Right now my ferrets are on a grain-free cat kibble because raw was just too expensive for us to do correctly. Now, we might be moving soon and this means I will hopefully have a larger animal room to begin breeding many species of whole prey. I will be breeding the following inside, in my animal room.....
Mice, Rats, Gerbils, and African Soft Furred Rats.
So that is 4 different types of prey animal, but they are all rodents. Is it possible to breed some type of bird, successfully, INDOORS, that is not too loud or messy and can provide me with birds for my ferrets? We will have a backyard, but this will be a rental place and keeping things on the DL is a must.
I was thinking button quail....but where on earth would I get live breeding button quail?
In my experience, ring-neck doves are extremely easy to breed. It involves a lot of squawking and cooing, but it's nowhere near the volume of a bird like a conure or even cockatiel. My pair of doves would lay eggs non-stop, and always hatch out two babies if we let them (we resorted to refrigerating the eggs to kill them, then giving them back for them to sit on until they figured it out and went right back to making more).
They raise the babies without any help, and are very sweet creatures (because they're also dumb as rocks). I haven't checked for years, but they weren't very expensive when I had mine, either.
button and pharoh quail are pretty easy to breed and you can usually find incubators on ebay pretty cheaply...Check your local Craigslist in the farm and garden section, you'll most likely find some there.... they do well on chick starter once they are hatched and they are dumb as rocks...you can't leave water bowls filled in their cage or they will get tired while drinking and lay their heads down and drown themselves... it's best to fill a bowl with marbles or round rocks about the size of marbles and then fill with water that way if they get tired their head is on a marble or rock instead of submerged...as chicks they are pretty quiet and "peep" but when the males get older they will, I don;t even know what to call it...it almost sounds like they are saying "chappaquitick" it's weird and almost sounds exotic compared to normal birds and chickens...
Quail would be GREAT! AND you can build your own incubator for REALLY cheap! I raise poultry. I built my incubator out of an old mini fridge that I had that didn't work any more. If you go to backyardchickens.com you can find all kinds of info on how to build an incubator and how to incubate and hatch eggs. Also, They have threads where you can find hatching eggs people have for sale and they can ship to you. You can also check ebay for hatching eggs. Also, if you didn't want to hatch your own breeders I would suggest having day old quail shipped to you from IDEALpoutry.com They are the only ones I know of that can and will do small orders (Under 25 birds.) But the season for ordering wont start back up til like FEB-March. Hope this helps.