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What's the best quail pen?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have looked through a ton of quail hutch designs and visited a quail breeder who had shallow hutches with flip up plywood tops..what's the best ones or most practical?
post #2 of 12
I have top opening cages and front opening. The quail are more likely to fly out of the top opening but I do have some that walk right out of the front opening. I do think that however wide/tall your pen is, it's best if it's a minimum of 24". Gives them more room to get away from one another if you have a bully. That's just my experience. We enclose about 1/3 of it to give a wind break, the rest just has a metal roof (ours are outside so metal is more durable than plywood, though we have some with plywood too).

Edit to add: the ones with the front opening doors are on legs, not sitting on the ground.
Edited by Twoandhelp - 3/2/16 at 7:49pm
post #3 of 12

post #4 of 12
So part of the cage is a "nest area" we just built these so they don't have hardware cloth or metal. The one has a bottom because we want to try the deep litter method and see what we think. Hope this was helpful
post #5 of 12

You can also go with 2x2 or 2x3 wire cages.  It's cheap and very clean for the birds, though a good scrape board underneath is mandatory.  If space is an issue, you can stack them, which also makes it easier for water, especially in cold winter environments.


Basically, it comes down to what you want.  If you want to raise a lot of them for meat and/or eggs, stackable cages are the way to go.  If you just want a few, Twoandhelp's hutch is mighty nice looking.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
maybe something like this?
post #7 of 12

I'd love to do something like that, but I want to breed for larger size, so I need to keep them in small groups for breeding.  I've got something like that for raising out my meat birds, but around here the chicken wire wouldn't last more than a night or two.  It's got to be 1/2" hardware cloth not chicken wire. 

post #8 of 12
EmTy- we have some of the wire cages that we use for breeding, but we don't have a shed or anything for a cabinet style system- but we have plenty of land. You said that the small cages are better for meat and egg production. Is that just because of the space enough birds need to take up or is there some other benefit? We mostly use cages similar to the ones I showed, but we are producing eggs to sell and we eat the meat ourselves so if we could increase output, we're all for it.
post #9 of 12

I was looking at it from a housing situation where you could house many more quail in a stackable cage set-up for any given building size.  If you've got lots of land, it's probably not an issue, but if you need to move them indoors for the winter, there's a definite advantage.  The less they can run around, the faster they'll gain weight, but I'm not sure if that's much of an issue with your set-up. 


If you've got a system that works for you, stick with it.  If you want to, you can always experiment with other methods, but never give up a proven production strategy for a new idea until you've seen that it works.


I'm toying with the idea of tractoring them around when the good weather gets here, but I think I could only do that when raising them out as the layers might stop laying.  I've also got such a small amount of land that I'm not sure if it's worth it if I want to keep them off the same patch for 60-90 days.  I'm sold on the benefits of pasture raising, but I think predators would be an issue for me at night as I can't fence off an area to move them around in. 


I'd try tractoring some of your next batch of meaties and see if there's a significant feed cost savings or taste difference.  It would be a 4-5 week commitment to moving them once or twice a day, but you might find it worthwhile from either a cost or taste standpoint. 

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have land...and I have been messing with bobwhites but this year I want to get serious and switch over to coturnix...I have 60 James Marie eggs in the incubator and will order 60 more soon...and probably some a third time (maybe a few bobs from locals) so I have a ton of wood and wire...I gotta get going on this pretty quick...I have a large brooder and breeding cages but need grow out pens
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