We have raised our chickens for many years, and we have lots of laying hens and we have raised meat chickens in the past. We don’t do the meat chickens anymore they are very labor intensive, and it just wasn’t what we wanted. However, raising jumbo quail for meat is another story. They are smaller, grow faster, eat less and are very quick to butcher!
Quail meat is higher in protein, vitamin C and iron when compared to chicken. Quail also gives you more minerals and amino acids than chicken meat. Quail also gives you vitamin A whereas chicken does not. Quail are smaller, quieter, and take up less space than chickens, making them ideal for garden set up.
Because we have such extensive garden areas for raising produce to market, we don’t allow the hens in the gardens. We have most beds done up in landscape fabric but a few of the areas have ground with grass in the walk areas and these are perfect for quail tractors. Basically, a quail tractor is a movable coop with an open bottom or a wire bottom like a cage that allows them to eat the grass below. The tractor is moved every day. By using quail tractors to in these areas we keep the grass area down and help fight any bug stupid enough to enter the tractor with the quail.
Not only are these quail tractors a perfect fit for those garden rows they work well on the outer perimeters and the back pasture areas. Because the quail are so much smaller the mess left behind is less than chickens leave but the tractors don’t have to be large so they are much easier and faster to move about.
All in all, it makes our life much easier and the benefit to us is two-fold. We get meat and help keeping the grass, weeds and bugs to a minimum.