According to the observations of farmers, this species of birds can live from 2 to 3 years, provided quality care and create the necessary conditions for the existence of birds. Life expectancy of wild quails is 3-5 years.
However, many poultry farmers do not allow their pets to live to old age for several reasons.
First, quails are already rushing on the 40th day of life. Starting from two months to nine months, laying hens bring eggs of the best quality and in large quantities. In addition, regardless of the care, when the age of the bird has passed for 10 months, it begins to deteriorate worse, and the eggs become less tasty and rich in healthy microelements.
Secondly, eggs of more “elderly” quails are distinguished not only by low culinary characteristics, but are also not suitable for growing future quail offspring. It is believed that chicks from age individuals are weaker and more painful.
Thirdly, it is recommended that experienced owners of sparrowhouses should leave no more than 10% of adult birds out of the total population for wintering. The young stock has more dense down, due to which it tolerates cold better and requires less care. But the older generation needs more heating, for which they are either placed in closer cells, or surrounded by additional heating devices (for example, they hang infrared lamps).
But if you still decide not to engage in artificial rejuvenation of livestock, it is recommended to follow all the rules of quails home care. In addition to the fact that birds should receive good nutrition in the form of special feeds, the diet should be enriched with herbs and vitamins. To better the birds rushed, we must remember to timely supply them with fresh drinking water.
Naturally, a mandatory item is the creation of comfortable living conditions in the poultry house or the place where the livestock contains. In addition to maintaining acceptable temperature, humidity and light, it is important to carry out additional care for quails (feather cleaning, disinfection, etc.).
How many live quail, subject to compliance with all the rules? In good conditions, poultry live longer than 3 years.
How long do quails live?
Quails grow up quickly, already at the age of 40 - 45 days, females begin to lay eggs. But they do not live long. On average, quails can live in the house for 4–5 years, and with proper nutrition - up to 6 years. But for so long these birds are not recommended to be kept, if only as pets, and not to get eggs or meat. Quails are best carried between 2 and 9 months. It is these eggs that are recommended for incubation. From about 10 months, the number of eggs decreases. Quails will be carried up to 1.5 years, some up to 2 years, then the eggs, most likely, will not. Experienced poultry farmers prefer to slaughter quails as soon as they live to a year for a number of reasons:
- Eggs are getting smaller.
- Eggs of old quails are not suitable for incubation; weak and painful chicks hatch from them.
- Young quails better tolerate wintering. They have a thicker down, so they will survive the cold more easily. If you leave the old quail, they need additional heating, and these are extra costs. Therefore, it is recommended to leave for the winter a small part of the total population, about 10%.
If you are offered to buy excellent quails aged 1 to 2 years, do not agree. This is an unscrupulous seller who has decided to sell you an old bird.
How to distinguish the young quail from the old?
How to understand that these are young quails, not old men? Notice the quills beak, feathers, and feet:
- Beak. In old quails, it is usually longer. But this method does not always work.
- Feathers. In old quails, the plumage is dull. They can lose feathers, especially on the back or head. However, feathers may fall out not only because the bird has become old, but also because of poor conditions of detention, for example, due to the lack of certain trace elements, or if it is constantly kept in a draft.
- Legs. This is the most reliable way to determine the age of a bird. If they are young quails, they have light, slightly pink legs. Claws on them are small, ranging in size from 3 to 5 mm. Gradually, the surface of the legs becomes coarser and rough, and the color changes: instead of pink, the legs become yellowish-white. If the quail is 4 - 6 months, then its claws are also longer - about 10 mm, at the age of 7 - 8 months they can grow up to 15 mm.
Quails with good care can live at home for more than 3 years. But many poultry farmers do not keep them for more than 1 year, so still the majority of quails in farms live for about 12 months.
Appearance and features of quail
Despite the fact that all over the world quails have been grown for more than 200 years, in Russia it appeared only in the 60s of the last century. For the first time this bird was brought to the Soviet Union in 1964 from Yugoslavia.
The common quail (wild) is the smallest representative of the chicken. Its weight does not exceed 130 g. It lives wild quail in thick tall grass and has a corresponding camouflage coloring: the back is yellowish-brown with light and dark specks, the belly is yellowish-white. In the male, the throat is colored dark brown, in the female it is whitish. These birds are terrestrial and in case of danger they prefer not to take off, but to run and hide in the tall grass. If it is necessary to take off, their flight is low and planning, they do not sit on trees and shrubs.
House quail almost lost their ability to fly, as a result of the improvement of their weight increased by 30%. Now the average weight is about 200 g. Quails, like quails, are terrestrial, also nest on the ground, have strong legs and run well. Partridges are twice as large as quails (males 430 g, females 410 g) form pairs (quails do not form pairs, only the female takes care of the chicks). Partridges hatch eggs longer (21-26 days, quail 17-20 days). Quail chicks have three brown stripes on their backs. They are distinguished by their voice (quails scream “go and file”, partridges of the “kirr river”).
What breed to choose
For the first time, quails were domesticated in Japan as decorative birds in the 11th century. And only in the XVI century, when they paid attention to the dietary properties of quail meat and eggs, as well as the ability to quail all year round, these birds were raised for agricultural purposes. At the moment, the rearing of quails in Japan is in second place after the fish industry.
Mostly quails are grown in the direction of the egg, but there are meat and meat-egg lines. The most popular breeds are: Japanese, Pharaoh, White English, Black English, Tuxedo, Australian, Estonian, Marble, Manchurian, Moscow.
In Russia, two breeds are grown: the egg Japanese and the American pharaoh, as well as mixed, a mixture of these two breeds.
Japanese quail. The plumage is “wild” brownish-white. The trunk is elongated, wings and tail are short. The live weight of males is 115–120 g, in females 138–150. Eggs are carried from 30–40 days to 300 per year. Egg weight 9–11 g, the color of the shell is smoky gray with multi-colored speckles. Low weight (weight of the carcass of the first category 80 g), it is unprofitable to grow for meat.
Pharaoh, American Texan. Plumage like the Japanese. The live weight of males is 165–265 g, females are 165–310 g. In 45 days, they reach 150–180 g. They are carried from 42–50 days to 220 eggs per year. Egg weight 12-18 g. Less egg production, rush later.
Moscow population bred by crossing the Japanese and the Pharaoh. Live weight is 120–180 g. Egg production is 280–290 eggs per year.
Estonian breed. The live weight of males is 160–170 g, females are 190–200 g. Egg production occurs in 37–38 days. Estonians are distinguished by high viability, the survival rate of young stock is 98%. But consume more feed.
Manchu golden. Plumage of brown and yellow feathers. The mass of females is 136 g, egg production is 290 eggs per year.
In general, it is possible to distinguish meat breeds: the Pharaoh, Manchu, meat and egg: marble, the rest of the egg direction.
In addition to industrial, decorative quail breeds are also popular: Chinese, Virginian, Californian with a tuft.
Chinese painted quail. The back is brown, a belly is more red. On the throat and chin black and white drawing. Bill is black, legs are orange-yellow. The female is gray-brown on top, the abdomen is light brown. All feathers with dark brown tips.
Virginia. On the head from the forehead to the neck is a white stripe with a black line, the back of the head is reddish brown. Red-brown plumage on the back, abdomen with wide light stripes, edge.
Californian Crested Quail. The body is short and massive. On the head there are 4–6 feathers, bent forward and wide at the ends.
Life expectancy of quail in captivity
One week of quail life corresponds to 3.5 weeks of a laying hen. Birds live in captivity for 2–3 years, at liberty for about 5 years. But in the private sector, quail hens are rarely kept longer than a year. This is disadvantageous, after the age of 12–14 months, egg production decreases and the nutritional quality of eggs deteriorates.
How to distinguish males from females
The live weight of quail females is 15% more than the weight of males, due to the presence of organs in which eggs are formed and the presence of eggs in them at different stages of development. In males, the beak is darker, the chest is dark brown and brown feathers on the neck, in females on the neck the feathers are lighter, and on the chest are gray with black spots. Differences in coloration are manifested by 3 weeks of age. Above the cloaca in males, a pink-colored iron is clearly visible, in females it is absent, and the skin around the cloaca is of a dark color with a dark shade.
Susceptibility to disease
Quails have the highest body temperature among the chicken family and all farm birds, due to intense metabolism. Due to this, quails are resistant to infections and can be contained without vaccination. Consequently, drugs and antibiotics do not accumulate in the body of the bird and in the eggs. But due to intense metabolism and very fast growth, birds are sensitive to diet. They urgently need proteins, minerals and vitamins, otherwise diseases of development are inevitable.
Incubation of chicks
In the process of recapturing the quails, the instincts of nesting, nursing and caring for the chicks have almost disappeared. In this regard, the most productive methods of obtaining quail - the use of incubators.
Eggs for incubation are taken from quails at the age of 8 weeks, from egg breeds weighing 9–11 g, meat direction 12–16 g. Egg freshness is not more than 7 days. Fertility of quail eggs 70–85%, incubation hatch rate 80–95% .
Checking the germ is carried out with a special device - an ovoscope. Eggs must be warm, so the temperature in the room is not lower than 25 ° C. Check to do quickly, immediately return to the incubator or nest. The check will show the result only on the 5-6 day of incubation. Translucence should show a dusky patch under the shell or a network of blood veins in the area of the yolk. Always wear rubber gloves; after checking, lay the eggs smoothly and gently with the sharp end down. Often the embryos die during shipment and temperature changes during transport. They are removed on the 17–18 day of incubation and are completed in 4–6 hours with intensive hatching. Survival of young stock is 90–95% in the first month and 98% in the second. In one year you can get more than 5 generations of quail.
The quails have a mass of 6–8 g, they are very mobile (the size of a cockchafer), they are able to penetrate small holes and gaps. Reject the weak, select the most viable and put them in a box. They are evaporated with a solution of potassium permanganate, heated for 30–40 minutes and transferred to a room for cultivation.
Hatching under a hen
In laying, usually 8–10 eggs are brownish in color with dark and light specks. Hatching 17-18 days after laying the last egg. Nestlings hatch out densely pubescent, grow very quickly and at the age of 30–45 days reach the size of an adult bird.
They begin to rush very early in 38–45 days upon reaching a living weight of 90–100 g. In the first month, 8 eggs are given, then up to 25 eggs per month. At first, the egg mass is about 7 g, then by 2 months of age 10–12 g. After the demolition of 5–10 eggs, a break for 1-2 days. Laying intensity 27–30 days. If you do not remove the eggs from the cage, a marked decrease in egg production and the nesting instinct is activated.
Quail business: profitable or not?
The business of raising quails is gaining momentum every year. In this area, you can choose two areas - the sale of eggs and the sale of meat. This area of business will be attractive to people who live in a village with clean air. In order to make money on quails, you need to take into account the need of the market.
How many quails live at home
On average, quail in nature live 4-5 years. At home, this period is usually reduced to 2-3 years, after which the livestock is reduced. But if you set a goal, you can extend their life to 5-6 years.
If it is not possible to allocate a separate area for quails, then it is possible to settle them in cages (at the rate of 10 cm by 12 cm for 1 individual). The height is desirable up to 25 cm, otherwise the bird will try to take off and may injure itself.
Why quail do not live to old age
Quails alone can live up to 4-5 years, but they are rarely kept for such a long time for the following reasons:
- egg production. Quails begin to sweep at the age of 1.5 months (40-45 days). The best qualities are possessed by eggs that were laid during the period from 2 to 8-9 months.
Quail - a great option for households. They can be bred both for their own purposes and for sale, since quail meat and eggs are always in price.
For the success of such an undertaking, it is important to replace the birds in a timely manner, because they are beneficial to keep only up to 2 years, and after the maintenance costs begin to exceed revenues.
Successful Hunting: Features and Recommendations for Quail Hunting
“What kind of life does a quail lead to and how can it be attracted? What decoys to use: electronic or classic? Is it possible to make a decoy and a quail trap yourself? ”Have you asked yourself these questions more than once? Then this article is especially for you!
What to feed quail when breeding at home?
Proper nutrition of quails plays an important role when grown at home. It must be balanced and complete, contain all the necessary minerals and vitamins. The article will discuss what kind of food is needed at different stages of life, so that the birds grow well and develop.
How to make a drinking bowl for quails with your own hands: step by step instructions
This article talks about how to choose the right drinkers for their feathered pets, what requirements you need to pay attention to. It also offers several options for homemade quail drinkers and their step by step instructions.
Common quail diseases: causes and prevention
And although the quails are resistant immunity, they can be sick of infectious or non-communicable diseases. To prevent their occurrence, it is necessary to pay due attention to prevention, monitor the condition of the birds, and vaccinate. If you can not prevent the disease, you need to start treatment as soon as possible, otherwise you can lose the entire livestock.
Breed quail: external differences, productivity and conditions of detention
Quails are great for keeping in order to get meat or eggs. Among the wide variety of breeds of this bird there are universal ones. Each of them has its own indicators of productivity, conditions of maintenance and feeding.
Buying chicks, how to choose, approximate cost
When choosing young quails, first of all pay attention to their appearance and behavior. Eyes should be clean, smooth legs (sign of young), beak without chipping, feet without cones, plumage is smooth, not dull. Birds must be active, energetic, not to fall on their side and not sit foolishly. The absence of dried blood on the beak and cesspool is compulsory. It is possible to determine males and females only after 30 days for plumage and cloacal gland.
They sell quails at the age of 2 months from 200 rubles per piece. The best age is from 1 month (4 weeks) to 3 months (12 weeks). A 4-week-old chick costs from 150 rubles, daily chickens at 70 rubles, 2-3 month old birds at about 200 rubles.
Cultivation, premises, pasture requirements
In private households, quail is more characteristic of keeping in cages than in aviaries. This method does not require a large area, which is important for private poultry farmers. In addition, when the content in the aviary in quail decreases egg production.
Youngsters are caged at 3 weeks of age. For quail useful darkened areas. Как вариант перепелов можно выращивать в клетках для певчих птиц. В клетке размером 20*30 см помещают 5–6 птиц. Нередко выращивают в клетках гнёздами: 1 самец и 2–3 самки. Очень удобны батареи клеток в 3 этажа, размер клетки 30*20*20см.It is necessary to protect from excessive illumination, otherwise stress, reduced performance and even cannibalism are possible.
Temperature range 18–25 ° С, at a temperature of 16 ° С, the quail stops laying eggs. Do not tolerate temperature changes, drafts and cold. A light day is 5 pm, an illumination of about 35 lumens or 40–50 watts. Maximum egg production mode: 18 hours of light, 2 hours of darkness, 2 hours of light, 2 hours of darkness or 3 hours of light, 2 hours of darkness. As soon as daylight reaches 16 hours, additional lighting is turned off.
Optimum humidity is 60–70% (± 5%). When drafts in birds fall feathers.
Quail chicks are very sensitive to cold. The main requirement is heating, electric heaters are necessary. Like chickens, small quails are first planted in a large cardboard box. 60 * 60 * 18 cm, divide by partitions into four compartments of 30 * 30 cm. In each such cell 100 chicks are planted.
Quail is a medium-sized bird. The body length does not exceed 20 cm, and the weight of an adult individual varies from 90 to 150 grams. Plumage of yellow-brown shade with longitudinal and transverse dark and brown stripes. Males are distinguished by larger size and black throat. Unlike cocks, male quails do not have a magnificent and beautiful tail. The females have a yellow-brown neck, and on the sides and bottom of the body there are pronounced dark spots.
How many live
Under natural conditions, quail life expectancy is 3-5 years, but at home this period is noticeably reduced. This is due to egg production in quail females. Starting from 40-50 days, the birds begin a productive period. Approximately up to the tenth month, females begin to nestle actively, bringing a large number of tasty and healthy eggs. Further, the activity is reduced, and at the same time the taste and useful qualities of this product are deteriorating.
Quail eggs of mature age are also not suitable for growing offspring, as practice shows that such eggs produce weak and painful offspring.
Experienced sparrows leave no more than 10-15% of birds for the whole population for wintering. Young birds are well tolerated by the cold, due to the dense and thick fluff, and do not require special care, and quails in the age need artificial means of heating.
Due to the small size, the productivity of quails is noticeably lower than that of other birds used in domestic breeding. However, breeding these birds is considered very cost-effective due to the following factors:
- easy care and maintenance
- low financial costs
- quick result.
Even with proper feeding and careful care, the maximum weight of an adult will not exceed 350 grams. But due to the fact that quail meat is a dietary and very high-quality product, many poultry farmers choose exactly the meat line when breeding quails. The characteristics of birds are such that it is not possible at the same time to get a large number of eggs and to achieve a good weight gain, therefore, the quails must choose one direction.
This indicator is extremely high in quails. They can produce up to 300 eggs per year. Quail eggs are a very valuable product due to their high content of vitamins, trace elements and low-fatty acids. Therefore, breeding quail to get eggs is the most priority area of domestic poultry farmers. Females begin to race very early. The periods of quail egg production are described here. So with good care, the hens begin to rush in a month. The period of activity lasts 8-9 months, but, in general, can last up to three years.
Since quails have a very active metabolism, and they are developing rapidly, a complete replacement of livestock can be carried out annually.
There are far fewer quail breeds than, for example, chicken breeds, therefore, when organizing your quail farm, it is easier to make a choice in favor of any breed. There are several types of quail breeds:
Meat, egg and meat-egg, focused on getting a specific product, and decorative breeds are bred for beauty and participation in exhibitions.
In order to increase the meat productivity of quails, breeders were engaged in crossing different breeds and species, selecting the most promising individuals. As a result, highly productive hybrids were obtained, which are especially popular with poultry farmers all over the world. The most successful meat varieties include the following:
Breed "Pharaoh" It was bred in the United States and later became widespread in European countries. The average weight of adults reaches 270-300 grams, but individual specimens can weigh up to 0.5 kg. White Texas quail has a dense physique. Females weigh up to 450 grams, males are somewhat smaller. With good care and proper nutrition, birds can reach a weight of 5.5 kg. The meat yield is up to 75% of the total weight of the bird.
Universal meat and egg breeds are not popular with poultry farmers, since it is necessary to have a very large livestock to obtain commercial quantities of meat or eggs.
Content at home
Unlike chickens or waterfowl, quails are not domesticated, so they cannot be kept free-range. Any bird gets used to its home and comes back after a walk. Quails in the wild run and it is rather difficult to collect them, therefore these quails should be kept in cages. It is believed that quail can be bred even in urban apartments, but this process is associated with a number of difficulties. Creating a home farm for growing quails begins with the purchase of young animals or incubation of high-quality eggs. Chickens are raised in brooders, where a special temperature is maintained.
Young quails that have reached three weeks of age can be placed in cages together with adults.
Buildings and inventory
Cages for growing quails can be purchased ready-made or made independently. Despite the fact that quails are small birds, they need comfortable conditions, so do not make cages of limited size, especially for oviparous breeds. Theoretically, in a cage with an area of 1 m 2 can accommodate up to 75 quails, but if possible, the size should be slightly increased. The following structures should be provided in each cell:
- feeding trough
- drinking bowl
- litter collection tray
- capacity for eggs.
Often, poultry farmers, making cages on their own, provide for a sloping floor, along which the testicles themselves will slide into the collection tank. Cell walls are usually not made solid, so the optimal design will be a wooden or metal frame, which is stretched grid.
If quails are raised for meat, the height of the cage can be reduced to a minimum in order to limit the free space. Feeders and drinkers can be made from plastic bottles and secured from the outside. The grid cells should be of such size that the birds can freely stick their heads to feed or water. For small chickens, the drinking bowl should be of a vacuum type, and for adults, the design can be any.
An important aspect of the content of quails is the disposal of their waste. To do this, you can make a mesh floor in a cage, and install a retractable pan to the bottom, where feces will fall. Such design will allow to maintain in a cage good sanitary conditions. The tray can be cleaned daily, and the absence of dirt in the cell does not contribute to the appearance of mold fungus.
Quails are quite unpretentious birds, but for their normal development in the cage should maintain an optimal microclimate. The main condition for the cellular content of quail is the complete absence of drafts. In addition, it is important to maintain the correct temperature and light conditions.
Growing quail young in an incubator is considered the most convenient for the home. To do this, it is enough to purchase high-quality eggs from a trusted manufacturer and place them in an industrial or homemade incubator. The incubator is necessary in any case, as the quail completely lost the incubation instinct. You can use eggs from your own hens, but when choosing them you should follow some rules:
- the female must be between two months and one year old
- you should not take the smallest and largest eggs,
- the shell surface should not have flaws,
- The shell must be flat and matte.
Before laying eggs in the incubator, it is recommended to view them through the ovoscope or using a flashlight. The presence and size of the air chambers, possible bloody inclusions and mixed contents are checked when the white and yolk are one.
Eggs intended for laying in the incubator should have a period of not more than 10 days. Storage of eggs for incubation at room temperature is not allowed, and the optimum level will be a temperature of 10-15 degrees. The most important parameters when breeding young in an incubator are temperature and humidity. The temperature should be maintained in the range from 25 to 40 degrees. Many novice poultry farmers do not correctly assess the effect of humidity on chick appearance. If its level is too low, then the inner shell of the egg may dry out, making it difficult for the chick to slip out of the shell. If the humidity is too high, the embryo's shell will be oversaturated with moisture, which will adversely affect the chicken.
When chicks are born, it is necessary to place them in a brooder - a special box with temperature conditions for rearing.
All diseases of quails can be divided into three groups:
- diseases from violation of the maintenance regime,
- malnutrition disease,
- injuries and bruises.
Due to the high body temperature, quails are almost not susceptible to infectious diseases. Most often, the pathogenic microorganisms enter the body of birds with poor-quality water, feed, or when replenishing the population with alien individuals.Violation of conditions is characterized by a draft, too bright artificial light or direct sunlight on birds. Most often the result of these disorders is the loss of feathers and the appearance of bald patches. With poor quality food, quails can get food poisoning. Birds are very sensitive to a lack of vitamins, so avitaminosis is a common disease. Infectious diseases that birds can contract from other individuals include the following:
Quails are very sensitive to poorly balanced nutrition, so the question of feeding quails should be given special attention. Each age group has its own diet, besides the birds are in great need of trace elements and vitamins. The frequency of feeding also depends on age.
Feeding the smallest chicks is performed according to the following scheme:
- 1 day - boiled hard-boiled eggs, ground with shell,
- 2 days - cottage cheese is added,
- 3 days - added young grass, nettle and dandelion.
At weekly age, raw protein and yogurt are added, and from one month of age you can use ready-made feed for chicks, gradually adding millet to it. In 5-6 weeks, you can enter fresh vegetables and grated apples. Chicks up to one week should be fed 6-8 times a day. Further, the frequency of feeding can be reduced to 2-3 times.
Feeding of hens and males is somewhat different from each other. A squirrel is very important protein and it should be at least 30% of the daily bird ration. With a lack of protein, the number of eggs decreases. If there is too much protein, then many eggs will be with two yolks, which excludes their incubation. Also in the diet should be cereals, cottage cheese and fresh herbs or herbal flour.
For males it is very important to receive a large amount of carbohydrates. This is the main source of energy and it should be up to 60% in the diet. In winter, it is not possible to add fresh greens to the feed, so carrots and cabbage should be added to the feed. Experienced poultry farmers germinate millet and wheat in pots and add green sprouts to quail food.
Basics of fattening
Fattening for meat lasts for 3-4 weeks, while adult individuals that have reached maturity start feeding. Light day for males is reduced to 8 hours. During the fattening period there is an increase in the daily rate of feed. There are special fattening diets, which in addition to protein and carbohydrates contain yeast, cake and feed fat.
What causes the wrong diet
Basically, malnutrition is expressed in a lack of vitamins and is expressed as follows:
- young animals do not develop well - lack of retinol,
- low blood clotting - lack of vitamins of group "K",
- skeletal deformity and rickets - little vitamin "D".
The main mistakes beginners when breeding
There are a number of mistakes made by novice poultry farmers:
- violation of the regime of feeding,
- unbalanced nutrition
- use too liquid food
- adverse conditions of detention
- non-compliance with sanitary and hygienic standards.
Mistakes are not too complicated, but prolonged violations of the rules for keeping and feeding birds can ruin all the livestock.
In the video we will see how to keep quail at home.