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Quail cage question

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm about to get out of the rabbit business and thinking about quail. I have a really nice rabbit set up and was thinking about using it for my quail. I've got 8 cages that are 30" x 30" and 4 grow out pens that are 30" x 36".

How many breeding pair of 3 hens and 1 rooster can I put in the smaller cages? Can I even put more than 1 trio per cage?

I'm not sure about breed, seems bobwhites are most common in my area of tennessee
post #2 of 8

The size of the pen doesn't matter as much as the breed. If you put 2 bobwhite males together, my understanding is that they will fight to the death. I have coturnix and the only time you can have 2+ males together is when they are younger or in winter if housed outdoors. Other than that, they pretty much don't tolerate each other.


My current set up is the triangle shaped Ware rabbit hutches covered with 1/2" wire on all sides and off the ground about 4 feet. Ideally, 4-5 females per male is what I'd have but we had a male die right after I sent my extra males to freezer camp so I have no male in one cage. The cages are about 18" x 3' with 1/3 of the cage enclosed inside space and the rest outside space.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

So could I put 10 Hens and 1 Rooster in a 30 x 30 cage? If I only wanted eggs from these just leave out the rooster how many hens would be too many in a cage this size.....



post #4 of 8

10 hens with 1 rooster would be a happy cage if it's big enough. Think Hugh Hefner surrounded by bunnies. lol Not sure when egg fertility would begin to suffer because of high female count, though. I probably read it here but don't recall.


But density per cage is an issue to consider. I have Jumbo coturnix quail in a 30"x18"x18" bird cage tower in a spare bedroom. (The 18" tall cages are unboinkable for jumbos, if anyone was wondering.) One cage has 4 birds, the other has 5 birds in it. Those numbers include a male in each cage. More than one male and I'm sure they would fight. Bachelors in a cage simply crowed and crowed from lack of females until culled. My males with their females are happy and seldom crow unless wanting to show off for me.


5 jumbos is the most I feel comfortable with in a cage my size. 4 suits me better. I have to balance space limitations with M/F ratios. Males need more females but I like to see some air in their cages. I like to baby them, but they are not named nor are they pets. My indoor quails provide for our family and this works for me. Your goals may differ.


Also, I use Sweet PDZ (zeolite horse stall refresher) in the trays. (It dries the poop, but it also chemically neutralizes the smell.) I empty the trays weekly for cleaning. The cage with 5 really can't go much longer without becoming smelly. Being indoors, this is important. I also put apple cider vinegar in their rabbit water bottles every other time which helps. (I first scoop the PDZ with a cat litter scoop to get out the big stuff, then use a dedicated colander to remove little stuff.) Make sure your rabbit cage bottom wire is at least 1/2"x1/2" if you want coturnix. This is a must because their poop is big.


Open plastic shoe boxes make great sand bath boxes that retain the sand because of the tall sides although they do tip them over eventually. They also make great non spill feeders when you cut circles in the side and put the lid back on.  My birds use them as a diving board into the sandbox. So funny!


Just be sure to keep one or two empty unassigned cages for the occasional need... giving a female a break... housing a few culls temporarily...figuring out which female is laying small eggs... weighing birds...or whatever comes up. And something always comes up. lol


So just decide what type of quail you want then find what stocking level you're comfortable with that meets your/their needs. The more air in a cage, the better. You can adjust and adapt as you go along.


I voted for jumbo coturnix and my comfortable stocking level worked out best at 108 to 135 sq inches per adult bird.  :love (That would be about 7 or 8 birds for your 30x30.)


Hope that helps.

Edited by Dinx - 11/24/15 at 1:05am
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks all, very helpful information here. Guess I need to decide on a breed next and then decide on how many.


been reading on BYC a bunch and now think that coturnix or texas a and m might be my choice. I'm thinking about getting two kinds and see which ones we like the best later on

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I got 28 jumbos today. Got a good deal on them and split them between 3 cages. At what age can you start sexing them?
post #7 of 8

About 3 weeks for the wild colored ones, as far as I've read (don't have coturnix). Some might take a bit longer.

post #8 of 8
Texas a and m are just jumbo white coturnix.
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