If you made the decision to raise quail, the first step is to decide where to purchase.
The good news is – this isn’t difficult and the best part of the process is you have several options.
The goal is to figure out which one of these suggestions will work best.
Step number one is deciding on a breed. The best quail breed for beginners is Coturnix and the reason being is they’re a stronger bird and they mature faster than any other quail breed.
You can begin enjoying fresh eggs and meat in under three months and females will begin laying eggs between 7 and 8 weeks. Meat maturity is around 11 weeks which is always a good time to thin out the males.
If you’re like me and have an interest in raising native breeds then my best advice is to begin with a small test flock of coturnix then go native.
This will help you understand quail behavior so you know how to respond when troubles occur.
Even if you have experience raising other types of poultry I would still recommend beginning with coturnix as most native quail will not begin laying eggs until the following season.
Final note, native breeds are just not as hardy as the coturnix in the early stages. With all that being said, I will include places to purchase all types of quail.
Where do you Purchase Quail?
You might be surprised but you have several options when it comes to making that first quail purchase; many will depend on where you live.
It’s possible in small communities to find breeders by interacting at the local feed store.
I find that most quail people stick together or at least know who’s doing what.
If that feed store has a bulletin board you could create a flyer with your contact information requesting breeders.
One thing that I love about small communities is people tend to want to help each other and they do this with a sense of pride.
If you’re seeking an approach that’s a little less direct, community newspapers are another good option. This is just a matter of looking through the ads on a regular basis to see if anyone is selling quail chicks or eggs to incubate.
If you see an advertisement for pickled quail eggs that could also be a contact because they may be interested in shrinking their flock.
The point here is don’t rule out what could be a potential opportunity.
Craigslist is probably the easiest place to search for quail because you can organize your search via state/city and surrounding areas.
My first and second flock of coturnix quail came from craigslist.
I had to drive about 45 minutes to an hour but it was worth it because both times I was implementing these birds either early or late in the season.
Do not drive out to these locations by yourself, make sure you go with someone because one never knows what you might run into.
I’ve never had a bad experience but then I’ve also asked certain questions prior to arriving to ensure that contact was indeed a quail breeder.
You can never be too safe, call the contact do not text or email.
Online hatcheries would be the least direct approach. It’s a matter of finding the hatchery that offers you the best service, quality and price. Simply click, purchase and pick up.
These birds will be delivered to the post office and you’ll need to pick them up first thing. The sooner the better because they’ll need instant care and don’t be shocked if one or two expired during the delivery process.
I’ve found online options for those of you interested by movoing on with “click here.” Please note I’ve only purchased online from WR Hatchery.
Pure Poultry – Click Here
It appears Pure Poultry has a nice variety of quail and I would stay away from the button quail because they’re eggs are smaller than the coturnix and they hold no meat value do to their size. Their quail do look a little pricey compared to what I can purchase quail for here in north Texas. I would recommend doing additional research before launching forward.
Loudoonberry Farm – Click Here
Their prices for coturnix look good but the site doesn’t appear updated so if you choose this option you may need to call in an order.
WR Hatchery – Click Here
This company has over 25 years’ experience and where I purchased my Northern Bobwhites. Very easy to do business with and they always have special discounts prior to spring and later in the fall. Check out their Chukar Partridge, absolutely beautiful.
Diamond H Ranch – Click Here
They offer both Coturnix and Bobwhite but they only ship fertilized eggs. It looks like you would have to call direct to place an order.
Best Damn Quail in Texas – Click Here
For the hunters, out there this place would be a spot for hunting quail. It appears you can also purchase bobwhite live; they’re raised in flight pens and I’m going to guess the focus here is to hunt and repopulate. Definitely worth looking into for those of you in Texas.
Summing up Purchasing Quail
Additional resources can be foun online and as we move forward into the future some of these will probably come and go.
For that reason, I suggest to first seek purchasing your starter flock locally if at all possible.
This would allow you to meet others with the same passion for raising quail.
They would also be a good resource for future purchases and it’s always fun to see what others are doing.
I also recommend beginning your quail flock with chicks because once full grown it’s difficult to know their age and unfortunately when purchasing large birds there are just some folks that don’t always share all the facts.
Be wise, don’t move fast and do your research.
Purchasing your quail should be fun, exciting and an opportunity to learn more about this new adventure.
If you have a favorite quail resource, please share in the comments below.
Thanks for joining me…
Smiles and Sunshine, Carole West