[Homestead] Home Business---Expanded update on microlivestock aka quail

tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Fri Feb 4 23:39:26 EST 2005


.html  (price of pickled quail eggs)

Pure Cajun Products Pickled Quail Eggs
Picture coming soon!

New great taste, larger jar and cheaper price!
You will enjoy these spicy eggs!

Item #24-101S ea. -- $ 12.95


.html  (price of quail hatching eggs, Coturnix, Chukar,

Bob White)



IYDEAIYAigCMAA4AEjPOZABA5gBnErIAQE&num=2  (Texas bobwhite




Issue # 16 - July/August 1972
How To Pickle Quail Eggs and Other Notes From Interior


We've been living in the Alaskan Interior for eleven years

. . . two teaching in the bush country and riding around

on dogsleds, the other nine near Fairbanks, where we are

now. This year we've gotten into animals for the first

tune and keeping quail, guinea hens, bantams, chickens,

geese, a goat and a pig or two has made things poetry

lively for us.

The quail have turned out to be very good homestead birds

(they're small and gentle enough for some of you city

folks to keep too). The eggs they lay are great, and we've

stumbled onto a fantastic way to fix them. Are you ready


First boil the eggs for five minutes, then soak them in

vinegar for at least an hour to soften the membranes (

which an quail egg.: are mighty tough). The spotted shell

coloring floats off in the vinegar--don't worry about it--

and after soaking, the membranes can be removed by gently

squeezing the eggs and peeling.

Now marinate the quail fruit in your favorite pickle juice

for two to three weeks in a cool place. Or make your own

special pickling juice . . . the possibilities are

limitless. We particularly favor beet juice and vinegar

spiced up with small whole onions, fresh garlic, dill, a

few peppercorns, a pinch of sugar and a clove or two. The

color's wild and the flavor's delicious.


Published by City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban


Raising Quail for Food in Fredericton, New Brunswick,


By Jean Louis Deveau

"Man can keep quail in his backyard". This was the

headline, which appeared in Fredericton's Daily Gleaner,

Friday, December 18, 1998. That week, Jean Louis Deveau

made application to Fredericton's Planning and Advisory

Committee (PAC) for a zone amendment to keep 60 adult

quail in an aviary in his backyard in a Fredericton

residential area. Jean Louis had been keeping various

numbers of quail for consumption during the last four

years. On December 17, 1997, he was granted a one-year

temporary use variance to enable him to keep up to 60

quail. It had been necessary for him to get this variance

because quail are not defined as a domestic animal under

the zoning by-law for Fredericton and were therefore not

permitted in a residential area. This one-year variance

expired on December 18th and so Jean Louis applied for a

zone amendment to keep these birds on a permanent basis.

In order to provide a meal for his family once a month, 60

birds would only last five months as twelve birds are

needed per meal. In his application to the city,

permission was sought to keep the 60 adult birds and

enough young to provide his family with a meal each month.

During their presentation at the PAC meeting, city staff

reported that they had monitored the situation on the

property since the temporary use variance was granted and

could not identify any negative land use impacts

associated with accommodating the 60 birds presently on

the property. In their previous report, city officials had

raised concerns about possible noise and odour generated

by the birds. In addition, they had been concerned about

the removal of by-products associated with raising game

birds within a residential area. At the meeting on

December 16, 1998, city officials reported that all of the

above concerns had been satisfied. Furthermore, upon

inspection of the property, city officials had not noticed

any unusual noise or odour that would suggest 60 quail

were present. They recommended that the request be

approved as long as certain conditions were met, one of

which was that the sale of eggs and or birds be


Prior to this meeting, Jean Louis had spoken with Mr. Ron

Jackson, the Councillor representing his ward, and asked

if he could do something to have the above condition

rescinded. Mr. Jackson had previously shown support for

this project and commented at the meeting that Mr. Deveau

wanted to be able to sell eggs and some birds to other

hobbyists like himself. In the discussions that followed,

one of the Councillors indicated that in approving this

request, it might set a precedent and that other city

residents might also want to raise game birds in the city

including some larger species like pheasants and wild

turkeys. City officials responded that if other requests

are received, each would be treated separately and

evaluated on its own merits. Mr. Deveau commented that the

likelihood of receiving too many requests was small

because raising game birds is more time consuming and

requires considerable more effort than what's required to

grow a few vegetables in one's backyard.

In the end, councillors voted unanimously that the request

be approved provided that only 60 adults and 20 offspring

be allowed and that all by-products be removed from the

property. The restriction prohibiting the sale of eggs and

or birds was also dropped. The matter went for a vote

before City council on February 22, 1999 and was given

final consent.
Quail - How to get started

Japanese have raised them for centuries. They were called

"Bible quail" by the early American colonists. Modern

homesteaders like myself call them Coturnix (from their

generic name, Coturnix coturnix). As a wildlife biologist

by training, agronomist by profession, and urban farmer by

choice, I highly recommend to anyone wanting to raise

animals for food in the city to give quail a try. Their

small size makes them ideal for raising either in a

garage, the basement, or on a outside deck. Beginners

should start with the Coturnix quail . Six to eight of

these can be reared within a square foot. A good number to

start with is 20 birds: 12 females and 8 males. The males

are polygamous meaning they mate with any and all females.

The recommended ratio of females to male is 2 to 1 but I

usually put in a few extra males to ensure good fertility.

These quail possess a remarkable resistance to disease,

start laying at six weeks of age, and can be consumed at

four to five weeks of age. The meat is fortified with

nutrients and has a very low cholesterol percentage.

Dressed, the hens weigh about 4 to 5 1/2 ounces with the

male being slightly smaller. Eggs weigh about 1/3 ounce

which is about 8 per cent of the body weight of the hen as

compared to three percent for chicken eggs. After you've

been raising Coturnix successfully for awhile, the next

step is to try Eastern bobwhite . These are larger than

Coturnix quail, take about 14-16 weeks to start laying,

and are monagamous. This means that females pick their

mates so you need the same number of both sexes. Their

eggs are white and smaller than those from Coturnix. The

other species listed on the above web site are some of the

fancier species and are raised more for pleasure than for


By law, anyone raising quail needs to obtain a game bird

license from their local department of Natural Resources

as these birds are considered as wildlife. The license in

New Brunswick is $10 and renewable each year.
Where to find helpful information

Beginners should give some thought to joining one or more

game bird associations. As a member, you will receive a

monthly newsletter containing valuable information on the

different aspects of game bird breeding, find names of

breeders from whom you can obtain breeding stock or eggs

for incubation, and obtain lists of suppliers for

materials and equipment required for this hobby. In

Canada, there are at least five game bird associations and

quite a few more in the United States. I am a member of

the Canadian Ornamental Pheasant and Game Bird Association

and the American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society . After

becoming a member, you can request a breeder's directory

containing a list of all the names and addresses of

breeders as well as a listing of the different species of

game birds each member raises. By contacting these

breeders, you can make arrangements to have either live

birds or eggs for incubation shipped to you. If you decide

to start off with birds, ask a lot of questions from the

game bird breeder to make sure that he/she has disease

free stock and that male and female are unrelated. Hobby

game bird breeders are not required to have their birds

checked by a vet and sometimes you end up with animals

that are not in too good a shape so buyer beware.

Generally speaking though, most game bird breeders are

honest and will provide you with good quality breeding


The internet also has an abundance of information on quail

as referenced throughout this article.

Cages need to be ready prior to obtaining the birds.

People who are handy with tools can build their own cages

or you can buy a pre-fabricated cage. Rabbit hutches are

also ideal for quail. These are made of welded wire, are

strong and very durable. There's also a sliding pan

underneath for catching the droppings. I raise all my

quail on wire. This prevents them from eating their faeces

something which if left uncontrolled can result in a

condition known as ulcerative enteritis causing sickness

and even death.

I make all of my cages using one inch by one inch square

welded wire for the sides and top; for the bottom I use

one-half inch by one inch. You can buy the welded wire

from your local farm co-op as well as the hog rings to

attach the pieces together to form a cage. Size is a

matter of personal choice and budget. My cages for

Coturnix measure 24"W x 48"L x 16"H. For the door, you

simply cut a square hole in the middle. Make it large

enough for the biggest item you intend to place in the

cage. Quail love to dust bathe so in all of my cages, I

put a plastic stackable vegetable container from Canadian

Tire and fill the bottom with clean sand. Feed troughs

need to have a cover otherwise the birds will get in and

scratch all of the feed out. The birds also need water. To

provide water, the easiest thing I have found is a pop

bottle fountain. These are made of plastic, snap securely

on the neck of a bottle and project 2" through the cage.

It comes with a spring that you attach around the bottle

to hold it against the cage. If you should ever get into

this is a big way, then you will need to rig up an

automatic watering system. Cages, feed troughs and

watering devices may be obtained from any of the suppliers

listed below.
Cage location

Location of the cage is also important. Inside the aviary,

my cages are suspended on a wall using shelf brackets. Two

holes large enough to be able to slide the cage along the

metal brackets are cut on the back of the cage. I have

eight cages, four in each row with newspapers beneath each

cage on which to catch the droppings. Droppings are solid

in nature making them easy to be collected, bagged, and

dumped in a compost pile at a friends farm. If cages are

put outside, make sure the birds are sheltered from cold,

wind, sun, and rain. The birds will adapt well to cold

winter weather provided they're able to acclimatize to

seasonal temperature changes. Birds I want to stay

outdoors all winter are first put outside in the summer.

All of my outdoor pens were designed so that at least one

-third of the cage is surrounded on all three sides and

top with exterior grade plywood. It is suggested that

wooden parts be painted to facilitate cleaning.

Being a city farmer, it is important to invest a bit of

time and effort into building something that is

aesthetically pleasing not for the birds but for the

neighbours to enjoy. I could easily just slap a few sticks

together and wrap some wire around these but I don't think

I would have gotten very far with my request to keep quail

in the city if I'd chosen that route. I encourage all

urban farmers raising animals in the city to give due

consideration to this important detail.

Note that Coturnix quail kept outdoors will not lay past

autumn so if you want eggs year round, they must be kept

indoors. I keep them in an aviary inside my garage. And

the key to getting eggs year round is light. Mine are on a

15-17 hour photoperiod. A timer in the aviary provides

lighting from an incandescent light bulb.

Apart from being able to eat fresh eggs and have a good

meal once a month, one of the most fascinating aspects of

this hobby is to artificially incubate the eggs. Starting

around Easter every year, eggs are collected daily and put

in a cool humid spot; the basement is ideal for storing

eggs. Eggs are stored pointed end down and kept for no

more than seven days. The eggs are then placed in an

incubator for however many days are required for the

chicks to develop inside the eggs. Coturnix quail develop

in 17-18 days while Bobwhite quail require 23 days. There

are all sorts of incubators to choose from. The HOVA-BATOR

incubator was developed over 25 years ago and is the first

one I started with. This incubator is made of styrofoam.

It is very susceptible to changes in room temperature so

if you decide to purchase one of these, it should be

located in a room where the temperature stays constant.

Get one with a turbofan to increase the air circulation


If you ever get into breeding rare and endangered species,

you will probably want to invest into something a bit more

sophisticated like a Sportsman 1202, a cabinet style

incubator. Both the HOVA-BATOR and the Sportsman 1202 are

manufactured by GQF Manufacturing Company located in

Savannah, Georgia. Artificial incubation is both an art

and a science. To get good results when incubating, you

need just the right combination of good quality eggs, a

temperature which stays constant, good ventilation, and

right moisture conditions. Be sure to read the

instructions and either buy or pick up a book from the

library on incubation. And, if you decide to start with a

HOVA-BATOR, you should invest in an automatic turner

unless you want to turn the eggs yourself daily, at least

three times.

Once the eggs are ready to hatch, you need to increase the

humidity so that the chicks don't get stuck as they're

pushing out of their shell. This is done by filling the

troughs in the bottom of the incubator tray with water.

Three days prior to hatching, the eggs should be placed on

top of the hardware cloth (wire mesh) which comes with the

incubator. If a turner was used, it should be removed. The

hardware cloth gives them an excellent foothold when they

attempt to stand. Some people put newspaper on top of the

wire which is a bad mistake as it is too slippery and

leads to crippled chicks. As a matter of fact, I have even

started using something called "slip grip" on top of the

hardware cloth in the incubator. You can buy this at your

local Canadian Tire store. It's the same thing people use

for lining the shelves in their cupboards to prevent

expensive dishware from sliding off when positioned

vertically. It's completely washable and reusable. The

chicks should be left in the incubator for 24 hours.

During hatching, avoid opening the incubator because it

causes the moisture to escape and keeping that moisture in

is extremely important for a good hatch. Depending on what

model you're using, hatching can take place over a very

short or somewhat longer time period. Eggs developing in

the Sportsman will hatch within a few hours whereas those

from a HOVA-BATOR take a whole and sometimes two days.

That's because the Sportsman is a better machine than the

HOVA-BATOR. Don't invest in a Sportsman until you've been

doing this for a couple of years and you know that you

want to stick to this for awhile. A Sportsman incubator is

a huge capital investment if you're just trying this out

to see if you like it or not.


Chicks should be placed under a brooding lamp after being

removed from the incubator. Again, there are all sorts of

sophisticated equipment on the market ranging in price

from $30.00 to $280.00. I use a cardboard box with a

brooder light base. The boxes used are fairly large ones

so that the chicks will not outgrow their accommodations

too quickly. For the beginner, this is what I suggest. Get

a Y-shaped electrical socket from your local hardware

store as well as a brooder lamp which comes with double

insulated electrical components. Screw the Y-shaped socket

inside the brooder lamp base and then mount two

incandescent light bulbs inside the socket. In early

spring, I recommend using two 60-watt bulbs; as summer

progresses, use two 40-watt bulbs. The reason for using

two bulbs is so that when one burns out in the middle of

the night or when you're away at the office or something,

the chicks still get heat from the other bulb. Always keep

a good stock in hand and replace the burnt one as soon as

possible. Also use two different aged bulbs so they don't

both burn at the same time.

One last thing about light bulbs. I use a spray can called

Beauti-Tone (Home Hardware brand) enamel and paint the

bulbs either red or blue. I have tried other brands but

the paint never seems to dry well on the bulb and produces

a burning odour after the lights have been on for awhile.

Chicks kept together in a relatively confined space such

as in a brooder have a tendency to peck each other, a

nasty habit which can lead to deformed beaks and sometimes

even death. Poultry and game bird breeders have discovered

that if you use coloured light bulbs, the chicks are less

prone to peck each other. The lights should be attached

about 16 inches off the floor. Wood shavings are used for

bedding for the first four weeks. After the chicks have

been in the brooder for 10 minutes or so, check their

behaviour. If you see them huddled together in one large

group with each of them trying to get to the centre, which

is the warmest part, then they're too cold. Put a cover

over the box leaving a space for air of course. If you see

them with their beaks open panting for breadth, they're

obviously too hot. Raise the light bulbs or remove the

cover if one is present. If they're randomly distributed

throughout the brooder or laying on top of the shavings in

a circle surrounding the outer periphery of the brooder

lamp, you've got the temperature just right.
Feeding chicks

Feeding these small chicks is relatively easy. I normally

start them off with Turkey Starter which is medicated with

Amprol to control coccidiosis. A non-medicated Turkey

Starter does not exist. Actually, it's not such a bad idea

to have a medicated feed to start them off with because

the first few weeks, they walk, play, and defecate in

their food and water all the time. The medication prevents

them from getting ill. Turkey starter crumble is too big

for the small quail chicks to eat, so for the first couple

of weeks, I pulverize the feed by putting two cups at a

time in a food blender. The food is then placed in a dish

made from the bottom of a two-litre milk carton. They'll

quickly learn where the food is if you lightly tap on the

food with your finger. It's important to teach them where

the food is during the first couple of days because after

three days, they'll be scared of you and your finger and

run off at the opposite end of the box whenever you come


To provide water, get a plastic quail base from one of the

suppliers listed below. These have a narrow drinking slot

to prevent the chicks from getting in and drowning.

Alternatively, you may use a Petri dish or something

similar and fill it full of marbles or small stones. The

disadvantage in doing this is that the birds will defecate

in the water which means more work for you as the water

will need changing often. After about four weeks, I start

introducing Purina Flight Conditioner in the food dish at

a ratio of 1 part Flight Conditioner to three parts Turkey

Starter. Seven days after that, I bump that up to two

parts Flight Conditioner to two parts Turkey Starter so

that after four weeks they're off the medicated feed and

are eating out of the same troughs used by the adults.

After the chicks have reached four weeks of age, I

transfer them into a cage of the same size and dimension

as that used for adults. In early spring, I move the

lights to this cage also and leave them there until I

start noticing that the birds no longer use them as a

source of heat. At six weeks of age, you will start

noticing small eggs in the bottom of the cage. Two weeks

after that, the eggs are more uniform in size and you can

expect one a day and in some cases, as many as 250 a year.

You can start setting eggs from those birds in your

incubator after the birds are about eight weeks old.

One of the most comprehensive sites containing useful

information on breeding quail, incubating eggs, and

brooding chicks may be found at http://www.thatquailplace

The Mango City: Urban Agriculture in Belém, Brazil
    "It is a tribute paid to a hard working and ingenious

people, who against all odds survive in one of the poorest

metropolis in Latin America, frequently complementing

their monthly income with fruits, herbs, spices, medicinal

plants, and all sorts of animals, cropped or raised in

front and backyards, in idle public and private plots,

existent either within the urban tissue or in the wider

peri-urban areas." Posted September 24, 2002

    . A favourite book on quail which I'd recommend is

entitled Quail, Their Breeding and Management by G.E.S.

    Preparing the birds for the dinner table

    The usual method of slaughtering the birds is to sever

the head in one quick movement. The most effective tool I

have found are a pair of sharp pruning shears. The bird is

then placed in a plastic pail with cover and allowed to

bleed. After preparing enough for a meal, which for our

family consists of a dozen birds, I take the bucket inside

the house. The bled birds are immersed in scalding water

(148 deg. F) for five seconds and then put in a large

bowl. After being scalded, the bird is skinned starting

from the neck down to the wings and the legs. Cut the

wings and legs just below the joint. To gut them, a pair

of scissors is used to slit the bird down the back. Don't

slit the breast because that's where the bulk of the meat

is located. Once gutted, with the neck cut off close to

the body, the birds should be chilled. I normally dump

them into a large bowl filled with cold water and some ice

cubes. After I have skinned and gutted all twelve birds

and left them in the bowl to be chilled, I pick each one

up again and give it a thorough cleaning picking off any

pin feathers left behind or any organs that didn't come

off during my initial gutting. I then either put them in

the fridge, freeze them, or prepare them for a meal. There

are all kinds of quail recipes available. The thing to

remember is that the meat has almost no fat so that if the

birds are roasted in the oven it is important to wrap them

in something like bacon.

    The feathers and guts are taken to a local veterinary

clinic and incinerated for a nominal fee.

    A favorite recipe of ours is to put a dozen birds in a

slow cooker with a couple of sliced onions, salt and

pepper and the whole thing topped off with water. Leaving

the birds to cook overnight or during the day while you're

at work allows the birds to produce and cook in their own

broth. Cooked this way, the birds are very tender and

absolutely delicious. We also use the broth for making

soup and as a base for fish chowder.

    The eggs are consumed fresh. After they've been

refrigerated for a couple of days, use a steak knife to

saw through them and cook a dozen or so for your kids for

breakfast on the weekend. Quail eggs have long been known

as a good substitute for people who cannot eat eggs from

poultry and for people with allergies. They can be hard-

boiled and pickled also.
    List of suppliers

    Berry Hill Limited, 75 Burwell Road, St.Thomas, ON N5P

    Tel. no.:1-800-668-3072

    Cutler's Pheasant and Poultry Supply, Inc.
    1940 Old 51
    Applegate, MI 48401
    Ph: (810) 633-9450
    Fax: (810) 633-9178
    E-mail: cutlers at greatlakes.net
    Web page:http://www.cutlersupply.com

    G.Q.F. Manufacturing Company, PO Box 1552, Savannah,

Georgia, USA 31498.
    Tel. no.: (912)236-0651

    Ranch Cunicole G.L.R. Inc., 515, Rapide Plat Nord, St

-Hyacinthe, Quebec.
    Tel. no.: (514)799-5170

    Seven Oaks Game Farm and Supply, 7823 Masonboro Sound

Road, Wilmington, NC 28409-2672. Tel. no.: (910)791-5352
    E-Mail: gamefarm at isaac.net

    American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society, W2270 US Hwy.

10, Granton, WI 54436

    Canadian Ornamental Pheasant & Game Bird Association,

221 Sheridan Street, Brantford, ON N3S 4R2

    Discussion Forum
    City Farmer's Urban Agriculture Discussion Forum

http://home.earthlink.net/~mtkuo/quail.html  (fellow who  

has 100 quail, some good links)

http://home.earthlink.net/~mtkuo/quail.html  (more good

info on Japanese Coturnix)



For those wanting specifics on hatching Bob White Quail

1. Eggs take 21 to 23 days to hatch.
2. Temperature: 99.5f., turn down to 99f. the last 3 days
3. Humidity: 85%, raise up to 95% the last 3 days.
4. Turn eggs twice daily.


http://www.lelandhayes.com/pubs/bookletdl.htm  (download

the pdf version of Leland Hayes fine book)

http://www.shaywood.com/raising/ation.htm  (brooder




















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