Have you considered adding quail to the homestead but are unsure of the pros and cons?
What are quail?
Quail are a type of game bird that belongs to the partridge and pheasant species. There are multiple varieties of quail, they are good dual-purpose birds but not every variety is the same. I highly recommend doing research on the exact breed of quail you intend on adding to your homestead.
Pros of adding quail to the homestead:
- Quail are small – require less food, room, and housing.
- Quail produce eggs and their eggs do not carry salmonella.
- Multiple uses for business hustles – sell eggs, hatching eggs, chicks, and game birds to hunters and dog trainers.
- Quail are very quiet, low maintenance, and require little space…I know I said it twice but I think that’s a major win on the homestead front.
- Quail have a quick turnaround time (8-10 Weeks for Coturnix and 6-8 months for Bob White)
- Quail do not roost, they are ground birds.
- Quail roos do not crow they have a musical chirp. (Great for homesteaders with close neighbors)
Cons of adding quail to the homestead:
- Sacrificing size for quantity.
- Quail are messy eaters
- Quail eggs are very fragile and have an average hatch rate of fifty percent.
- Quail are very small and fast
- Quail have a short lifespan (average of 1-3 years)
- Quail do not hatch their own eggs and they are not careful with them at all.
- Some Quail are only seasonal layers.
Here is a quick list of my recommendations for adding quail to the homestead.
- Hatching Time Quail Cage – I love this cage because it has an automatic waterer on top of the cage, the feed goes on the outside of the cage with a hole in the door so they can eat and not waste food, plus the eggs roll outside of the coop to prevent them from getting damaged. I call this a huge win for quail owners.
- Incubator – this is the incubator I had when we first started and it actually worked out great! I will do a post on how we did our incubation period and what I found helpful and not.
- Hygrometer – these are tiny but mighty I put one of these in our incubator and it worked wonders. it was just small enough to not be in the way. I know it’s a 12-pack but honestly, I can’t have too many with hatching, and other homesteading needs.
- Quail Starter Feed – This starter feed is a good option and had the convenience since it’s shipped directly to you otherwise check out your local farm store or grain mill.
Another great resource I have used is The 104 Homestead – Quail Farming on a Small Homestead. Check out their blog post on adding quail to the homestead.