If you’re wanting home-grown eggs but don’t have quite enough room for chickens, keeping backyard quails are a super option – they’re easy care, lay protein rich eggs, don’t need much space and are great fun to have around.
There’s many different breeds of quails, and some are more suitable for backyards than others.
Let’s start with Japanese Quails (Coturnix japonica) which are a popular multi-purpose bird – they lay well, are resilient in most weathers and are generally a good choice for backyarders.
Japanese Quails are a small ground-dwelling bird native to grasslands in East Asia and Russia. Probably the most popular domesticated breed, they’re bred and kept widely for their their excellent egg laying rate and palatability. They’re also the only quail to be able to claim the questionable honor of being incubated and hatched in space, aboard the Mir Spacecraft in 1990. We’re not sure why either, but there you go. Highly adaptable little birds
they clearly are.
Many chose quails over chickens primarily because her backyard is small, and in an inner-urban suburb. Her other considerations were that quail are more efficient that chickens at converting feed into eggs – something to consider in a small system.
Added to the fact that they’re easy to care for and keep happy, and the fact that they lay an average of 300 eggs each a year, Japanese Quail sounded like just the thing for anyone's place.