To these little birds we apply all the above principles with the exception of free ranging them outside their cages. To do this would attract every predator from hawks and cats to snakes and rats and everything in between!
Italian laying quail
The most popular by far is the Jumbo quail!
Bred for: Meat & eggs
Egg production: Around 250 per year
Temperament: Becomes very tame & easy to handle
Recommendation: An incubator is needed to successfully breed these birds.
Applications: They are very sought after for large scale meat & egg production and in private homes to augment the family income!
Quail are a delicacy in South Africa
They are found in menus in upmarket restaurants, hotels, game farms, delicatessens, catering companies and of course home industry outlets. The eggs are even more nutritious than fowl eggs and are reputed to have NO cholesterol, making them the ideal health & diet food.
They are used in salads, pickled, scrambled, fried for that special breakfast, or even boiled with a soft centre and served in their shells as a starter to get your guests chatting as they peel & dip them into herb salt or an exotic mayonnaise!
They also provide an excellent source of feed for snake and reptile breeders and of course the pet shops. Selling their eggs can easily cover the cost of your feed bill. All the rest is then profit!
This unique quail becomes sexually mature at between 6 & 7 weeks old, but only reaches its full size around 9 weeks.
They are very punctual little birds. They start laying at 6 weeks almost to the day and they only lay for a few hours in the afternoon. If for example the eggs are incubated in the morning they will start hatching out exactly 16 days later... In the morning!!
The breeder gets a very fast return on his investment. From day of incubation to the laying of the first egg is a mere 8 weeks! Chickens, in comparison are around 30 weeks depending on the species.
Quail droppings are excellent fertilizer. Especially if added to your compost heap. An additional little bonus to breeding!
Their eggs are a bit smaller than the jumbo yet they mature even faster. They start laying at 4 weeks old!...
Now THAT is instant eggs !!
Chinese Painted Quail
Beauty in miniature!
They will generally hatch their own eggs