My mission here at Rogue Preparedness is to make you as self-sufficient as possible. That doesn’t mean not relying on others, it simply means to shrink your supply chain to within a 60-mile radius of your home.
As the concept of self-sufficiency gains momentum, raising quails has emerged as a popular option for preppers. These small birds offer numerous benefits, making them an ideal choice for those seeking a sustainable and resilient food source.
Let’s explore the art of raising quails and how they can become a valuable asset to any prepper’s toolkit:
- Compact Size: Quails are small in size, allowing for efficient use of space. Unlike other livestock, they can be comfortably raised in urban or suburban settings, even indoors, making them a versatile option for preppers with limited land availability. Don’t forget that quails poo! So you will want to make sure their cage is cleaned often to keep the quails and coop sanitary and keep it from smelling.
- Rapid Growth: Quails have a short breeding cycle, reaching maturity in just 6 to 8 weeks. Like chickens, they need heat (heat lamp or heating brooder) for the first 3-4 weeks or so, but they grow very quickly and will need to be in their permanent home by 4-6 weeks. They can start laying eggs between 6-8 weeks. Their quick growth and high egg production rates make them an excellent protein source, ensuring a steady supply of food in a crisis.
- Low Maintenance: Quails are hardy birds that require minimal care compared to other livestock. They are known for their adaptability to different environments and are less prone to diseases and parasites. They will still need protection from extreme cold, including additional heat sources when needed, as well as shade from the sun in extreme heat. Additionally, their small size makes them easy to handle and manage. They are also incredibly chill birds and generally quiet. The males can crow and be loud sometimes, but not as loud as a rooster.
Getting Started: The Essentials
- Housing: Provide a well-ventilated and secure coop for your quails. The recommended space allocation is around 1 square foot per bird. Consider using wire mesh flooring to facilitate waste management. We keep our coop elevated up off the ground.
- Feeding: Feed them a balanced diet consisting of commercial feed supplemented with fresh greens, insects, and grit. Adequate water supply is crucial, so ensure a clean and accessible water source at all times. I also use chicken feed with a higher protein percentage (22%) and they thrive on that.
- Breeding and Incubation: If you plan to breed your quails, make sure to provide a separate nesting area or breeding pen. Quails prefer dark, secluded spaces for laying eggs. Though I will say, even though I provide the dark spaces for them, my quails lay eggs anywhere but those dark spaces. However, they do like to sleep in dark spaces, it’s nice to have the options available to them. You can collect the eggs and incubate them in a specialized quail egg incubator for successful hatching. I will say, you can have too many males; if there are too many males, they can become aggressive. One male per about 4 or 6 females is standard.
The Rewards of Raising Quails
- High Protein Source: Quail meat and eggs are highly nutritious, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. They offer a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to conventional poultry. A single quail egg provides approximately 6 grams of protein. Quails only live 1-3 years in captivity, so being able to incubate eggs will give you a consistent food source for their eggs and meat.
- Sustainable Egg Production: Quails are prolific layers, capable of producing 250-300 eggs per year. This consistent egg production ensures a regular food supply, reducing reliance on external sources during emergencies.
- Efficient Land Use: With their compact size, quails can be raised in small spaces, including backyards and rooftops, as well as indoors. Be sure to provide a window for light during the day, but they can be easily raised indoors. Their efficient use of space makes them an attractive option for urban dwellers or preppers with limited acreage.
- Self-Sufficiency: Raising quails empowers preppers to take control of their food supply. By cultivating a self-sustaining ecosystem, by incubating and having quails on consistent rotation, you reduce dependency on commercial food systems and become more resilient in times of crisis.
In a world that demands self-sufficiency and preparedness, raising quails offers an efficient, rewarding, and sustainable solution. Their small size, rapid growth, and high egg production rates make them an ideal choice for preppers seeking to secure their food sources.
Embrace the art of quail rearing, and let these remarkable birds be your partners in self-sufficiency.