Raising Quail Articles

Pastured Quail Raising, Does It Seem Feasible?

Posted by admin | Uncategorized | Saturday 8 January 2011 10:05 pm

I received an email the other day asking if I have ever tried raising quail pastured in a salatin pen? Even though I had heard about it, I had never really researched the idea. Since I am a firm believer in raising quail on wire, anything that involves putting them on the ground usually doesn’t interest me.

However, pastured quail raising could be the answer to all the problems I have with quail being on the ground. Even though the cages are somewhat heavy the are movable. So instead of having to move the quail to another pen in three months and turn the ground over in the pen they just came from, you just move the whole pen.

Nevertheless, i see two potential problems, one being the heat with the tin or metal roofs it could become much to hot for the quail inside the pen. I don’t think that using a normal white paint or something of that nature reducing the amount of heat that much. I see only two possible solutions to this problem and I’m not sure that they would work. One would be to use a real heavy coat of that rubberized paint on the metal that is used on the roofs of campers. The other solution could be to use that roll on bed liner pretty thick, since it only comes in black you would probably want to paint it white. These both can be put on very thick which may work.

Anybody that has ever raised quail knows how much predators love quail meat and eggs, this could be another problem. Even though the bottom of the pen are said to be predator proof, there isn’t anything on the floor. So the digging predators still have easy access. The easiest solution would probably defeat the purpose of the pen somewhat and that would be putting a wire mesh on the bottom of the cage. The other answer would be to dig a trench around the whole pen and sink wire mesh in that a minimum of one to one and a half feet deep.

Both of these minor adjustments probably sound harder than they would really be. I’m not aware of anyone that has tried pasture raising quail but I think with taking the right precautions it’s worth a shot.


  1. Comment by Tractor Mom — June 6, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    I ran across this article looking for information on raising pastured quail. We have been raising a small flock of pastured quail for almost a year now. Now we are novices, and have only 10 (5 males, 5 females) but the quail are thriving! We have a small 8′ X 4′ X 1′ pen that we move daily. Their feeds are spread on the ground where the quail have learned to forage for their food. We put a piece of plywood over one side of the pen that supplies them with shade throughout the day. The pen is on an open field that we don’t cut too often so the quails have plenty of grass to hide in. We have only had problems with one quail being killed by predators–a cat killed on who stuck his head through the chicken wire and the cat took its head! We believe that because we move the quails every day that predators are not as apt to try to find a way to get them out of the pen.

    I have a question about quails laying….the females are starting to lay and since we move the pen each day, are getting confused when we move their nests. Putting them in a pen is not an option for us, because we feel they are doing too well to confine them. What size of nesting box could we put in the pen for the females to lay in?

    I highly suggest that you try pasturing some quail! Ours have been doing so well and even made it through the long wet winter on the ground!

    Thanks for reading my comment….

  2. Comment by admin — June 7, 2011 @ 8:33 am

    Even though the pastured quail are being given a more instinctive friendly environment with this type of raising they’re still in a captive state. There is a very good chance that you will have to incubate the eggs. I like your idea of the daily movement and offers your quail plenty of opportunity for fresh food and cuts way down on the chances of disease.

    The only thing that I could recommend for a nesting box would be multiple boxes, one for each female. The size of a shoe box should suffice. This way hopefully your female quail will choose a separate nesting box as their own. If it works, moving them will not be as stressful because the nesting area will still be the same. If ir doesn’t work then incubation may be the only solution.

    Good Luck

  3. Comment by Todd Schriver — March 16, 2013 @ 7:41 am

    The previous commenter is right, moving the pen dail drastically reduces the risk from digging predators. If it is still a concern for you, you could try what pastured rabbit people do: mowing the pasture almost to the ground and laying inexpensive chicken mesh down on the ground where you intend to drag the pen.

    The heating is really a non-issue with sufficient headspace: since the sides and part of the top are open and the grass is usually cool.

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