Not only do chickens scratch, peck, and lay fresh eggs: the smaller quails are also popular pets. They take up less space and are easy to keep in the garden. Your animal world reveals what to look out for.
Quail have many advantages: their eggs are particularly tasty, and many types of quail are also pretty to look at. If you are thinking about getting the small ground birds for the garden, you should consider a few points in advance – because the frightful and escape-oriented mini-chickens need a well-structured environment – with many small places to hide, explains the industry association for pet supplies ( IVH).
Quails need enough opportunities to scratch, peck, sandbath,e and sunbathe to their hearts’ content. Neither exclusively open free-range nor pure cage farming come into question for this. The animal experts recommend a combination of a quail house and an open-air enclosure that is planted with plants and bushes and thus protected.
Minimum One Square Meter of Open Space Per Quail
For each animal, at least one square meter of free space should be included, with a group of five to six animals at least two square meters of stable space should be added. The enclosure itself should be escape-proof and offer protection from predators such as cats or martens.
Depending on the species, quails are very social animals that are best kept in small groups of at least three, but better five to six animals. Since roosters often behave aggressively towards hens – and can also be very loud, the experts recommend keeping females only. If the quail hens feel at home in their home, they regularly lay eggs, especially in the summer months – up to one a day, depending on the type of quail.
Snacks for Quails: Always Fresh Water and Mealworms as Treats
Due to the high laying performance, the animals have to have constant access to feed and freshwater. In addition to protein-rich feed mixes, fresh feed should be fed daily, such as herbs, grated carrots, zucchini, or young lettuce leaves. But only very rarely fruit, as it contains too much sugar.
Leftovers and grass clippings, on the other hand, are not at all suitable as quail food. On the other hand, the mini-chickens are happy to receive additional bites of mealworms, ants, or woodlice, which they can “capture” during the daily free run in the aviary.