Coturnix Quail – Good Food & Fast Production
With the recent and growing interest in urban farming, along with the many restrictions facing city dwellers who might want to raise chickens, quail are worth close consideration. These small game birds require very little space, as they can be raised completely indoors as in a garage, basement or outbuilding, they are quiet and relatively easy to care for. Obviously, you should still check to see if there are specific restrictions against raising quail or game birds in your city.
One of the most popular species that are raised for food production is the Coturnix, also known as Japanese quail. Coturnix quail are a good choice because they do not need a lot of space, they grow quickly and hens lay about 300 eggs per year, given the adequate lighting. Coturnix is pronounced courtney, the x is silent. Males are polygamous, unlike some other species of quail, so the ratio of females to males should be about two or three to one.
Coturnix hens lay 10-20 eggs per clutch, and the eggs should incubate for about 17 days, and incubation is far more successful with an incubator than naturally. Quail kept in captivity do not do well hatching their own eggs. Coturnix hens will begin laying at about six weeks of age, as long as there are at least 14 hours of daylight. The birds can be processed for eating by five or six weeks of age.
Purely Poultry carries two types of Coturnix quail, the Pharaoh Coturnix and the Tibetan Coturnix. Both produce a large number of eggs and make good meat birds. The main difference between the two is their coloring. Pharaoh Coturnix are colored the same as Coturnix in the wild and are sometimes called common quail, while Tibetan Coturnix quail have darker feathers.