Keeping quail can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Success with quail begins with knowing what diet, supplies, and enclosure/s you need. This page will cover useful supplies.
For Eggs and Chicks
- Incubator- A good quality incubator is vital if you are hatching fertile eggs. I recommend starting with a small incubator at first.
- Heat Lamp- Baby quail need heat, especially in their first few weeks. You will need both a heat lamp and special lightbulbs that fit into it. 250 watts is good, be sure it's screwed securely into the lamp and that it is not too close to the chicks to become uncomfertable. What I like to do is watch how my quail chicks behave. If they are all shivering and crowded under the lamp, it's good to move it a bit closer. If they are panting and staying away from the heat lamp, that could mean that you placed the lamp a bit too close. The chicks are at a good temperature then they are eating, drinking, running around all over the brooder.
- Feed & Water Dishes- Quail chicks are tiny, tinier than chicken chicks, so it is crucial that you make sure that the water dish isn't too deep. About a centimeter or two is good when they are newborns. If your water dish is a bit too deep, you can add marbles or pebbles to the bottom of the dish to prevent your babies from drowning. Adding some colorful marbles gives another bonus: baby birds love to peck at colorful objects. While the marbes will be too small for them to eat, the marbles may encourage the quail to drink water. Make sure to check the water often, since it is in such a shallow dish, the water evaporates quickly under a heat lamp. In terms of a food dish, make sure that the quail can reach the food easily.
- Apple cider vinegar/commercial chick electrolytes- These aren't necessary for quail chicks, however, it is a good thing to have on hand. Both apple cider vinegar and commercial chick electrolytes are great at perking chicks up. In addition, water mixed with apple cider vinegar hydrates much quicker than water alone. If you order your birds by mail, they may be a bit dehydrated, so apple cider vinegar water is a great way to increase success. I do around half a teaspoon to a full teaspoon of apple cider vinager to a cup of water. The electrolyte supplements work in a similar way, although you will need to read the label to see how much to use.
For Adult Quail
- Feed & Water Dishes- Same as chicks, but you can get bigger dishes now that they are older. gallon waterers from Tractor Supply or similar work well for water, for food a large bowl can be used.
- Bedding- I don't recommend paper towels for adult quail. Instead, use either straw or pine shavings.
- Apple Cider Vinegar- As with baby quail, apple cider vinegar is useful in perking a bird up.
- Quail First Aid Kit- Ointment, electrolytes etc. I will include a seperate page for this eventually.