Breeding and maintenance of quail at home is not difficult. Even an aspiring poultry farmer can handle these miniature birds. This is a fairly profitable business or hobby, while the breeder receives not only tasty and healthy eggs, but also excellent dietary meat. How to care, maintain and breed quail will be discussed in the article.
Quails give birth to different goals: for the sake of eggs, meat. Sometimes they are simply bred as decorative birds, because they are very beautiful.
It is believed that quail eggs are several times more useful, chicken and at the same time, they do not have cholesterol. Quail quails do not get sick with salmonellosis, and therefore their eggs can be eaten raw without fear of catching the disease. When compared to chicken, then in quail eggs more:
- 5 times potassium;
- 4.5 times the iron;
- vitamins B1, B2, A;
- 5% protein.
The meat of these birds is dietary. It contains many vitamins, amino acids and important trace elements. Like the eggs of these birds, the meat does not spoil for a very long time and does not lose its beneficial properties.
All breeds of quail are divided into three areas: egg, meat and meat-egg.
- Egg breeds. Among them, the most common are Japanese quail and English black. Have a 90% egg production. The weight of birds is 130-150 g (Japanese) and 150-205 g (English black). About 300 eggs are given annually.
- Meat breeds (Pharaoh, Texas White) have no more than 85% of egg production with a weight of 320-360 - female, 280 - male (Pharaoh) and up to 500 grams of bird (Texas white). A year can give no more than 250 eggs.
- Meat-egg (Manchurian, English white, Phoenix) have about 85% egg production and weight in the range of 300 g (Manchurian and English white) and 250 g (Phoenix). Breed quail can please breeders with 280 eggs per year.
Photos of common breeds of quail
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Breeding and maintenance of quail at home is very profitable. Quails can carry eggs without a male. It is required only if breeding is necessary. The productivity of these birds is very high. A quail weighing 120 grams per year can produce up to 300 eggs. The size of eggs may vary depending on the breed. The largest eggs gives Texan white - 14-16 grams, and the smallest - Japanese, only 9-11 grams.
In addition to the egg benefits, the poultry farmer can also get excellent, dietary meat. True meat will not be much, although it depends on the breed of quail.
Conclusion quail in the home incubator
To fatten plump quail, they create special conditions. If this is neglected, there will be very little meat. First you need to separate the males from the females and plant them in different cells. The cells should have a temperature of up to 24 degrees and little light. In such conditions, they become peaceful, calm and begin to actively eat. They are fed grain and greens. In the grain is better to add 5% feed fat. Food give 3-4 times a day. Of course, abundance should be water.
Males are slaughtered at 3 months of life, and females after 1 year of life, so that they bring more eggs to breeders before that.
Quail keeping and feeding conditions
Quails are kept in aviaries. An aviary 30x30 cm and a height of 20-25 cm is made for 1 male and 4 females. If the room is too large, productivity will decrease significantly. Quails can fly, but at the same time they can beat their heads hard against the ceiling and cripple themselves. To avoid this, the ceiling is upholstered with something soft. But, if the roof of the aviary is above one and a half meters, it is not necessary to do this, because even if the quails soar, they will not reach the ceiling.
No roosts or nests are needed, such as chickens. They lay eggs right on the floor. And to keep the eggs clean, hay or straw spreads on the floor. Such a litter, among other things, will help keep the eggs whole.
Quail content in cages
Now about the indicators in the content. In the case of breeding quails or just their content, it is important to carefully consider the temperature, humidity, ventilation and lighting, since their livelihoods depend on it.
- Light day - 17-20 hours, but you should make sure that the light source was dim. If the daylight day is reduced to more than 17 hours, the birds will cease to rush, and if you increase by more than 20 hours, they will start to fight.
- There must be good ventilation (not drafted) in the aviary so that the smell does not stagnate. When drafts in quails will fall feathers.
- The room should be dry and warm (temperature 20-22 degrees). In some cases, it drops to 16 or rises to 25 degrees. But it is categorically impossible to lower or raise it more strongly, it will affect both the productivity and the health of the birds.
- Humidity should be in the range of 60-70%. To achieve this, you can spray water from a spray bottle (in summer) or pour water on the floor (in winter). And so that the birds are clean, it is worthwhile to install swimming pools on the sides of the cage, in which they can clean the feathers from insects and adhering dirt.
Cages are cleaned once a day to the breeding and maintenance of quail at home is not a problem. Yet they can litter. The bedding, water, baths change completely. Once a week, a full-scale cleaning of all cells. Not only the floor is cleaned, but also the walls, the gratings - in general, everything.
Drinking bowls and feeders are best done removable, this will simplify feeding, and also allow them to be washed. It is better to place them outside the aviary. Having hung out the head, the birds drink (eat) when they need it. But not all cells allow this. So you can place them inside, just have to clean more often.
Simple drinking bowl for quail quails
They feed quail 2-3 times a day. On one individual stands out 25-30 grams of food. If the main purpose of breeding is eggs, they cannot be overfed, otherwise egg production will decrease. And about broiler feeding was mentioned above.
In the diet should be: feed (chicken), grain (millet, oats, barley), greens (wheat germ, clover, lettuce, onions), vegetable peeling (carrots, potatoes, cabbage), cottage cheese, fish meal, chalk, eggshell , seashells, fish oil. You can also add snails, slugs, insects.
You can not quail: parsley, celery, greens of tomatoes and potatoes, buckwheat, rye, solanaceous and buttercup plants.
Separately, it should be said about water. Quails are better to give boiled, warm water. Of course, it is necessary to change it often. If drinking in a cage, then 2 times a day - at least. If outside - once a day.
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Males can breed by the 40th day old. And females to reproductive age have to wait 9 weeks from the date of birth. Eggs do not incubate females. To get the young, will have to acquire an incubator. After 17 days, the chicks hatch.
They weigh only 6-8 grams, but are already active, and can easily be crippled, so you need to be extremely vigilant. If you do not follow them, they will choke in a corner or choke, falling into a drinking bowl. Before they get stronger it is better to keep them in a brooder - most often this is a wooden room, covered with a net.
They eat the quail themselves, but the diet is different from that of adults.
- The first 3 days they are given 5 times a day crushed egg.
- From 3 days you can add cottage cheese and feed for chickens.
- From 7th day they begin to turn on finely chopped greens.
- From 21 days fed as adult quail.
Drinking bowls are better to use vacuum so that the chicks do not drown. With proper nutrition, the weight of chicks in the first 2 months will increase by 20 times.
Nestlings require slightly different housing conditions. They need the first 14 days of coverage 24 hours a day. And after 2 weeks it is reduced to 17 hours. The temperature of the room should be high - 35-37 degrees. After a week of life, it is reduced to 34, after 2 weeks to 30, and after 4 weeks to 22 degrees. The room should be dry.
Quail can hurt. Therefore, the breeding and maintenance of quails at home should include their routine inspection by a veterinarian if eggs and meat go on sale. If not, then the doctor is only required in individual cases. For example, when an individual becomes lethargic, does not eat, walks away from the rest, it must be isolated and turned to a veterinarian.
Litter may indicate signs of illness. In healthy quail, it is dark, dense, with white divorces. If the stool is liquid or of an unusual color, it is again necessary to isolate the bird and call the vet.