Often raised for fun or meat, quail require very little care or space to rear successfully. Prolific breeders, the eggs are often gathered and hatched in an incubator to increase production. Young quail chicks that have no parents cannot be introduced to adult quail until grown. The adult quail, territorial by nature, will often attack the orphan chicks. Raise the babies separate from the adults. Hand-raised baby quail become quite tame. Hold the young quail daily, so it becomes accustomed to you.
Cover the top of a 10-gallon aquarium with a screen lid to keep the young quail from jumping out. Suspend an aluminium 60-watt heat lamp above the aquarium. Clip the heat lamp to the side of the aquarium and point the light downward.
Place a thermometer into the aquarium to monitor heat. Maintain the temperature at 35 degrees Celsius for the chicks' first week of life. Move the light further away from the cage to control the temperature. Drop the temperature to 32.2 degrees C. the second week. During the chicks third to fifth week of life maintain the temperature in the aquarium at 29.4 degrees C. The chicks will not require supplemental heat after five weeks of age.
Line the bottom of the cage with paper towels. Use three or more layers. The paper towels will provide traction for the chicks.
Place a shallow bowl of non-medicated game bird starter into the aquarium. Free feed the quail chicks.
Provide a poultry water dispenser with fresh, clean water. Line the tray of the water dispenser with marbles so the chicks cannot fall into it and drown while drinking.
Clean the cage daily. Discard the paper towels and reline with fresh paper towels. Wash the water dispenser and food bowl.
Move the quail to a cage or other poultry housing facility when they reach five weeks of age. Introduce the young quail to adults.
Quail make good parents and will incubate their own eggs with ease.
Keep the quail chicks dry or they may suffer hypothermia and die.