Bubbles Feathered Beauties

Quality, well cared for and very loved feathered beauties raised right



Coturnix Quail


Coturnix quail is one of the most common quail.  They can make a great alternative to chickens, especially if your available space is limited.   One thing that is different than chickens however is that Coturnix quail can and will fly away if they escape their enclosure.   Brooder styles are a bit different as well as when Coturnix quail are hatched they can escape extremely small spaces so it is advised to use screen around their brooders to prevent escaping between the bars.  Another housing difference is they can fly up and break their necks so either a low height housing for brooder or housing is advised or at least 6 feet tall or a soft netting that they can bounce off of but again you must remember the small square size for that as well to prevent escaping.   A few things to consider before owning quail is that they poop a lot, which is a very rich in nitrogen so if you love gardening it would be a great compost for your flowerbeds and garden area.   More to remember is that they will spook easily and can not tolerate cold well so that will have to be taken into consideration when you are creating their housing.  Because they are tiny, they can get injured quite easily and are very easy prey for predators if their housing isn't secure enough. 

Coturnix quail eggs are an extremely healthy alternative to chicken eggs.  They can lay up to 250 eggs in a year.  They are relatively a disease resistant bird and they mature quite faster than a chicken.   A Coturnix quail can be ready to harvest at 8 weeks and a female will usually start to lay around 6 weeks of age.   They also have a shorter incubation time frame of only 17 days.  As you can see by the photo they are a very small egg and will require more of them to equal the size of a small egg. 


Coturnix quail eggs are very high in nutrition and have a lot of health benefits such as they are a natural combatant against digestive tract disorders such as stomach ulcers.   Quail eggs are also good for strengthening the immune system.   They can help to promote memory health as well as increase brain activity which can also help to stabilize the nervous system.  


There are however some precautions to take as most quail eggs are unpasteurized.   For this reason, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems should only eat them if they have been fully cooked as well as consulting with your physician before eating any.   Some people may also be allergic to quail eggs even if they are not allergic to chicken eggs. 


A single quail egg provides a significant chunk of your daily vitamin B12, selenium, riboflavin, and choline needs, along with some iron, all in a serving that contains only 14 calories.  Selenium and riboflavin are important nutrients that help your body break down the food you eat and transform it into energy.  Selenium also helps ensure healthy thyroid function.  Vitamin B12 and iron promote healthy nervous system function and help maintain optimal energy levels through their roles in red blood cell formation.   Choline is vital to helping your body make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that sends messages from your nervous system to your muscles    


Quail eggs contain antioxidants that may help treat symptoms of allergic rhinitis and eosinophilic esophagitis.   They’re also being studied as a potential treatment for salmonella food poisoning but a lot more research is needed on this subject. 

One Quail egg (9 grams) contains :



  •  Calories: 14
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Choline: 4% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Riboflavin: 6% of the DV
  • Folate: 2% of the DV
  • Pantothenic acid: 3% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 2% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 6% of the DV
  • Iron: 2% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 2% of the DV
  • Selenium: 5% of the DV

Quail eggs are tiny so with that in mind, it would take roughly 3 to 4 quail eggs to equal 1 serving size chicken egg.

Nutritional Comparison to Chicken eggs :  

Click to edit table header
QUAIL EGG 
CHICKEN EGG 
Calories
158 
148 
 Fat
 11 grams
10 grams 
 Protein
13 grams 
12 grams 
 Choline
48 % of the DV 
 61 % of the DV
 Riboflavin
61 % of the DV 
32 % of the DV 
 Vitamin B12
 66 % of the DV
43 % of the DV 
 Iron
20 % of the DV 
 9 % of the DV

Housing and Space Requirements for Quail ;

If you are planning on owning Coturnix quail you will need to consider housing requirements for them.  They can not live in the usual housing built for other fowl and poultry species.   Due to them being so small, they can escape easily if your housing is not prepared for birds this small.  With that in mind you can also see how they can be very easy victims to predators like cats, raccoons, oppossum, snakes, etc .   These are all big factors you will need to consider when building their home.  They also do NOT tolerate cold well so that is another huge consideration when building their new home.   With Coturnix quail laying up to 250 eggs a year and incubation time frame only being 17 days, your flock can become quite huge in a very short period of time.   So when building their new home, take into consideration how many quail you would like to have.

When building your quail run keep in mind that ventilation will also be a big factor as Coturnix can be quite messy and will produce a lot of droppings.  You can make pens directly on the ground so they are easy to rake up or you can use a small holed mesh for the bottom but you will also want a spot of solid flooring as mesh or wire flooring can be quite detrimental to their feet like any other bird.  They will require an area big enough so that they can get off of the mesh or wire.   For the sides you can use chicken wire,  small squared mesh, or hardware cloth.  The smaller holed material will help to keep predators at bay.  They will need an area that they can easily get out of the elements so part of their housing will have to have a solid roof.   For the open part of their roof you can use a small hole netting that will have some give to it vs a solid roof if they fly up and hit it.  Quail can be rather prone to spooking and flying straight up which in turn can cause them to break their necks if they fly up fast and hard enough.   So you want to either make their pen at least 6 feet tall or shorter than 10 inches tall. 

Remember, bigger is almost always better for a calmer, happier, healthier animal so if you have the space, don't hesitate to make you quail run a bit larger than the standard requirements.




For egg laying Coturnix quail the standard required size is 1 square foot per quail.....  for example, if you have a 2 foot by 4 foot pen, this will house up to 8 quail.


If you are raising Coturnix quail for meat production and your feeders and waterers are inside the cage the standard required size would be 4 quail per square foot.....  for example, if you have a 2 foot by 4 foot pen, this will house up to 32 quail.


If you are raising Coturnix quail for meat production and your feeders and waterers are outside the cage the standard required size would be 5 quail per square foot.....  for example, if you have a 2 foot by 4 foot pen, this will house up to 40 quail.

Feeding Coturnix Quail ;

Coturnix quail require a high protein diet.  For young quail, a good gamebird STARTER feed or turkey STARTER feed of at least 25% protein is required.    If neither of these feeds can be found a good quality chick starter feed can be used but it will slow their growth rate.


When they reach the age of 6 weeks, they will require a good quality gamebird layer feed or turkey layer feed.   Crumbles would be the preferred method vs pellet as they are small birds and may not get the required amount of feed if the feed is too large for them to eat.   A crumble will also help to reduce food wastage.   Food should be given to them fresh daily and never feed moldy or bug infested feed.


An adult quail will eat approximately 16 grams of feed a day per bird.   For example ....   10 quail will eat approximately 2 and a half pounds of feed a week.  Remember this is just a rough estimate, cooler weather will make them eat more, warmer days will make them drink more as well as many other variables will change their eating habits.   Always keep feed and fresh water in their dishes at all times.


When choosing feed dishes keep in mind the number of quail you are wanting and calculate at least 1/2 inch of space but more preferably 1 inch of space per bird to ensure they have plenty of room so all of them can get into the dish and eat.  So for example, if you have 10 quail you are going to want a dish at least 10 inches of edge space for them to all fit around it to eat.   Also keep in mind the height of the dish.  For quail you are not going to want dishes any more than a couple inches high for them to be able to reach it properly to eat and drink.   Younger quail will require even shorter dishes.  Young quail are prone to drowning but they do make special dishes specially designed for young quail.  The same will go for their water dishes.  Water dishes should be cleaned out and cool fresh water given to them daily.