Posted Jan 05, 2016
My family raised 7 common quails to adulthood out of a group of about 30 eggs, 12 of which hatched. Since my family had just moved to an old non-working farm with ample space and facilities, we thought it might be rewarding to raise some non-domestic animals. Quail were a great choice as beginners, they were easy to take care of and the experience of watching the chicks hatch and grow was extraordinary. However, the birds were perpetually afraid of us humans, which I assume is a result of instinct, but I always felt bad when cleaning their enclosure as they hid from me. As a result, there was little connection in terms of the quail being "pet" quality. They were more or a less a fun and entertaining daily chore which made adorable coos and calls throughout the day, and occassionally smelled unpleasant. However, as a first foray into keeping non-domestic fowl, quail were relatively easy.
I must add the disclaimer though, these quail were escape artists pretty much from birth. They are fast little things, and they will likely not want to be cooped up in a space smaller than 6'x6' area, which is a bare minimum. They tend to hide in brush if they do escape, which ours did after a hole materialized in the chicken wire. Unfortunately, we were unable to recover them during this incident, and eventually I think that they were likely hunted by the large population of foxes that lived in our area. For at least a week though, I could whistle at them into the woods mimicking their "bob-white" call, and usually I would get a response. I suppose they just really wanted to experience the outside, or perhaps there were more quail in our surrounding woods that we were unaware of. Whatever the case, despite their escape it was a fun experience, and definitely rewarding for a beginner looking to delve into the world of raising fowl.