-round option for backyard keepers.

Whether you live in a cold or hot climate, you won’t need to worry about providing special shelter for them. A simple shelter will do.

Predator Resistance with Camouflage Plumage

Coturnix quail have the advantage of being resistant to predators due to their naturally camouflaged plumage.

These little birds blend in with their environment quite well, which helps keep them safe from predators.

Prone to the Same Health Issues as Other Poultry

Unfortunately, Coturnix quail can also suffer from a variety of health issues that are common in backyard poultry.

These include lice, mites, intestinal worms, egg binding, bumblefoot, coccidiosis, and other diseases.

It’s important to be aware of these potential health problems and monitor your quail regularly to catch any issues early on.

Should Not be Kept By Themselves

Lastly, it’s important to note that Coturnix quail are social birds and should not be kept alone.

A good ratio to maintain is four or five hens per one cock, as this ensures that they have plenty of companionships and minimize any potential aggressive behavior.

If you have the space, you can even keep several groups together in an aviary.

What to Keep in Mind When Raising Coturnix Quails

Despite their many advantages, there are a few things you’ll need to be aware of when it comes to raising Coturnix quail.

Not Great As Free-Range Birds

Unlike chickens, Coturnix quail are not great as free-range birds. They do not fly high and are vulnerable to predators.

Coturnix quail aren’t great at fending for themselves.

They may escape from their coop if it’s poorly constructed, but they will not survive long if they’re outside.

They’re vulnerable to predators such as snakes, weasels, and other birds of prey.

Therefore, try to give your birds a safe and secure environment to live in.

Consider a secure predator-proof mesh fence or hutch that is high enough to deter any other birds from coming near.

Coop Should Be Cleaned Regularly

Coturnix quail cannot survive in dirty and wet conditions.

Their coop should be cleaned regularly to prevent the spread of diseases and parasites. They need a dry and well-ventilated space to live in.

Their bedding should also be changed every week to avoid ammonia buildup.

Make sure the coop is big enough to accommodate them comfortably.

The recommended size for a flock of ten quails is a minimum of two feet by three feet. Don’t go any smaller than this!

coturnix quails with water

Good Food and Water Are Essential

Coturnix quails are not picky eaters.

They love to eat various food, including seeds, insects, and greens.

You can feed them with commercial quail feed and supplement their diet with kitchen scraps, boiled eggs, and mealworms.

Similarly, your birds need access to fresh and clean water at all times.

Always refill it as soon as it runs out.

Breeding Can Be Difficult

Remember, Coturnix quail aren’t known for going broody, so you’ll need to take a few extra steps if you want to rear Coturnix young on your farm.

Coturnix quails reach sexual maturity at around six weeks old.

You can use various incubation methods to hatch their eggs. The recommended temperature range is between 99-101 degrees Fahrenheit.

The incubation period for Coturnix quail eggs is around 17-18 days.

Marketing and Sales Are Sometimes Tricky

Coturnix quail meat and eggs are becoming increasingly popular in the food world.

You can market your products to local restaurants, grocery stores, and online sellers.

If you’re interested in selling your Coturnix meat or eggs to others, you may want to consider working with a professional to help process the meat or package the eggs for sale.

Cotrunix Quail Lifespan

Coturnix quail typically live for about three to six years, although several factors can affect their lifespan.

One of the most important factors that affect their lifespan is their diet.

Coturnix quail need a balanced diet that includes protein, vitamins, and minerals to keep them healthy.

You should feed them a high-quality feed that’s specifically formulated for quail, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Most meat birds are done at eight weeks of age while egg-laying hens are only productive for about two years.

Coturnix quail are one of the few quail breeds not threatened with extinction and can live a longer, healthier life if taken care of properly.

Where to Find Coturnix Quails for Sale

If you’re interested in raising Coturnix quail, you can find them for sale at local hatcheries, pet stores, and online retailers.

You can also check with your local agricultural extension office or backyard poultry groups for recommendations on where to find healthy and high-quality Coturnix quail.

ALSO READ: Where to Buy Quail and What To Look For: A Guide for Beginners

Coturnix Quails: Final Thoughts

Coturnix quail can be a fun and rewarding addition to your backyard farm or homestead as long as you take the time to learn about their unique care requirements.

They are an excellent option, especially if you’re new to poultry farming. Coturnix quails are hardy and require minimal maintenance.

They can also be friendly, which makes them great as pets too!

Follow these tips, and you’ll have healthy, well-cared-for quail!

READ NEXT: Best Books on Raising Quails (For Beginners and Businesses)

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