Have you considered raising quails but feel like you do not know enough about these poultry birds? There is a lot of information to be learned regarding their feeding habits, size, and housing needs.
What Are Quails Like? Quails are small-sized birds with an appearance mostly consisting of brown and gray colors. Quails can fly, and the main components of their diet are seeds, insects, nuts, and seeds.
Basic Introduction On Quails
There are certain aspects to quails that are proper to them although as we will see there are many different breeds. In this basic introduction section, we will see common traits of size, appearance, and diet.
Quails vary in appearance based on their breed, and since there are a lot of quail breeds, these birds can take many forms. However, there are some physical features that are common in most breeds.Learn how to raise your own quail and have an unlimited supply of eggs and meat.
First of all, the most common colors found on quails are brown and gray. These two colors are usually combined in various patterns that differ between birds.
Quails are among the smallest poultry birds, and while their size varies depending on breed, they usually don’t grow past (200 grams) in weight. Although some commercial breeds like the Jumbo Coturnix breed can reach 400 grams.
They don’t grow very tall either, as some of the largest quails do not exceed a height of 11 or 12 inches.
The usual quail diet consists of nuts, grains, leaves, seeds, and insects, but you can simply purchase commercially manufactured quail feed for them.
Once they are hatched, quails should be placed on a starter diet, which should contain protein levels between 23 and 30%. They can be switched to a finisher or developer diet when they are approaching 8 weeks of age.
Quails also need a lot of water, so they should have round-the-clock access to water.
What Do Quails Taste Like?
The taste of quail meat is very similar to that of chicken, even though quail meat has considerably more flavor and is more tender. For reason, quail meat is often considered a delicacy by many.
Although quail is a game bird its taste is similar to that of poultry birds. Quails taste like chicken, however, quails have a richer taste, because they have a richer diet.
From when they are hatched, quails are fed a high protein diet, and over time, they become imbued with a lot of minerals. Effectively, quail meat is endowed with plenty of nutrients and has a higher nutritional value than chicken meat.
Some notable nutrients in quail meat are vitamins, calcium, and zinc. Quail meat is also delicate, and when eaten, it has a tender texture.
Quail bones are usually eaten with the meat since they are soft enough to be chewed and won’t be worth the stress of being removed. Some internal quail organs such as the heart, liver, and gizzard are also edible and very tasty.
What Are Quail Eggs Like?
Among all quail breeds for laying, the Coturnix stands out as the most prolific. Not only does the Coturnix quail lay more eggs than any other breed, but it also gets mature a lot quicker, sometimes starting to lay eggs at just 6 weeks of age.
Here are some common features of quail eggs that you should look out for.
Quails are some of the smallest poultry birds, and their eggs are no exception. At an average of 0.32 ounces (9 grams), quail eggs weigh very little. That is about one-fifth and one-seventh the weight of chicken and duck eggs respectively.
In terms of actual size, quail eggs have a length of 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) and a width of 1.1 inches (27 cm). These size dimensions are about one-third of a chicken’s eggs and about one-fifth that of a duck.
The Coturnix quail stands supreme when it comes to the number of eggs that are laid in a year. While most other quail breeds do not exceed 200 eggs per year, a Coturnix quail can easily lay 300 eggs.
The quality of eggs laid by a quail can be improved by giving them nutrients such as calcium, as it helps produce solid eggs. Quail hens that are laying actively also need a lot of water.
The number of eggs laid can be affected by the quail’s environment, age and the amount of light.
Most quail eggs have a creamy white color that is marked with random brown spots. Some quail breeds also lay green and blue eggs that might be marked.
Quail eggs are full of useful nutrients. Quail eggs are similar in taste to chicken eggs but they have a richer flavor. Quail eggs contain high levels of vitamins, calcium, and iron.
What Do Quails Look Like?
As mentioned earlier in this write-up, quails usually come in a combination of brown and gray colors, and sometimes with white markings. The specifics of what a quail looks like depends on its exact breed.
Here are a few notable quail breeds and what they look like.
The Coturnix quail is the most popular quail breed and it is quite easy to spot. Coturnix quails have a generally dark brown appearance, that is darker at the top and lighter on their underside.
Coturnix quails have yellow and black stripes running down their head and sometimes, a male Coturnix might have a white collar.
The appearance of the bobwhite quail sports a combination of reddish-brown, black and brownish-yellow. The heads of male Bobwhite quails usually have a black and white pattern.
On the other hand, the females do not have black markings on their necks, but instead, have a brownish-yellow throat.
Among all quail breeds, the California quail has one of the most distinct looks and is sometimes bred as an ornamental bird.
The male California quail is a mixture of gray and brown, with a black-and-white face. The females have no facial markings and their brown color is plainer.
Both males and females have chestnut, white, and cream scales on their chests, and a group of feathers drooping forward from the top of their heads.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Do Quails Sound Like? Are Quails Loud?
Quails are not the noisiest birds ever, but they can get quite loud depending on the situation. Male quails make crowing sounds, and sometimes, they can sound like a whistle. Female quails tend to be quieter than males.
Quails get noisy when there is danger nearby or during their breeding season. Coturnix quails are preferred by some farmers because they aren’t as noisy as other breeds.
Are Quails Stinky?
Quails do not smell much when they are little chicks. For the first 2 or 3 weeks, you might not bother about whether they stink.
Once quails get older, they can become smelly. Also, their feces will not dry as quickly once they get bigger and this can contribute to the smell.
Can You Raise Quail In The Backyard In An Urban Area?
Yes, you can raise quail in an urban area, but this depends on your location. Most towns have no restrictions against raising quails since they can be managed with relative ease.
Even if they get noisy, quails are not very large, so there’s a limit to the amount of disturbance that they can cause.
What Kind of Coop should I keep the Quails in?
It is important to know details regarding the type of enclosure where you intend to grow your quails. The size of the enclosure should be about 1 square foot for quail, giving them ample room to move about.
The walls of the enclosure should be made from wire mesh with a diameter of about 0.25 inches (7 mm). At this diameter, quails won’t be able to escape and will be kept safe from predators.
Since quails can fly, the top of their enclosure should be covered up with a roof. The height of the roof should either be short (about 12 inches) or tall (about 6 ft) to prevent quails from slamming into the roof with damaging force when startled.
The roof material should also be flexible so that quails won’t be hurt if they fly into the roof forcefully. Other additional accessories like a nesting box and a sand bath are also needed in a quail’s enclosure.