Baby quail care and feeding

How to raise quail chicks – Spade & Feather

Animal Husbandry, how to raise quail, how to raise quail chicks, Quail, quail chicks canada, raising quail, raising quail chicks, toronto quail chicks -

Whether you hatch your own chicks out or buy some day-olds from Spade & Feather, this quick guide will help you through raising quail chicks.

The Incubator

Once hatched, quail chicks need to remain in the incubator until dry. They can happily survive without food or water in the incubator for up to 48hrs. It is best to leave your chicks for the maximum amount of time to allow for their siblings to hatch. Every time you open your incubator to remove dry chicks, you are risking all of the other unhatched chicks. The sudden drop in temperature and humidity from opening the incubator can kill unhatched chicks.

The Brooder

Quail chicks will live the first part of their lives in a brooder. A brooder is NOT the same as an incubator. A brooder is a container that offers protection from predators, drafts and rain. Using a large rubbermaid tote with a flat bottom is ideal for brooding. The tote walls prevent drafts and stop the chicks from straying. These plastic containers are also easy to clean. Broods need to be kept indoors in a barn or house in an area free of drafts.

The Brooder Floor

Quail chicks cannot be placed directly on the plastic bottom of the brooder. Quails need something to grip otherwise they will develop splayed legs which will eventually lead to death. Splayed legs is a condition where the legs of a chick harden and develop in a position similar to the splits. The chick's mobility will decrease and it will no longer be able to feeder and drink. To prevent splayed legs, we recommend placing shelf liner in the bottom of the brooder. It should be cut to size and lie flat on the floor. Paper towels can also be used on top of the shelf liner to help absorb moisture. After 5 days, pine shavings can be added to the brooder. Never use cedar shavings as the dust can cause respiratory problems in poultry. The brooder floor should be cleaned often. All soiled shavings or paper towel should be changed.

The Feed  

Quail chicks need 24 hour access to food specifically made for their nutritional needs. Do no feed them cat food, dog food, seeds or grasses. The best feed for a quail chick is a non-medicated starter crumb of 24% protein or higher. This is available at feed stores in 25kg bags or at Spade & Feather in smaller more manageable amounts here. For the first few days, chicks will struggle to eat from a feeder so it's best to sprinkle feed on a paper towel in the bottom of the brooder. The chicks will create quite a mess with the feed and tend to fling it everywhere. Remove any food that gets damp as it will develop mould and attract flies.


Quail chicks are a lot cuter than they are smart. They have a tendency to drown or soak themselves through when open water containers are used. Only Quail Waterer Bases should be used. These waterers prevent drowning and are simple to use. The base screws onto a Poultry Jar and water should be refreshed twice a day.


Chicks require 24 hour access to water. To prevent bacteria from forming in the water, we recommend 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to be mixed in to every litre of water.


Quail chicks must be kept warm 24 hours a day. In the first week, chicks need to be kept at 95°F. Every week the temperature can be reduced by 5°F (see chart below).

Week 1: 95°F (35ºC)
Week 2: 90°F (32ºC)
Week 3: 85°F (29ºC)
Week 4: 80°F (26ºC)
Week 5: 75°F (24ºC)

The easiest way to keep chicks warm is by using a heat lamp. The lamp should be positioned to focus the heat on one end of the brooder to allow the chicks to escape the warmth if they start to overheat. It is very important to use an accurate thermometer to monitor the exact temperature in the brooder. If you find your chicks are huddling together under the lamp, they are too cold and the lamp should be moved closer. If you find your chicks are avoiding the warm area of the brooder, the lamp should be moved further away.

If you follow the information above, put in the time and care, your quail will grow healthy and happy!

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How to take care of baby quail

Baby quail. | Photo by M Segrist

If you choose to add quail to your farm or homestead, raising your own baby quail is a simple, cost-effective way to sustain your stock. Once you have successfully incubated and hatched quail eggs, the next step is learning how to take care of baby quail.

Baby quail require a few weeks of special care before they can be integrated into the adult quail population. First, you need to move newly-hatched baby quail from the incubator to a brooder. 

“Some people say you can leave them up to 48 hours because the chick will absorb the yolk into their body, [so they] don’t need food or water,” said M Segrist, owner of WoodBottom Quail Farms in Bethel, Ohio. “We wait no longer than 12 hours.”

Segrist has a special brooder built into her incubator.

“You [reduce the temperature by] five degrees every week for their age,” Segrist said. “It is 99.5 [degrees Fahrenheit], [so] the brooder [should be] 95 [degrees Fahrenheit] and go down five degrees every week until they are about two weeks old.”

If you want to cut costs, Scott Huber, owner of Itty Bitty Farm in Columbia Falls, Maine, recommended a homemade brooder made from a 40-gallon plastic tote. If you go this route, he recommended attaching a heat lamp, keeping the temperature around 100 degrees Fahrenheit under the lamp and giving the quail chicks enough room to run in and out from under it. 

Quail chicks in a brooder box. | Photo courtesy of David Herrington

Huber said you also want to give the chicks water and a high-protein feed. He recommended keeping water and food containers covered with small openings for access so the quail are not tempted to use them as a toilet or tub.

Huber also said to put a screen over the top of the brooder after about a week.

“They do fly,” Huber said. “Past a week, you want to keep a screen over brooder, otherwise they come out like popcorn.”

Keep the quail in the brooder for about two weeks. Then, you can move them to the cages in the same location where the other adults are kept, whether that is outside during the summer or in a small barn. Keep the baby quail in separate cages from the full-grown quail population for a few more weeks before integrating them fully.

“If we have a male adult in there, they can be a little aggressive with the babies so we try to keep them separated until they’re about the same size,” Segrist said. “When they’re six or seven weeks old, then we’ll mingle them all.”

The entire process of incubating quail eggs and growing them to meat harvesting size is faster than most other backyard birds.

“The thing about quail is time,” Segrist said. “They’re so fast. It takes seven to eight weeks of growing to harvest time.”

Quail chicks in a brooder box. | Photo courtesy of David Herrington

Though there is some precision involved, Huber said not to be intimidated by incubating quail eggs and raising baby quail.

“It’s about the easiest thing in the world to do,” he chuckled.

Sam Schipani

Sam Schipani loves pollinators, fresh herbs, and learning how to live more sustainably in small spaces. She has previously written for Sierra, Smithsonian, Earth Island Journal, and American Farm Publications.

How to feed quails at home

Quail meat and eggs are useful dietary products. They contain a large amount of easily digestible protein, practically do not cause allergies and have a delicate taste. Quail breeding is profitable, since finished products are in consistently high demand among buyers. However, in order to increase the profitability of a poultry farm or farm, it is important to provide birds with the right nutrition throughout their life cycle. The health of the entire livestock, growth rate, slaughter weight and egg production depend on the composition and quality of the feed.


  1. Quail food varieties
  2. Feed formulations
  3. Features of feeding birds of different ages
  4. Breeders' recommendations for feeding quails
  5. Advantages of prepared feeds

Feed varieties for quails

Mixtures containing all the ingredients necessary for birds are considered complete. Such feeds are marked with the abbreviation PC and a number indicating the purpose.

PK-11/ DK-50 Chick formulas. They contain chalk, wheat, corn, a small amount of salt. For their enrichment with proteins, soybean meal is used, as well as meat and bone or fish meal. Serving volumes depend on age, but do not exceed 27 g per day per chick.
DK-52 They form the basis of the diet of adults and laying hens. The feed mixture contains 60% cereals (mainly barley, oats, corn, wheat), as well as 30% animal proteins (from fish meal) and laboratory-synthesized lysine. To increase egg production, 5% of minerals (phosphates, chalk, salts) are introduced. To increase the calorie content, bran and wheat flour are used as fillers.

Feed formulations

Cereals (oats, wheat) These products are high in B vitamins and trace elements. Oats are recommended as the basis of the diet. Before adding to the feed, it is necessary to remove the husk from it, therefore, only peeled and sifted grain is used in ready-made mixtures.
Corn It is the most important source of carbohydrates. It is useful to give it in combination with meat and bone or fish meal, since corn itself does not have enough protein, but there is a lot of starch.
Legumes Rich in proteins and amino acids, as well as valuable fatty acids. For the preparation of feed mixtures, soybeans, lentils, peas, etc. are used.
Animal products To saturate the feed with essential amino acids, meat and bone and fish meal are added to it. Both ingredients can be administered alternately or mixed. Another source of animal proteins, micro and macro elements are cottage cheese and whey.
Minerals To stimulate digestion in quails, crushed solid particles are specially added to the feed mixtures. Most often, shells, chalk, egg shells, and gravel are used for these purposes.

Features of the diet of birds of different ages

On the 1st day of life, chicks can only be given boiled, finely chopped eggs. The next day, cottage cheese is introduced in the amount of 2 g for each chick. On the 3rd day, the chicks are offered fresh greens. Especially useful for them are onions, dandelions or young nettles. Starting from the 4th day, the content of boiled eggs in the feed gradually decreases, but the amount of cottage cheese increases.

Week-old quails can already be fed boiled fish, millet and finely grated vegetables, including carrots. However, in the first weeks it is advisable to use ready-made feed mixtures that are appropriate for age. Such compositions belong to the starting ones. For laying hens, a special compound feed is produced with the marking Dk-52. To prevent beriberi, it is recommended to give vitamin supplements to chicks from 5-6 days (usually quails are soldered with chiktonik).

From the 14th to the 28th day, chicks can be transferred to ready-made complete feed containing 24-26% proteins. At this stage, quails are actively growing, so they have an increased need for protein. If it is deficient, it is recommended to further enrich the diet of chicks with products of animal origin, for example, include cottage cheese or boiled fish in it. To prevent vitamin deficiency, increase the amount of fresh herbs. From the 14th day, fine gravel or shells can be added to the feed to stimulate the digestion process.

Additionally, it is useful for quails to give cabbage leaves, lettuce, spinach, parsley, clover, beet tops, alfalfa, stems of legumes. Greens are thoroughly crushed before adding to the mixer. Monthly young animals are gradually transferred to the main feed for quails. Particular attention should be paid to the nutrition of females who are just starting to lay eggs. To strengthen their health, the amount of vitamin supplements is increased during this period. In laying hens, the need for vitamins A and E increases by 50%. If, at the initial stage of maturation, the female needs to delay egg laying, most of the grains that are responsible for the formation of eggs are removed from the diet, and the protein content is reduced to 15%.

Chicks are smoothly transferred to adult food at the age of 30-42 days. At this stage, it is enough to feed them three times a day. When developing a recipe, it is important to take into account the effect of grains and proteins on the speed of puberty and increase / decrease their amount to speed up / slow down the process. Meat breeds are given PK-6 compound feed, which stimulates a rapid set of muscle mass.

Breeders' recommendations for feeding quails

All chicks must have easy access to drinkers. It is important to renew the water daily. In the first 3 days, it must be boiled and disinfected with potassium permanganate (just add a couple of crystals). Then you can limit yourself to only boiling.

Meat quails are fattened gradually. With a sharp transition to specialized mixtures and an increase in portions, the gastrointestinal tract of the bird does not have time to adapt. High risk of indigestion. On average, the transition takes 4 days. At first, the serving volume remains the same as for adult birds, but the percentage of fat and starchy corn in the diet increases. The process of fattening quails takes about a month.

In the last week, the daily food intake is increased by 8%. If an individual receives a balanced diet, its weight by this time is at least 160 grams. To improve the taste of meat, a few days before slaughter, fish, onions, garlic are removed from the diet and chopped carrots are added. It gives the final product a richer color. It is not recommended to include products with a pronounced smell in the diet of birds at the fattening stage.

For egg-bearing breeds, it is important to select balanced mixtures with high nutritional value. To increase the productive period, quails need to consistently receive a certain amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, micro and macro elements. They require feed with a protein content of at least 20.5%. This is a prerequisite for improving egg quality and egg production. In addition, it is useful to add crushed eggshells to the mixture to replenish calcium losses in laying hens. One bird requires 25-30 g of feed daily. However, an excess of protein is undesirable, since quails begin to lay eggs with two yolks. Excess calories are also bad. Birds gain fat and stop laying eggs.

Advantages of prepared feeds

In the production of safe balanced mixtures for quails, it is important to monitor the quality of raw materials and the correct ratio of ingredients. In small and medium-sized farms, it is difficult to organize the technological process in compliance with all standards. Acquisition of a special production line, laboratory checks, arrangement of storage facilities with certain parameters of temperature and humidity require significant costs. It is much more profitable to buy ready-made mixtures from a reliable manufacturer.

The company "Southern Crown" is engaged in the development of recipes and the production of feed for quails of all ages:

  • ❖ cereals, legumes, herbs grown in the Kuban are used as raw materials;
  • ❖ our products fully comply with state standards and are stored in proper conditions;
  • ❖ you buy safe food with high nutritional value;
  • ❖ The company has an extensive dealer network and organizes deliveries throughout the country.

Do you want to know more about our products? Leave your application on the site.

Quail care at home

Quail care at home

Quail breeding is an interesting and useful activity. Quail meat and eggs contain many nutrients and a small amount of cholesterol. Products are considered dietary.

To get a quality and tasty product, you should properly care for quails. The process is simple and pays off quickly, so birds can be grown at home.

Quails are bred to obtain:

Quail species for keeping at home

Breed is of great importance. If you want to grow birds in your home, then you need to choose a species that is unpretentious in terms of food and conditions.

The following breeds are most suitable:

Pharaoh - suitable for growing for meat. The weight of females reaches 240 g, and males - 260 g. Quails lay 200-220 eggs per year.

Japanese. Birds of this breed do not need special care and produce an average of 300 eggs per year. Their weight is small (females - 150 g, males - 130 g). The Japanese species is considered the quietest, so it is perfect for breeding in an apartment.

British and marble. It should be borne in mind that the males of these breeds are very noisy. For this reason, if you want to keep quails for eggs, then buy only females.

Keeping quails

In order for quails to live comfortably, it is necessary to create suitable conditions for them. The room must be provided with a good ventilation system, but there should be no drafts. Without proper ventilation, a specific smell will appear in the room, which will be difficult to remove.

The room should be spacious and protected from noise and harsh sounds, as quails are very shy. Also, it is not recommended to take the birds in your hands - they take a long time to move away from stress and pain from the displacement of feathers.

Requirements for keeping quails:

Maintain a comfortable temperature (18-25 °C). In winter, the thermometer should not fall below 17 ° C. At temperatures below 8 ° C, birds die.

Provide lighting in cages (daylight should be 17 hours, for newborn chicks 24 hours). Bright light will cause the quails to stop laying.

Monitor the humidity level in the room (normally 60-70%).

Build comfortable cages.

Provide a complete diet.

Clean the cages and clean the room regularly.

If you plan to keep a small number of birds in your apartment, it is best to place the cages on a glazed balcony or in a pantry. If there is no space for the structure, then quails can be kept in the room itself, fencing them off with a partition.

At the same time, remember that the room should warm up well so that the birds do not freeze. An unglazed balcony or an unheated room is not suitable for growing quails.

It is undesirable and inconvenient to keep a large number of individuals in apartments, but it is possible to keep a large number of individuals on the territory of a private house or in the country.

Arrangement of cages

Quails are best placed in cages. Structures should be bright, spacious and protected from drafts and precipitation.

No more than 6 individuals can be kept per square meter, otherwise the quails stop laying. When planted closely, the birds overheat and begin to lose feathers.

Requirements for cages:

structure made of wood or galvanized steel;

a bird's head must fit between the bars of the cage;

feeders and drinkers should be installed on the outside of the structure;

the ceiling can be covered with fabric (its height must be at least 20 cm) so that the quail does not get injured during jumping;

it is desirable to make the floor of the cage at an angle (the eggs will roll into a specially constructed tray and remain clean and whole).

Once a week, quails should be given a container of sand so that the birds can bathe in it. The procedure will help remove parasites from the body and feathers, as well as eliminate unpleasant odors.

Every quarter, the cages and the poultry house must be disinfected and treated with antibacterial agents. After processing, the structure is well dried. Birds for the time of disinfection are transplanted into another aviary.

Raising quails

Only fresh eggs (no more than 1 week old) are suitable for breeding. The incubation period lasts 14-17 days. After the chicks have hatched and dried out, they are placed in a box with high walls (brooder) for 14 days and left in a warm room (the air should warm up to 36 ° C).

A newborn chick is covered with down, he can see, he can walk, eat and drink. Its weight is about 8 g. At the 3rd week of life, the chicks are divided into males and females (during this period they can be moved to adult birds). On the 8th week, males grow to the maximum, and at 35-40 days they become sexually mature.

If the chicks sit in a heap and make noise, they are cold, and if they crawl along the brooder and lie with their beaks ajar, they are hot.

Young growth can get into the cracks, so you need to keep an eye on them. If the chick gets stuck, it may die.

For the first two weeks, quails should be provided with round-the-clock lighting. After that, the duration of daylight hours begins to gradually decrease (to normal mode). From the 10th day of life, the temperature in the brooder is also reduced (up to 30 ° C).


PC 5-41. Start for quails, 0-3 weeks

How and what to feed quails?

Properly fed birds gain weight well and produce many eggs.

The diet of quails should include:

  • Feed grains: beans, peas, boiled buckwheat, corn, millet, wheat, barley, hemp seeds, etc.

  • Food of animal origin: cottage cheese, worms, maggots, fish pieces, fish oil, eggs.

  • Succulent foods: boiled potatoes, cabbage, carrots, beets, pumpkins, herbs, etc.

  • Mineral additives: quartz sand, fine gravel, pine flour, chalk, salt, eggshell (give 2 times/week).

You can add yeast, premixes and vitamin-mineral complexes to the menu. You can order high-quality supplements in the Feed&Life online store.


PC 6-41.Finish for quails, 5-6 weeks

How to feed?

Quail should be fed twice a day, sometimes once is enough. Birds should not be overfed because they will stop laying. During the laying period, quails should eat 20-30 g of feed daily, and males - 18 g.

To increase egg production, you should choose feeds with protein (at least 20%).

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