I have been considering buying chickens or quail for my back yard. Whatever I put back there needs to be attractive, easy to clean, and safe for my poultry. I have heard most people put quail in cages. Is there a reason why they don't use coups? Any suggestions?
an old rabbit hutch?
Is there a reason why they don't use coups?
I think it's because with Japanese quail (the most common type that people raise), they don't seem to lay in nest boxes (unlike chickens). You can raise them in coops but you have to make sure you can get into the coop to collect eggs because they just about lay it anywhere. The raised cages make it easy to see the eggs (which are small enough as it is) and some even have them slanted so the eggs roll out into a collecting tray. The cages also make it easier to keep them clean. That's what I've read anyway.
With Quail, it seems that most people keep them in cages for the convenience factors. They don't need next boxes, they will pretty much drop an egg anywhere. They require very little space as well. about 1 square foot per bird. They also don't seem to suffer many side effects from being raised on wire, so you have all the benefits of keeping them up out of their droppings. You can provide them with a dust box inside the cage, because the only thing I have heard is that Dust baths help their plumage and coloration.
With that being said large scale quail operations often house their quail in flight pens with a shelter, where they are directly on the ground, this is a much more similar setup to the coop and run we use for chickens. Quail do not perch and are happy on the ground.
One thing I read and thought was a great idea: build a wire platform under your feeders and waterers. These are the places that droppings and moisture will build up and illness may spread.
If you have a desire to build a coop and run for your quail I'd suggest going for it. You'll have very happy quail
There's no reason why you can't have quail in a coop. Just personal preference I think. I personally would like it to be as natural as possible.
Do a search on raising quail in you tube. There's one italian guy who has some great ideas. If your coop has a nesting box. modify them to suit your quail (this is what I'm doing). I'll be having mine on the ground at first to see how they go. This way I can move it around to suit the weather. I haven't made up my mind on whether t have the wire on the floor as well, just to keep unwanted guests out, but then, I'd like them to be able for fetch the worms too, so dunno.