How to Raise Nesting Quails

Raising quail may require a license.
Raising quail may require a license. (Image: Nancy Nehring/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Quail are mid-sized birds that belong to the pheasant family. They need a good habitat for nesting. All types of quail create nests on the ground surrounded by shrubbery to help protect them from predators. When raising quail, they will need nesting boxes in which to lay their eggs. Some people choose to raise quail for its meat or eggs, but many decide to raise quail for fun. If you decide to raise quail, they will require plenty of space, time and energy.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 by 6 by 6 foot nesting box
  • Shallow bowl with pebbles
  • Plastic tub (for babies)
  • Hay
  • Starter quail feed/millet spray
  • Parrot mix
  • Sliced fruits and vegetables
  • Insects

Obtain a license to raise quail. The bird is considered a gaming bird and is wild, requiring a license. Not all states need this, depending on what type of quail you are raising and your purpose for raising them. For example, if you plan to raise bobwhite quail in Pennsylvania, you will need a permit whether you plan to sell. Check with your local gaming department to determine if you need a license.

Prepare enough space for the quail. You need at least 2 square feet for each adult quail. Baby quail of at least three weeks should be separate from the adults, requiring additional space. You can use a plastic tub for the baby quail, but place indoor/outdoor carpet on the bottom of the tub to eliminate the babies from splaying. Baby quail tend to have weak legs and slip on smooth surfaces that can inevitably harm their legs.

Purchase your quail. Plan to have two to three males to one female when raising them.

Keep the quail area clean at all times. Make sure to keep fresh water available throughout the day in a shallow bowl with pebbles on the bottom. This prevents the babies from drowning. Remove the feces from the area daily.

Feed quail a healthy diet. Feed adult quail millet spray, parrot mix, insects, worms, and sliced fruits and vegetables. Feed baby quail a high protein diet with starter quail feed. These can be found in pet stores or feed stores. Leave food available at all times and keep it clean from feces.

Separate the mother from the others when she is preparing to lay her eggs. Make sure there is a large enough nesting area for her. Create a nesting box of about 6 by 6 by 6 foot or place plenty of hay for the mother to make her own nest. Most mother quail will incubate their eggs with the exception of turnix quails, where the male does the incubation. This lasts up to 14 days. The cock quail will help feed the baby quail once they are hatched until they search for the food themselves.

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