Brooding Japanese Quail

Japanese quail (also known as coturnix quail) are remarkably low-maintenance birds. Even after hatching and brooding several generations of quail, I’m always surprised at how rapidly they grow and adapt to their environment. They’re smaller at hatching size than most fowl, so they do require minor brooding accommodations, but otherwise need few basic amenities. And don’t let those minor brooding differences deter you; they’re all things that can easily be worked into an existing brooder setup, or you can build an inexpensive brooder for small flocks.

Temperature Techniques

Temperature is the first variable to consider. Since quail require a relatively high incubating temperature of about 99 degrees Fahrenheit, the brooder needs to be comparatively warm at 95 degrees for the first week. Have the brooder light or heating element going for a few hours before transferring the chicks from the incubator, and take temperature readings to ensure accuracy and consistency. This way, you’ll avoid temperature shock when moving the chicks from incubator to brooder.

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