Originally Posted by xIndigoSkyx
I don't have the quail yet but I hope to soon. I just want to be prepared. I have a shelving unit that's 3 feet across, 2 feet wide and at least 6 feet tall, it has three shelves spaced at least 3 feet apart. I want to put pans on the existing shelves then wire over the pans that the quail could walk on and the pans would catch there dropping so I could remove it readily. I would use the same wire for the walls as I would for the bottom.
Couple questions though:
Should I use wire? Is it safe?
If I can what size of wire?
If I can't what should I use?
Should I use real or fake plants?
I've heard they need sand, is that true?
Do they need nest boxes?
How many can I keep in that size 'Condo'?
What do I feed them? My feed store don't sell game bird feed, they sell turkey grower and starter though.
What kind of waterer should I use? I've heard you can use hamster water bottles.
If I can't use wire what's bedding should I use?
Are Japanese Quail good in cold climates?
Any help would be great
yes you should use wire...1/2 inch hardware cloth though b/c anything else is too big and predators will get to the birds. 1/4 inch hardware cloth is too small and real annoying to clean.
2) i wouldnt use plants at all.. and if you do make sure they re bird safe. You could plant some wheat grass in a pot but i suspect they will dirt bathe in anything you put in there. They dont need plants in any case so it would be more for your benefit i think.
3)i put kitty litter type pans in my pens for their feed dishes. They like to bathe in their feed in the pans and the pans save feed b/c it's less apt to be kicked out while they scratch through it as they eat
4)No they dont need nest boxes, they rarely will use them if they have them
5) a good rule of thumb in Coturnix housing space is 1 square ft /adult bird
6) They eat UNmedicated Gamebird Starter crumbles.. they need 26-30% protein to be healthy, plus ground oyster shell for their bones as they grow and for egg laying to build the shells of the egg and not pull too much calcium from the hens' bodies while egg laying.Check the protein on the turkey feed... if it's not high enough, give them the feed PLUS chopped brocoli, chopped kale , and sprouted alfalfa seeds to raise the protein level.Kale and Brocoli are 45 %.
7)you can use rabbit water bottles attached to the side of the cage...except the water will freeze in them if the temps are too cold unless you use the kind that heats the water . it doesnt take too long to figure the bottles out ,just set it up in the cage and squeeze the bottle just enough to make it drip water . the birds will be curious and investigate. once they get the idea that it's water you re all set ! takes maybe 10 minutes to train them..
8) Yes Cots are good in cold weather as long as they are protected from wind and rain/snow and have some deep bedding like hay to snuggle down in.
9) i know you didnt ask this but... Cots do best in smallish covey groups of 1 boy with 4-6 girls.
too many boys and there will be HUGE trouble as the males will attack each other and the females will also attack the males.
Hope this helps you .Best of luck with your Coturnix adventure !