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Raising Quail for Meat and Eggs

raising quail for meat and eggs

If you are limited on space or just over your chickens, but you love the thought of raising your meat and eggs, you might want to consider raising quail.

Due to their small size is ideal for those who want something relatively easy to care for.

Raising Quail for Meat and Eggs

Quail Meat

Quail meat is considered to be quite a delicacy. It is tender, juicy, and a tad more flavorful than chicken.

Purchasing quail meat from a grocery store will not only set you back a couple of big bucks, but it is also hard to find. If you want to try quail before you buy quail, consider a date night at the fanciest restaurant you know.

Raising quail for meat can be pretty lucrative, so if you want to start a new meat operation, quail will probably make you some decent dough.

Quail Eggs

Not surprisingly, quail eggs are also a lovely little delicacy. Picture pretty spotted little eggs in a basket during springtime holidays or a soft-boiled quail egg cracked over your asparagus.

Quail eggs taste very similar to chicken eggs. You probably can’t even tell the difference in flavors.

Since they are smaller, however, you usually need two quail eggs to make up for a chicken egg when baking or cooking.

The nutritional value between chicken and quail eggs stays about the same, depending on how they are raised. Some will tell you quail eggs are slightly more nutritious than chicken eggs.
raising quail for eggs and meat

The Coturnix Quail – A Dual-Purpose Quail Breed

The nifty thing about quail is that you don’t typically have to choose between two different quail breeds to have both meat and eggs.

So if you are used to having broiler chickens and laying hens to satisfy your protein needs, you will be delighted to know that one of the most popular quail breeds is considered dual-purpose.

The Coturnix quail is your best bet if you want a bird to supply you with both meat and eggs, so throughout this article, that’s the quail we are talking about.

The Coturnix is widely known for its “heft” in that it produces a nice bit of quail meat for the supper table.

This quail comes in standard sizes and jumbo…so depending on the amount of space you have, you may opt for the big version, which weighs in at about 13 ounces of meat when all is said and done.

As a quail that can keep up with the most productive chicken layers, the Coturnix can lay up to 300 itty bitty eggs per year if healthy and happy.

So, as you can see, the Coturnix quail is the whole package if you are looking for both meat and eggs from your birds.

Raising Quail for Meat

Let’s say you are raising your quail for some extra meat for your family, and you aren’t planning on making any large-scale processing or meat sales.

You can easily care for your meat and egg birds in the same manner.

However, if you want to get the biggest bang for your buck and want a big juicy quail supper, you should consider implementing the following things for your meat-specific quail.

Raise in the Dark

It may sound a bit rude to raise quail in darkly lit areas. However, those who have come before know that limiting meat birds’ movements makes them grow fast and gain weight quickly.

If your quail wake up to the sunlight, they naturally become active and flighty if they have a lot of space to bomb around in.

This can cause them to lose their muscle mass, and in turn, their meat can become burdensome. So, for example, free-ranging quail would not be a wise option if you want them to gain mass quicker.

Since it sounds pretty unfair to keep your quail in darkness, perhaps consider investing in an instant pot or crockpot for your quail.

raising quail for eggs and meat

Grower Feed

There are quite a few different kinds of feed for game birds, and the type of feed you choose depends on how you plan to utilize your quail.

If you are keeping all your birds in one pen, and all are being kept for both meat and eggs, you can feed everyone the same thing: a maintenance blend.

However, if you want fast-growing quail for meat, you will need a finishing feed that is high in protein and formulated for meat game birds.

This feed is also used for raising quail for hunting purposes. We have a complete guide to feeding your quail if you want something more specific.

Your Meat Birds May Lay Eggs

If you keep your meat quail in the dark, they probably won’t lay as many eggs as those exposed to the sunlight every day.

However, you can still expect to gather eggs from your meat birds on a reasonably regular basis.

Raising Quail for Eggs

You might have guessed that there are only a few differences in how you would raise quail for eggs vs. meat. So, let’s go over some of the important tidbits of info on your layers.

What to Feed Quail for Eggs?

Layers Need Calcium

Quail are tiny birds, and they lay a lot of eggs. To keep up with their egg factories, they need lots of calcium in their diet.

Game bird layer feeds are explicitly formulated for quail being raised for their eggs.

Layers Lay Everywhere

Unlike chickens, quail lay their eggs anywhere and everywhere. No need to worry about a nesting box for these little bitties.

If you raise your quail in a ground pen, they will plop their eggs all over the cell.

If you plan to collect eggs, you may want to look into a cage that has an egg-collection tray in it or create one yourself like the one shown here.

Remember, eggs left unharvested can get dirty or squished, so be sure to collect regularly.

Should I Separate My Quail?

While you can raise quail for meat and eggs and keep all birds together, there are some obvious reasons to keep them apart if you grow them for production and yield.

Feed formulated for one user will not benefit a bird intended for a different purpose.

This goes for the same for other birds. Even if you are raising both chickens and quail for the same reason, it is recommended to separate them as well. The bottom line is, before you buy your chicks, consider whether you want eggs, meat, or both.

Regardless of which protein is essential to you, you can easily make any situation work by either separating them or keeping them together.

Just remember that if you keep them in the same pen, you will optimize neither yield, but both will probably be sufficient for your family.

READ NEXT: Raising Quail For Hunting And Sport

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Raising Quail for Meat and Eggs

11 thoughts on “Raising Quail for Meat and Eggs

  1. I started with 13quail I have 40 birds now . I have only lost 1 bird in a year haven’t had any problem with the other l treat my pen about four times a year with chlorine bleach my birds are doing good I put dewormer in the water at least every other month i have them on the ground pen.

    1. How do you remove the poo from the ground pen? I’m new to this so I’m trying to think of everything!

  2. Coturnix mature quickly and grow fast. They begin laying eggs in 7 weeks, 17 weeks earlier than Bobwhite Quail. Mature hens lay up to 300 eggs a year.

  3. I have a question regarding location. I Have a huge basement That is climate controlled. Can I raise coturnix quail indoors, or will there be a problem with odor?

    1. I see you did not get a comment on this.
      In your basement you could easily incubate quail eggs and keep them through the brooder stage
      You would need good ventilation and a commitment to cleanliness If you were to keep adult birds. They poop a lot!
      I suggest you look at the Wynola Ranch Cages And plan for how you would maintain sanitation. 🙂

      1. Don’t do it ! I’m raising quail for meat in a room and the walls and ceiling are covered with dander /dust. Thankfully I have a window to open but it’s not really enough . We will only raise in the summers from now on . Lung problems can come from poultry dander

    1. Stress, stress and more stress. Sounds like something(s) is disturbing them. I run a commercial quail egg production farm in Philippines
      in SEAsia and occasiol have this same problem. I check the cctv and usually the culprits here are wild cats, rats, snakes or owls. Catch the offender and in about 7-10 egg production is back to normal. You can Best of luck you lay need to sit it out
      all night off no cctv until you catch them. You can Best of luck.

  4. Great post! I’m really interested in raising quail for meat and eggs, and I appreciate the detailed information you provided. I’m excited to start my own quail-raising venture and can’t wait to see how it goes. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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