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Hi Amanda,
Yes, i have raised quail before. Be forewarned, these little birds are adorable! They are cute! They are fascinating to watch! Easy, so easy, to get attached to them. Makes it harder (like my rabbits) to ‘process’ in to meat. I admit, I don’t process my rabbits – lops (check Google for a pic and u might know what I mean) – they are for their manure I can immediately add to my garden. But…that’s why I have no quail now. It was just too darn hard for me to ‘process’ them, although I did. I have no logical explanation other than their size and – haha cuteness. In a survival situation…well yeah…probably not a problem. Psychology.

The only things I can tell you that might be helpful, in case the books you read don’t mention it is:

-these birds can FLY! and fly FAST. Be careful when opening their cages because they are small and can easily dart, squish up and get out and then they are gone, gone, gone.

– for us – it took about 5 or 6 quail to produce the amount of ‘egg material’ that we normally use from a chicken. Their eggs are very small and don’t expect to even try and ‘crack’ them like a chicken egg. Size is the problem there.

– they can’t free range like a chicken – you have to be very careful opening and closing their cages. They will be gone.

-their best ‘feed’ is game bird feed which is higher, at least here, than chicken feed. Because of their size, you can’t just collect kitchen waste and throw it in there and expect them to eat it. Dice, mince and chop it….maybe…maybe not …a bit hyper and fickle birds – but again so adorable.

-because they are small and you need more in numbers than a chicken to get the equivalent egg product, …you will have more living, pooping birds…and they smelled worse than my chickens because I had them in cages not in a chicken house,…but if you have a cage and the poo drops through …buy lime and dust it daily when you feed, throw a couple of handfuls of straw down and it will be much better to completely fine odor wise.

-beware of having a bunch of males together. Gosh…for little things the males are brutal when kept together. You might be shocked given how normally ‘cute’ they appear and act

-you don’t get much meat from each bird so you need a bunch….

but other than that I’d say go for it. You will be entranced and love them…even if you only enjoy their eggs (which are great!)

Can you keep a duck legally? Just asking…they are amazing too —and they are great watch dogs!