Buying Quail

Before you buy quail, you need to research the requirements for your state. Generally, you will run into two primary issues:

1. Permit required. Most states require a permit for raising quail. Some do not require it for Coturnix Quail, but do for BobWhite or other native quail. Permits may come in several types - make sure you get the kind you need. Generally this means getting a personal or commercial permit, depending on whether or not you want to sell birds or eggs.

2. Import regulations. Many states require that you meet specific requirements if you are purchasing quail out of state. They CAN check your records and stock periodically. Some require that they be NPIP certified, some require more intensive health certifications, or a state issued certificate of origin and health statement. Consequences for failure to do this can range from fines, to destruction of your flock.

Quail are available in the same forms as other birds, but there are some caveats to buying them. They are often sold only as partially grown or adult birds, because the chicks are especially prone to "piling". When chicks are startled, they huddle in a group, often climbing on top of each other to get to the middle of the group. The boxes that quail are shipped in are generally the sames size as those for other larger chicks, and they allow the chicks to pile up quite high, which can suffocate the ones at the bottom. Because of this, many companies won't ship quail chicks.

If your quail are shipped in from out of state, you'll need to know how best to care for them when they arrive. If you have eggs shipped in, they may have a lower hatchability rate - shipping is just hard on eggs (though people do successfully hatch shipped eggs on a regular basis). Candling the eggs, to make sure the yolk and air sac are still intact can help you put the most hatchable ones into the incubator.

We don't recommend that you start out raising quail commercially. We suggest that you begin with a personal permit, and raise them for your own use (eggs or meat). Once you get the kinks worked out, then apply for your gamebird farm permit to raise them commercially.


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