Brooding of chicks is a critical step in the growth process. The Japanese Quail grow at such an alarming rate that it is important to remain vigil to temperature, food, water and sanitary needs. Providing your chicks a clean, dry, warm place will help you and your covey succeed.
Temperature in the brooder should have a hot spot between 95-100′ F. The chicks will move into and out of the hotspot as they need the warmth. Your brooder should also be large enough for them to be able to get away from the hotspot. We like to use large rubbermaid totes with a heat lamp on one side and food/water on the opposite side.
Food for the chicks is Purina Game Bird Starter crumbles, 30% protein. Some people like to grind it even finer for the < 1 week old chicks and that is fine. We have brooded chicks both ways, the important thing is to always make food available for them.
Water is right from the tap. We are lucky enough to be located over the Florida Aquifer and have a decent city water system. We use the Quail sized water founts available from any retailer of Little Giant equipment. They have a smaller sized lip, stay cleaner and are safer for the fuzzybutts.
Sanitation, as mentioned, Quail chicks grow very fast. They eat often and produce considerable amounts of waste. In our rubbermaid tote brooders, we use compacted pine pellets and fine flakes. The kind they use in horse stalls. These expand with moisture and are easy to disperse with a good old “red solo” cup.