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Raising quail for meat and eggs

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Da Li:
A quick thought for all to consider...

I just did my first incubation of quail eggs (which was also my first incubation of any type of eggs).
Google wisdom says a 50% hatch rate is fairly standard, so I was quite disappointed with a 30% hatch rate (24 out of 75 eggs).

However! My incubation was done with the help of my Animal Science professor, who then had the class open up the unhatched eggs.
Turns out only 29 of the 75 were even fertile in the first place! Prof. suggested this is probably due to young males, and a 5 to 1 F to M ratio, which some would say is too high on the F side.

So adjusting for the infertile eggs, I had an 82.75% hatch rate. Not bad for a beginner!

So now I have another batch in the incubator and if there's still a low fertility rate despite the males being older, then I'll know I need to adjust my M/F ratio to 1 M per 3-4 F to increase their likelihood of being able to make all their appointed "rounds."

Typical management! Overload the workers and then get upset at the workers for "unacceptable" results! One man/woman/bird can only do so much in a day, haha!

Might be worth googling and learning what fertile vs infertile eggs look like and checking unhatched eggs. That way you don't end up eating your boys that are doing the best they can under the circumstances (like I almost did haha).

- Da

Just read this again, going to start putting together the pieces to get some quail this year.  I'm thinking between 12-24 should be plenty for me to start with. 

When the hens are in full swing, you'll get about an egg a day.  They tend to pile up in a hurry.  :-)

Da Li:

--- Quote from: xxdabroxx on February 08, 2017, 04:59:11 PM ---Just read this again, going to start putting together the pieces to get some quail this year.  I'm thinking between 12-24 should be plenty for me to start with.

--- End quote ---

I started with mine about 6 months ago. Word of advice, don't go cheap on feed.

I tried using a feed, supposedly formulated for quail, from a local family feed mill since it was cheaper than Purina. In the end it was more expensive.
1. Being a ground feed instead of a crumble, the birds were wasting a LOT (compared to the Purina crumbles) since it was so light and easy to throw around.
2. The local feed formulation is apparently off on calcium. My egg production dropped from 30 per day (from 35 females) to 18-21 per day from the same females. The birds also developed some egg eating habits, as they were trying to get the calcium from the egg shells. Now that I'm back on better feed, my production is back up to 28-32 per day (from 35 females) and I haven't noticed as many eggs/yolks in the poop trays below the cages.

I'd like to use a local guy, but I can't meet the one ton minimum for a custom mix. Price difference was $14/bag for local and $20 per bag for Purina (both using 50 pound bags). After figuring waste and reduced production, I figure the Purina is the better buy despite the higher price tag.

Just my thoughts!
Good Luck!

-- Da

PS... Between my wife and I, 30 eggs is few enough that we don't get overloaded, but also enough that we can have eggs every day.

The Morgan Hill Homesteading Project:
What is a fair price to pay for someone who has quail for sale? what ratio's should I buy for females to male?


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