Since the beginning the goal has been to raise quail on the ground and every time I tried to research this concept I came up empty handed or received negative responses. It was frustrating because in my heart I knew a natural environment was the best way to raise quail. Later after figuring it out I realized those negative responses were based on a myth sprouted from fear.
After writing Quail Getting Started I’ve had the pleasure of helping folks with this same desire to raise quail on the ground. I receive emails weekly asking questions that either make me smile or sometimes a little sad because they received similar negative advice.
If someone is giving you advice on raising quail at ground level make sure they’re actually doing it. To many times opinions are shared based on hearsay and not experience. It’s that simple!
Let me explain this bold statement because I’m definitely not a “know it all resource” and l love that with each flock of quail I bring to the farm I learn something new. I am however a problem solver who doesn’t follow what others are doing.
When I decided to step outside the box and raise quail in a natural environment I had to figure it out by making it happen. I applied some key concepts that detoured fears and influenced my journey for positive results and that’s what I’m going to share. No more do you have fear and keep questioning ground raised quail.
Those Key Elements
- I applied Common Sense.
- Turned fearful comments into proactive solutions.
- Observed all types of bird behavior from wild to free range chickens.
- I studied live Coturnix and Bobwhite quail activity for hours.
- Most important I allowed the quail to live as birds were intended by being hands off.
Why Common Sense
Common sense in general is overlooked; I once believed it to be a natural thing but I’m finding that’s not the case. Some of us recognize patterns and others don’t. The same is true in nature so when I designed each quail home I reminded myself of this truth.
Animals arrived on this earth prior to man which means they either survived or they failed to survive. The same holds true when raising quail on the ground and no matter what there will be loss, embrace that concept and don’t get hung up on it. Implement common sense in your planning as it will help improve your journey and the life of your quail.
Here are just a few of my key common sense tips and concerns that I’m often asked from readers across the country.
- Keep the grass low outside the quail home.
- Don’t leave food available in large quantities.
- Build your coop with quality materials – Cutting corners is asking for trouble.
- Raise quail in a fenced area – reduces the risk of evening or day predators
Turn Fear into Proactive Solutions
Those vocal fears that spring into the air sometimes make it impossible for us to think outside the box. For every fear, I believe there is a solution; it’s a matter of figuring it out. I’m listing a few of the most common fears and their solutions.
- Snakes will take over – Solution is to keep the grass low outside the quail run. Learn more here..
- Mice and Rats will eat your flock – Solution is to keep the quail home clean – I’ll share more on this topic later.
- Fire Ants Will Kill them – In the south fire ants are a way of life but quail are smart and they don’t nest where fire ants live. If a quail dies fire ants will arrive to feast on that bird so it’s important to remove the quail quickly and bury elsewhere.
- Quail will Drown in Heavy Rain – This was a concern one year on our farm so I created a solution. Read Here..
- They will die in the winter – Here’s another solution read here..
- It’s impossible for them to hatch in captivity – I did the impossible read more here..
The list of fears continues and because of this I’ve decided to begin writing solution posts for each one as they come to surface. I’ve covered a few and believe me there are many more and some are just plain silly.
If you have a fear and you’re seeking a solution for a current quail problem please share it with me. Either in the comments or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m here to help and I do respond to all my emails and those really awesome questions almost always get turned into a blog post. Most important there is no dumb question so let’s get them answered. The goal here is to turn fears into Proactive Solutions because I really want you all to have a fantastic quail experience.
Observe Quail Behavior and Study their Activity
Prior to raising quail like most I had experience raising chickens and ducks through open free range. Our experience with those birds was very positive and somewhat similar to a degree. The main difference was I knew I couldn’t open free range quail and this is where I had to figure out how to plan a protected free range environment. Quail Coops I’ve designed and used at our farm can be found here.
I started small and by studying my quail flock from the time they were chicks I was able to understand the life of a quail and how simple these birds really are. Always make sure their environment isn’t overcrowded, if you see a lot of fighting then you either have to many males or not enough space for your flock.
Don’t overlook the opportunity to observe and study their activity. I have learned so much this way and it happens to be one of my favorite pass times. It’s also relaxing and a great way to be involved in the process without over stepping. Remember you’re the caretaker and understand that every quail breed is a little different.
Raising Quail Hands off
I’m a very hands off quail owner; there’s no bonding with my quail as I’m simply their caretaker, which means there’s no bird hugs or names taking place. I raise for the purpose of eggs and meat and because these birds have a short life span I don’t get attached.
So, what I mean by being hands off is let these birds be birds by allowing them live in a beautiful natural environment, something that you and the quail will both enjoy. Your experience will be one of the most amazing things ever if you choose to raise them on the ground.
Let me end with this, don’t let the fear of others keep you from raising quail on the ground, use common sense with careful planning and the results will show you that anything is possible. When you break it down ask yourself this, “If you were a quail would you rather walk on wire or grass?”