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coturnix quail pen size...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So I plan on buying some eggs or getting some adults or something along them lines for some coturnix quail this spring/summer. I found some of them desks the schools have that have the three sides and one open side. Hopefully you guys know what desks I'm talking bout but the inside dimensions would be bout 3' long by 2' wide and bout 2.5' tall. I was planning on building some type of hidey hole to go inside and putting a solid roof on top also was gonna cut out a section of floor and replacing with 1/2'" X 1/2" coated hardware cloth and of course a door and the front will be 1/2"X1/2" coated hardware cloth too. My question is will this size of pen be a good sized pen for 1 male and 2 female coturnix or is that to small?




post #2 of 9

I"m not sure what desks you mean as they kicked me out of school years ago.  a 2x3' cage would be fine for a male and 5 females, so you're good to go.  The height may be an issue, though.  It's best to keep them in 10-12" high cages or give them 5' or more as they like to fly and will bonk their heads on the top sometimes.  It is a trait that you will see less of over time as it can be self-limiting genetically. :D


Why do you want to use coated wire?  You don't need it, though cages can sag with thinner gauge wire, which is why I keep my cages to 2x2 if I can as the local hardware cloth supply has all gone to 19 ga instead of 16 ga.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hmm in that case I guess I could split them in half and I could have two separate pens in one! Just have to put in a poop tray for the top. I never had any reason to use coated just figured it'd be a little softer on their feet but if it don't matter guess I won't worry bout it. The 2 X 2 isn't to big for coturnix quail? And thanks for the reply!! this is the desks I'm talking bout too
Edited by Trapper Luke - 3/13/16 at 2:20pm
post #4 of 9

I keep 3 females and a male in a 2x2, though you can go to 4 females in a pinch.  Actually, in many places outside NA they cram them in more.  They're fine with 1/2" uncoated and I put mine on that at 3 weeks. 


You'll thank yourself if you put the feed on the outside or screen it off inside so they can't waste it or crap in it.  I'd put a poop board in for both levels to save time in construction and the bottom one can be very thin.  I currently use a waterer, but want to go to watering cups off a water line to keep things cleaner.

post #5 of 9

Many trains of thought on how many birds.  2x3 is 6 sf and many will say 1sf per bird.  Commercial operations go to 2 - 3 times that many successfully.  So YMMV as does everyone elses.  It also depends on what you use for food and water.  Are they inside the cage?  takes up more floor space, fewer birds.  


I do not like hardware cloth.  Even the coated stuff.  It has to be harder on their feet than heavier wire.  Most of mine are on 1/2x1" rabbit flooring.  Even that can get old and crusty though.  Best IMHO is the plastic coated rabbit flooring.  It does come in 1/2x1/2 as well as 1x1/2.  There are cage suppliers across the country that can help.  Feed stores with usually carry the non-coated stuff.  Galvenized after weld (GAW) is the best of that.  Usually heavier gauge and will last longer.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

ill probably rig up a way to put the feeder and a nipple waterer on the outside. What are you calling rabbit flooring though?

thanks for the reply!!

post #7 of 9

Around here rabbit flooring is 1/2x1 14 ga.  I haven't found anyone who carries the plastic coated stuff, but it is nice.  Since the Canadian dollar went back to peso status, our wire prices have gone through the roof.  I bought several rolls of hardware cloth, so that's what I use.  I'm even housing a young rabbit buck in a 1/2" hardware cloth cage as I had it and it'll do the job until I need another grow out cage for the bunnies.  I'm not looking forward to that day.

post #8 of 9

that is hard Em.  Check with rabbit show people who the cage suppliers are to the local shows as it is possible they can get it for you.  Good thing about it is with quail the rabbit flooring will last almost forever if kept clean and well maintained  So even though pricey it will last for the long haul.  


Local farm type feed stores will usually carry rabbit wire, both the "side" wire that is usually 1x2" and the flooring that is 1x1/2.  Most of my cages are re-purposed rabbit cages that many consider to high, usually 14-16" tall.  I've lost a couple of birds out of hundreds in these cages that were not explainable that could be from hitting their heads..but I saw a bird do it in a 10" cage too!


I have one tuxedo that loves the 16" cage as he loves to hop around...weird bird lol

post #9 of 9

I've actually got two commercial rabbit suppliers within a 15 minute drive, but neither stocks the coated wire.  I'm also in a tight spot financially for the next few months, so I'm doing everything as cheaply as possible, but I'll certainly go with the best wire when I can.  Many times it's best to spend more money for a better product.  That said, I recently got 2 rolls of hardware cloth at 60% off, so that's what I'm using.


We really don't have many people supplying rabbit breeding stock.  I'll never go back to the guy I bought my first 2 does from and I even drove 3 hours round trip to get one re-bred instead of going back to the original guy and getting it for free.  I was lucky enough to find a local (ish) guy for my quail eggs who is fantastic.  He also breeds for size, so that gave me a head start.  I cleaned out my brooder today and I've got a few really plump ones coming along...

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