Quail content - diet eggs and meat with minimal care
Quail is a poultry that can be kept year-round, and only in the warm season. That is, quail, if desired, can be started in the summer at the cottage. These birds are characterized by high egg production and provide valuable products rich in nutrients - not only eggs, but also dietary meat. One of the important advantages of quail is that they need very little place to live. Those who keep quail for more than one year, advise beginners to use brooders no more than 15-23 cm high. What else will be needed to breed quail, I will tell in my article.
If you want to get healthy eggs only during the summer season, then it is better to pay attention to the breeds that give large eggs and are carried daily. This is considered a breed of quail "Pharaoh". Each year, each female carries 220 eggs weighing 12-18 g. The carcasses themselves are also large for quail. The live weight of the male is 160-270 g, and the female is 190-310 g.
This breed will provide you with not only fairly large eggs, but also healthy meat. In addition, these quail are resistant to many diseases. Beginning poultry farmers should pay attention to the Pharaohs.
If you decide to keep the quail year-round, then pay attention to the Japanese breed. The fertility of each female is more than 300 eggs per year. The testicles are not as large as those of the Pharaohs, but they will have a dietary product every day for 10 months on your table. The weight of each egg is approximately 11 g. These birds are not very large, the live weight of the male is about 150 g, and the females are up to 180 g.
Other breeds of quail are also interesting:
- English White. Each female can lay up to 280 eggs per year. This breed of quail was taken as a basis to breed broiler birds, whose weight can reach 300 g in live form.
- Estonian quail are distinguished by good health, unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention. The survival rate of young animals is up to 98%. In females, live weight reaches 200 g, but the most well-fed can grow up to 320 g.
- "Manchurian Golden" will give 280 eggs a year up to 16 g each. On average, a female weighs 200 g and a male weighs 180 g.
- Texas White quails have recently become very popular, although this is a relatively new breed for our country. Females weigh an average of 450, and males weigh 360 g. Often there are times when these meat quails weigh half a kilogram and even a little more. "Texas White" quail are calm, they are unpretentious to the living conditions. But they have low egg production.
Where to contain quails?
Low quail cages (up to 25 cm) - this is not just space saving, but a necessity. It turns out that if the cage is too high for them, then the birds begin to take off, become aggressive, the strong peck their relatives.
If you decide to breed quail in the country to get eggs, five females will be enough. For such a small company, a spacious cage for birds or for large rodents is suitable.
By the way, some even manage to place brooders in several tiers in the apartment in order to contain more birds. But you need to keep in mind that the smell from winged pets will be appropriate. Those who breed quail in the country or in the garden, prefer to place birds on the street in the warm season.
You can make a cell for them yourself. To do this, you need to take a grid with rectangular cells measuring 5 by 3 cm. It must be pulled onto a pre-knocked down box of bars. These will be the sidewalls.
If you need to protect the birds from the wind, then such a grid is placed only on the front wall, and the remaining sides and the roof are sheathed with suitable materials (plywood, chipboard).
The floor in the cage is made of metal mesh with smaller cells, so that the quail is comfortable walking on it (so that the paws do not fall through). Under the floor put a tray or litter box. You can put such a homemade cage in a secluded corner of the garden on the legs of the table - the litter falls directly to the ground. You will have to clean it infrequently.
The mesh floor is made under a slight slope so that the testicles slide down through the lower hole in the side of the mesh into the provided groove. To quail not stomp food, you need to make special feeders for them. Someone uses bottles made of durable plastic, carving long sides. Others make long rectangular troughs from a metal profile. The wire feeder is fixed on the outside of the front mesh.
Quails should always have water. Nipple drinkers are great for this. They are attached to the cell from the inside. You can fix the plastic cups here, also placing them on the inner walls (at such a height that the birds get to the water that has been poured here, but cannot trample it).
Brooders can be made over several floors to save space if you want to keep a lot of birds. And if you decide to breed a small amount, then you can use ordinary plastic mesh boxes for vegetables. Three pieces make an excellent cage, where there is even a groove that will keep the eggs from rolling out. All parts of this cage are fastened with plastic ties.
A drinker in this budget option will be half of the aluminum can, cut along. It is attached using wire outside the cage. It will be an impromptu drinker. On the other side of the cell, a metal profile is attached, which will become a feeder. You can also use a plastic pipe with plugs on both sides for feeding, in which round holes are cut out, where birds can lower their beaks to absorb food.
When you will place the cells, place them in a shady place. If it is sunny, then be sure to close up and part of the sidewalls. After all, quail can not stand the bright light. Therefore, when breeding indoors, the cells are not placed on the windowsill, but are usually placed away from the window.
You can feed the quail using industrial compound feeds, prepare food for the birds yourself, or combine both options.
Important! Quails in accessibility should always have sand, which helps digest food.
In the finished mixed feed there is everything necessary for these birds, including useful additives, vitamins.
IN feed PK-5mainly wheat and corn. These cereals are enriched with a small amount of animal fat, fishmeal, meal of sunflower or soy, salt, phosphates and chalk. One bird is recommended to give 30 g of this feed per day.
Compound feed PK-6, PK-4, PK-2.2 composed of wheat, corn, barley. As additives, fodder yeast, meal, fishmeal, salt, phosphate and chalk are used here.
Compound feed PK-1, PC-2 consists of wheat and corn, as well as additives in the form of a small amount of barley, wheat bran, bone or fish meal, meal. It is recommended to give an adult bird 27 g of such compound feed per day.
If you want to cook quail food at home on your own, then take the crops as the basis. They are added vegetables, fruits, which are finely chopped (about a fifth of the grain). All this is boiled for 40 minutes, then crushed, cooled, added chalk, salt and fed to the birds.
Another recipe for homemade quail food:
- cereals - 800 g of corn, 200 g of barley, 2 kg of wheat;
- 2 tsp. crushed limestone, salt, chalk;
- 1 tsp vegetable oil (not refined);
- 2 hours fish or bone meal.
You can also add fish or minced meat, cottage cheese to this compound feed. The quail, which you feed with your own cooked food, needs crushed egg shells, fresh herbs. Adult birds are fed three or four times a day, most of the food falls in the evening.
Young animals have a different diet. The daily subsistence quail is fed with a boiled egg, on the second day they give an egg with grated shell and 2 g of cottage cheese for each bird. On the third day in the above young menus include chopped fresh herbs. On the fourth, they reduce the number of eggs by adding more cottage cheese. Kids are fed 5-6 times a day.
Such a diet is recommended for the first week of quail life, from the second one can give the chicks compound feed intended for adult quail.
Laying food should be especially balanced. A quarter of it should be protein. It is recommended to give at least 25-30 g of feed per hen per day.
When do quails begin to lay eggs?
Quail eggs begin at the age of 5-6 weeks. Good egg production lasts until the quail reaches 11 months. Therefore, usually females are kept up to this age, then slaughtered for meat.
In the first month, the laying hen will bring about 10 eggs, in the second and subsequent months it will give 25-30 eggs per month.
If you want to breed quail yourself, then for 3-4 females there should be one male. It is important to know that due to the domestication of these birds, the females have lost the instinct of hatching. Some poultry farmers lay such eggs under hens or under domestic pigeons. Another option is to use an incubator.
To quail hatch from an egg, you need to select only fresh eggs of optimal weight from females aged 2-8 months. For example, they take eggs from meat quails, which weigh 12-16 g, and from egg quail - 9-11 g.
It is also important to select the eggs of the correct form so that there are not many calcareous growths on the shell. Hatching eggs should be clean, not very dark in color. But even from such ideal eggs it will be possible to achieve not 100%, but 70-80% of the output will be quail.
When the eggs are taken, prepare the incubator, where they are laid. Here you need to observe the humidity level within 60-70%, use 3 periods of incubation.
During the first period, the eggs warm up. During the second, incubation occurs. Then you need to turn the eggs 3-6 times a day. During the last stage, the eggs are placed in the hatcher tray, as the quail will hatch at this time.
It is quite difficult to get young quail without experience and good incubators, so it is advisable to buy it, and then use these birds to get meat, eggs, or both.