Reasons to Raise Quail Instead of Chickens

Inside: The advantages to raising quail instead of chickens, the biggest difference is their size and everything that comes along with it.

I love raising both quail and chickens and can't imagine not having both. There are very distinct advantages to raising quail instead of chickens. The biggest difference is their size and everything that comes along with it.

person holding a quail in their hands

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Reasons to Raise Quail Instead of Chickens

Naturally, what’s best for you will depend on your homestead or backyard setup, your personality, and the amount of time you have to devote to your birds.

Getting into any type of bird farming, on any scale, requires commitment, time, and money.

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Space and Size

As far as space requirements go, quail are satisfied with less space than chickens. A simple rabbit hutch can be home for up to 6 quail.

Quail are extremely hardy birds for their size. They don't need heat in the winter just some shelter from the wind and snow. They will just hunker down. Like chickens that fluff their feathers out to help stay warm.

looking at a couple coturnix quail through cage wire

Raising Quail Instead of Chickens for the Quiet

If neighbors are an issue, we may have just presented a peace-keeping solution. The chirping and cooing of quail are like a songbird, rather than a rooster crowing and waking everyone up. If you have a big enough backyard, it’s rare that anyone would object or even notice them.

For the single reason of maintaining a fine sense of quietude, quail may be the answer that allows you, and your neighbors, to sleep in.

Chickens, they are not quiet. Even without a rooster, hens can be very loud. That egg song you hear people talking about? It's a loud, long-lasting sound. It's not a quiet crow from a rooster. And the more hens you have, the more egg songs are going to be “sung”.

quail in the grass wit text overlay

Quail are Fast Maturing Birds

There is no need to worry about egg-laying comparisons. Even though quail eggs are small, they lay just about every day. You’ll always have enough, provided you have enough birds.

When you learn to raise your quail right, they will be producing eggs for you consistently, throughout the year.

Quail start laying eggs in as little as six to eight weeks. Compare that to chickens that start laying at about 18 weeks. When you think about how much feed you are feeding before you get a “return on investment” there is a big difference.

Advantages of Raising Quail - two quail in cage

Raising Quail Instead of Chickens for Meat

Not only is it wise to keep quail for their eggs, but you can also keep quail for meat as well. Raising quail can give you a fast start to producing your own food. Once they are seven weeks you can process them for meat.

Why would you want to do this? Well, self-reliance and survival are about much more than gardening and growing fruit and vegetables. A well-working, sustainable farm always includes the presence of animals.

It may not be something you are interested in, but it is something to keep in mind. You might end up hatching out more males than you'd like.

If you are not interested in eating quai meat, or even eggs, many people are interested in buying them from you, a lot of time, for their dogs. Quail eggs are extremely good for dogs.

I had a moment last summer where I thought about getting rid of our quail. I was tired, and I had spent the summer hatching and brooding quail for friends, and I was just burnt out on quail. Then one day they were bouncing around their cage like popcorn. They are sweet, funny little birds that are really easy to care for.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you substitute quail for chicken? You can replace chicken in recipes with quail, but there are a few crucial things to remember: Due to their smaller size than chickens, you will need to use more quail in a dish to get the same amount of meat.

    Is quail better than chicken? Quail meat has 4 times more vitamin C than chicken meat. Quail meat has over 3 times more iron than chicken meat and an incredibly 4% more iron than beef sirloin! Quail meat has vitamin A whereas chicken meat has none. Quail meat rates significantly higher in minerals and amino acids than chicken meat.

    Can quail be in the same coop as chickens? Quail are the one exception as they should not be housed with chickens.

    More about Raising Quail

    How To on Raising Healthy Quail

    How and What to Feed Coturnix Quail

    How to Take Care of a Baby Quail

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