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Today, more and more people are choosing to live in a private house, which inadvertently pushes them to decide on living creatures useful in the household. The smallest representatives of this vast family are quails. Breeding at home is quite unpretentious, responsive to the care of poultry under the force of even beginners.
Fried, baked with mushrooms and herbs, stuffed quails were served at tables of the nobility in Medieval Europe and Russia. But if in those old times they used quail hunting for several dozens of carcasses, then today these very small birds are successfully bred in private farmsteads and in conditions of large poultry farms.
Economic aspects of breeding quails
Interest in quails among amateur poultry farmers is caused by:
- the insignificant cost of acquiring eggs for incubation;
- simplicity of keeping birds;
- quick return on investment.
How to begin quail breeding at home? What difficulties are waiting for them, and what should be taken into account when creating your miniature farm?
The bird is bred for two purposes:
- for diet eggs, nutritional quality, safety and several other indicators, superior to chicken;
- for tender, low-fat meats.
This should be taken into account when choosing the specialization of the future quail farm and determining the breeds for breeding.
A small flock of quails can fully provide the family with egg production. But is quail breeding profitable or not as a business? If we compare poultry meat and egg direction, then the first produce a carcass weight of up to 300 grams with a relatively small, up to 200 pieces, number of eggs. In the second case, the mass does not exceed 200 grams, but from a quail you can get up to 300 eggs weighing about 10–12 grams per year.
Within a month and a half after the birth of the quail, quails are ready to move, and it takes only 18 days from laying eggs to the incubator. Such precociousness "never dreamed" of chickens, which directly indicates the economic feasibility of breeding quail at home.
The conditions for keeping quails at home for beginners
If chickens, ducks, geese and other poultry in the yard conditions are easily mastered and can be grown using pasture range, it is extremely difficult to domesticate quails. Therefore, this type of bird is kept in cages.
The premises for keeping quails in the country choose dry, ventilated and warm, but at the same time reliably protected from drafts, which the birds do not tolerate. For the active development and maintenance of egg production birds need lighting.17-hour daylight hours can be considered optimal:
- If the cells are illuminated longer, at first the number of eggs will increase, but the bird is quickly depleted.
- Short daylight hours, without the use of additional illumination will not give the desired results from layers and young animals. In the dark, birds reluctantly feed, which leads to savings in feed, but at the same time inhibits growth.
The unpretentiousness of the bird, the small space occupied by the cages and the rapid return of dietary products are the reasons for the popularity of keeping quails in the country, in a private house or even in an apartment.
However, in living quarters the breeding of a large number of birds is undesirable:
- due to the risk of developing diseases that are dangerous both for birds and humans;
- the complexity of creating the proper conditions for light and ventilation;
- due to imminent violation of the rules for the use of housing in apartment buildings.
A poultry farmer can grow a couple of generations of quails in one summer season in one summer season and receive healthy and tasty eggs from them. The only thing that may cause the need for additional costs is the breeding and maintenance of quails in the winter, however, a video on the organization of the process will help to understand the nuances to prevent mistakes even to beginner breeders.
How to breed quails?
Home quail farm begins with the acquisition of weekly chicks or handwritten incubation of the young. Emerging quails need special care and conditions. Before breeding quails, for tiny chicks, they build or acquire a draft-protected cage equipped with lighting and heating.
Small quails in the first week of life need to maintain elevated air temperature at 35–36 ° C.Then, in a brooder, the air is gradually cooled, reaching 30 ° C by the end of the second week. Heating small quails when breeding at home is important to arrange so that the temperature in the cage changes smoothly, without jumps, threatening the rapid weakening and death of the young.
In addition to heat, quails in the first two weeks leave around-the-clock lighting. This technique allows you to stimulate the activity of the bird, it is more often suited to the feeders and develops faster. From 3 weeks of age, chicks are gradually transferred to 12 hours of coverage. From 1.5 months, when quails begin to fly, the birds are placed in cages with a 17-hour day.
In summer, birds can be carried out into the air, but there is no outdoor quail walk. And here they are contained in the mesh cells.
When keeping quails at home, novice poultry farmers need to pay particular attention to the feeding regime and diet, as well as maintaining cell cleanliness. So that cleaning delivers less hassle, the cells and brooder for babies are equipped with a double bottom and are made of materials that are easily amenable to both dry reading and wet hygienic procedures.
Cage arrangement for quails
For feeding poultry in places of detention provide convenient drinking bowls. For young stock, vacuum-type designs are highly desirable. For adult birds, you can leave the existing equipment or install a nipple drinkers that do not give quail access to the water. As a result, the drinking moisture will always be clean, and the quails themselves will not suffer from hypothermia.
The number of drinking bowls and feeders when breeding quails at home is calculated based on the number of livestock so that during hot weather or during a mass meal, pets do not quarrel over feed and do not trample down the weak. For chicks in a brooder set tray feeders. As they grow older, they are replaced with grooves outside the cells.
Content of adult quails
At three weeks of age, chicks are seated in cages for adults. Females are preparing to become hens, and males are sorted for breeding and fattening for meat. At this point, there are changes in the diet.
Designed for breeding quail at home when added to food, protein-rich ingredients are added. For future hens, this will help increase egg production, and quail males will gain weight faster. By the age of one and a half months, the young livestock is divided by gender and form parent groups or families, and experienced poultry farmers advise taking eight males for eight quails. In this case, the selected individuals are immediately placed in a single cell. Subsequently, it is better not to change the males, because the chickens perceive it very sharply and may even cripple the novice.
If a group is formed only from layers, then a strong active male can be brought to them as necessary. In this case, it is easier to control which birds are covered, and even egg productivity with proper supervision is higher.