If I only wanted to buy one book about keeping quail, this would be it.
The Coturnix will hatch in 18 days, reaches maturity in 7 weeks, and will lay almost an egg per day. Quail eggs contain 6x Vitamin B1, 15x Vitamin B2 than chicken eggs, and contain good cholesterols call high-density lipoproteins, which actually reduce the risk of heart attack. A single quail can be slaughtered and field-dressed in minutes. Plus, they’re quiet and don’t require much space. As someone who already keeps chicken for eggs, and is interested in raising for meat as well, the Coturnix sounds like the perfect bird.
Ok, disclaimer: I’ve never kept quail. I may have eaten quail eggs on a few occasions. I’m not sure if I’ve ever eaten quail meat. However, when I read a few facts about this bird, I had to look into keeping quail myself.
About the Book
Like it says on the back cover, “this is the ‘How To Guide’ to the next level!” There really isn’t much more you could want on the history, biology, husbandry, and breeding of the Coturnix quail. Actually, when I needed the exact numbers for statistics in the intro for this post, I just went straight to the “Egg” section, and skimmed the chapter titled “Egg Nutrition”. If I ‘d wanted to include something about the bird’s natural history or cultural spread, there are chapters for those topics too. Seriously, this is one content-dense book.
I approached this book as a newbie, knowing little about quail in general, and was somewhat overwhelmed by where to start. If you’re in the same boat, it helps to pick and choose which chapters are going to help you get started. There is a wealth of knowledge on genetics, formulating nutrition, and details about health issues which will be invaluable to anyone keeping these birds, but may not be necessary to get started. It’s just a lot of information to handle. If you’re serious about learning all you can from this book, I’d recommend taking notes.
I really enjoyed how technical and detailed this book got and the way information was presented, but this can be a hassle to wade through lots of text if you just need a quick reference. For some, this might be too much book. I’m not sure I’ll ever need everything in this book, so if you’re just looking for good general info there may be less expensive alternatives. The book does contain a few typos, and in a few places the layout is ‘off’ and can be mildly confusing. Since the book is priced like it’s required for a college course, these oversights are pretty noticeable, but really that’s the only bad thing I can say about it. Might as well complain about the font used on the cover.