Rearing Baby Quails

Yes you can put the quail eggs under the hen – just remember they start flying at two weeks of age when you will have to have them in an enclosure to prevent them from taking off and never return. If you have an incubator, that is good, but I would say the hen is better. They take 17 days to hatch and do require a heat lamp for the first three weeks if they do not have a Mamma. Keep them out of drafts, but with good ventilation, keep them dry and keep them warm. Feed and water available at all times. I think the only person in New Zealand that sells Quail Food on a small scale is myself. Feeding the babies require a Commercial Poultry Starter Mash or preferably a Commercial Quail Starter Mash to which you mix two boiled eggs per 500 g of feed for the first three weeks, thereafter just Quail Starter Mash until six weeks of age when they get a Commercial Quail Laying Mash. They do not require anything else, but you are welcome to give them table scraps and treats (eg. meal worms) if you like
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Slaughtered 30 quails today and I see on the net some people claim to do one quail in 3 minutes. I am far behind as 30 quails took me 5 hours – i.e. 10 minutes each. I must say though that I have done a good job slaughtering, cleaning, de boning, vacuum packing and freezing all included in my time trial.

Tradition has it that the entrails (Giblets, Hart and Liver) are eaten on the day, as we have done. See this wonderful risotto recipe we had as a primo piatto. Also tried some Otago Fried Quails (the Colonel would have envied this) with the drumsticks and wings – antipasto. The breast meat was eaten as Involtini di Quaglia – a mouth watering experience – secondo piatto. See recipe.

For those friends that were invited but could not come – you missed on a very special meal.

RISOTTO CON2013-10-09 - Involtini di Quaglia  QUAGLIE2013-10-09 - Otqago Fried Quail

Fry onion and garlic in butter and olive oil until onions are soft. Ad quail livers and harts, chilli and chopped rosemary and continue to cook until meat is done. While frying ad salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In the mean time make a traditional risotto using the Quail Stock made with the wings, back bone, rib case and breastbone. Ad the quail meats five minutes before the rice is done. When the risotto is al dente, stir in some butter off the heat and ad parmigiano when on plate. ENJOY!!


Take the deboned breast meat and make involtinis with the meat, fresh sage leaves and pancetta. Ad salt and pepper. Secure with string. Fry the involtinis in butter until done and then remove from pan. Deglaze the pan with good red wine and reduce a bit. Pour over the involtini and serve. WHAT A DELIGHT!

Quail Feed – Mature Birds

The question again is what to feed my mature quails? The answer is simple again – only Quail Laying Mash (Specially formulated for mature Quails) and nothing else. The problem is that the nutritional requirement of quails, as for any animal, are specific for that specie and that is what nutritionists study at university for years to master. Nutritionists see that all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc are there and available in the correct ratio for the animal.  As I look at my quails as highly efficient converters of food into meat and eggs, I want them to have only the best so they can make money for me whilst being healthy and happy. The same principle applies for my Quail Housing – I give them only the best!

Should you keep Quails for a hobby or as a pet, still feed them quail food (that will keep them healthy) but you can also feed them other products from time to time like table scraps, but do not expect maximum production.

See my mature Quail Hens eating Laying Mash from a trough (again made from gutter downpipe)2013-10-09 - Mature Hen eating from Trough

Quail Feeds and Feeders

I have been asked the questions many times. Do I have to wet my feed to the baby quails? – Answer – NO!  Do I have to feed them crumbles only ? – Answer NO! Do I have to feed them anything else ? Answer NO! My birds would eat pellets only – Ansew NO!  Etc Etc. Raising small quails is an easy task. Feed them a Quail Starter Mash (Specially formulated for Quails) until six weeks of time, thereafter a quail Laying Mash (Specially formulated for Quails) and NOTHING else. The only exception is that you can blend in two boiled eggs per 500 g of feed for the first two weeks. Should you want to feed them table scraps, do so only to the mature birds.

See my Baby Quail Feeder and Water Drinker I have made from a gutter downpipe and milk bottle respectively – costing almost nothing, takes five minutes to make and works wonderful2013-10-09 - Young Quail Feeder close 2013-10-09 - Young Quail Feeder 2013-10-09 - Young Quail Water Drinker.