Sometimes I wonder if people think I am crazy keeping poultry.. sometimes I wish I could keep them in my flat in Aberdeen all the time. Tiny little chicks running about are just so cute.
I have now been keeping quail for 2 years.. the grand plan was to sell the eggs but we have really just been giving them away to friends and families. We are just novices really but here are 10 things I learnt along the way...
Here are my 10 tips for keeping quail:
1. Make the coop as secure as you can.. once they are out you will struggle to get them back and we have lost more to escapees than death. Quail will just fly away if they are released.
2. Feed them normal chick crumb if you want but mix in some other small seeds like sunflower or broken corn.
3. They LOVE mealworms.. (If you live in the UK buy dried ones from pound stores!) But they will eat anything that you would.. even meat if you want and it is already in with your scraps (and don't plan on selling the eggs!!)
4. They don't need to be kept on grass.. A large rabbit coop with plenty of light will be okay for a short time fix.. Just make sure they have access to plenty fresh veggies.
5. Only keep 1 male per 5 or 6 females, and when chicks keep a red light on them
to prevent cannibalism ( once they see blood unless removed very quickly the poor thing won't stand a chance!)
6. They are really hardy and will survive even a Scottish winter but don't forget to bulk them up with plenty food and fresh water for the energy.
7. Quail eat ALOT ... be prepared to refill the food and water every two days.
8. Learn how to pickle the eggs.. After 2 or 3 fried quail eggs you will be fed up with the shells! When hard boiling quail eggs use 2 week old eggs so the membrane under the shell is tougher and can be peeled easier.
9. You can sell quail eggs to anyone in the UK because they so small (chicken eggs can't be sold without a makers stamp for H&S reasons).. Just make sure you read up in case your area is different (insert article here!!).
10. When handling, hold the bird over the back and pin the wings with thumb and pinky. Then use your other hand to calm them.
Love Maz xx