Hello everyone. I had posted some of my "build" in a few other threads, but I figured that it was time to start my own now that my quail are here! I am going to copy and paste a bunch of older build photos into this thread, and then I will keep this thread updated with the crazy antics of my quail and my journey towards getting a crap-ton of eggs. I keep changing things up, so I might be posting a lot. Hahaha..
Paneubert's Quail Aviary Adventure
The information and post below is one I made a few days ago when I was finishing up the aviary and eagerly awaiting the arrival of my quail.
Finished (well...is it ever really finished??? Hahaha!) the quail aviary today. If this is your first time seeing my posts, this aviary is built under our second story deck on our house. A good percentage of the framing and the entire roof is actually our deck. Photo dump time...
This is from the back corner. 8 by 12 inch pavers with normal bricks just inside that. Hardware cloth about 2 feet out from wood. Gravel on top. About an inch deep now, but I might fill it in deeper to be more level with the bricks.
Inside front corner. I tossed in some recently trimmed branches. We will see if that was a good idea or not when the quail get in there.
Shot of the door from the inside looking out. Those are 16 by 16 pavers on the outside and 8 by 16 on the inside. I did not run any hardware cloth under the door, so these are all I have for keeping predators from digging under. But I think it will be ok.... The door closes below and against that 2 by 6 you see, so there is no gap for an animal to get in unless they chew thru the wood.
Outside front corner looking at the pavers and gravel. I graveled in between the pavers and the framing wherever there was a gap. Figure it will help with drainage and deter diggers a little bit. There is about 2 feet of hardware cloth coming out from between the corner post and the door frame, but there is none coming out in front of the door. So this short side of the aviary has some protection via hardware cloth from diggers, but the door is just protected by the 16 by 16 pavers in front of it.
Shot of my ugly paving work. That giant rock made things interesting.....I had to work around it. There is about 8 inches of hardware cloth coming out this side of the aviary. So I have the pavers about halfway on and halfway off the cloth to extend the predator protection a little farther from the wood framing. As I said in an earlier photo caption, I think I might fill in with more gravel up to the top of the bricks.
Looking in the aviary from the door. This was before I put the evergreen branches in the front corner. You can see the giant buried rock, the gravel area I made, the black plastic house I am going to try out, as well as the sand box I made for them.
Just another shot looking in the door.
Another shot from the door.
In this one you can sort of see that I screwed in some tinted UV resistant plastic roofing panels. I tried my best to slope them towards the far end of the coop. They start right at the door, but are about a foot short of the far end of the coop. That is part of the reason I put a ton of gravel over on the far end of the coop. I want the rain to drain over there and not make a muddy mess.
Another shot from the back side.
Better shot of the roof panels I put in. I just screwed them right to the joist for the deck above the aviary on the near/door side, and then I screwed in a 2 by 6 to the joist at the far end. Then screwed the far end of the panels to that 2 by 6 that is "hanging" from the far joist. So I should have a good angle that will drain properly. We will seer when it rains!
Shot of the sandbox. That is an entire 80 pound bag of sand.
Shot of the house and the sandbox.
Funny how the site uploads photos in a weird order. This is another shot of the tree branch corner and giant half buried boulder.
Well.....that is it for now. 21 quail will be moving in on Wednesday.
So yeah, that last post was a few days old originally when I posted it to another thread, and it is now already Wednesday! Magic! My how time flies. My quail are here! 18 ladies and 3 dudes. A mix of standard brown as well as some Italian/blonde birds.
What have I already changed......well....I replaced the black plastic tub/house with a doghouse! You can see sand in the doghouse in the photo, but I also added a layer of hay to the house. The roof comes off for cleaning, so I screwed two small handles into the roof for easy grabbing. So far they have not checked it out.
Here are a couple shots of my birds. My daughter was running a fever at daycare, so I had to go get her. She had fun meeting the quail as well.
Time to go feed the daughter and put her down for a nap. More photos later. For now I will leave you with a shot of the first poop....I am sure many more to come.
Edited by paneubert - 4/6/16 at 2:58pm
Some random observations already.
1. All 21 immediately churned up all the soil/sand I had in there. They treated the entire 50+ square feet as a dust bath. I wonder if the people who hatched them provided any sand? They all seemed SUPER happy to be able to bathe. Like.....they were almost tunneling out of the aviary they were so happy.
2. They have no interest in their food yet. But I did see a few sampling the water. So that is good. I hope they take to the food soon. I am trying to start them on fermented feed, so I know it will be an adjustment for them. I am sure they are used to crumbles or pellets from the people who raised them to this age. I suppose that is another thing that has changed between the original "build" photos and now. I am not using that green bottom gravity feeder that is in the photos. I am feeding them fermented feed in little ceramic bowls since the food is wet and would not "flow" from a gravity feeder. They are so spoiled.....
3. They are not shy or flighty. I had a few try to burrow under my feet when I was sitting in there with them. I also was able to grab a few to show them to my daughter. They did not try to escape my grasp. When I open the coop door, they don't run. They just stare at me.
Edited by paneubert - 4/6/16 at 4:34pm
So one of the mysteries was if the quail would use the dog house for shelter or not. A lot of folks say that theirs are so dumb that they wont even go in from the rain/wind/snow/etc. even when provided a nice, dry, wind protected area.
I guess that settles that. These birds seem to stick together.
First night was a success. I did not count them this morning, but I did not see any obvious issues or dead quail this morning when I went out to feed them. It looked like they did not eat any food yesterday, so I replaced the 6 bowls with 3 this morning so I can better monitor if they eat or not. I also sprinkled some crumbles around the food bowls and a little on top of the fermented feed to see if that will entice them to eat. Hoping to come home to some empty bowls.
They really are silly birds. I went out as it was getting dark last night to see if they had all settled in to their dog house. When I walked around the corner I was greeted by a pen full of birds milling around. Hahaha. I went to check them again after dark and they were still walking around the pen. So they must have decided to spend the night outdoors......
Edited by paneubert - 4/7/16 at 9:36am
Thanks! If they don't start eating soon then I might need to start sticking some bugs in their feed! Hahaha.