So, I love having chickens. I like the small number of chickens that I have and don't feel like pushing it with the laws for my city.
I started thinking about keeping quail. I used to keep small birds as a child. I didn't know if I could handle a gamebird. Turns out, quail are a super easy for me.
I knew my first father's day without my dad was going to be hard so I planned and saved so I could start by father's day weekend.
My design was pretty simple. Something cute, small, and sturdy. I only wanted ten girls.
It was built fairly fast. Faster if it wasn't for all the rain that week.
I couldn't believe how fast that I got this done.
I couldn't go the oops paint route. I used spray paint to get this painted so it can match my chicken "palace". I use top soil in my coop for easy cleaning and smell. That's what that is at the bottom. It has hardwire mesh all around and at the bottom.
I wanted a natural feel in the pen. I wanted it close to the ground but I figured that as I age, it will only get more troublesome to bend over. I decided to add some fake plants high up. To create the idea of a bush. I added in real sticks and bark from outside for the perfect touch. I got two soda bottle feeders off of Ebay for $5. It works great because you can elevate it to keep it from getting nasty. In hindsight, I should have bought 4 like I originally planned.
I used a milk carton to make a no spill feeder for the quail. I know they are messy but I wanted to avoid wasting feed. I cut ten holes out of a milk carton. Added a water bottle to make it into a gravity feeder and added duct tape to reinforce the feeder's weak spots.
I wanted them to have a place to hide so I created a little hide corner. I used a office supply basket and a tupperware container. I put some bark from outside on top to help make it feel more hidden. I think it's a great corner for getting out of windy rain too. They tend to huddle in their cubbies in the evening. During the day, they hang out behind it so they can look outside. They are just as curious as my chickens!
The feeder has been working out perfectly! Sometimes, there is two to a hole but they have gotten the hang of it now. I used a small storage container for a dust bath. I mix sand and top soil together. They love it! There is normally always a few hanging in there sleeping or bathing. I just set fresh food down so they all were focused. Except for my most curious girl who had to check out the camera.
Quail are pretty awesome. Mine are not as flighty as I expected or read. They have more personality than I expected as well. They make such a beautiful sound. It's very peaceful to listen to while outside doing work. I think it matters who you get them from. Mine are very friendly and are okay with being held. I don't have time to hold ten everyday but I plan to make sure they keep this trait as they grow. I will occasionally give treats from my hand and deep cleaning the pen every 2 weeks. To deep clean, I'll have to take them out and put them in their cat carrier (yes, they have their own fancy cat carrier). I sometimes pet a few when I'm out there. I can't help it since they are so curious. They walk up and chirp at me. I think they like it when I pet them. They seem to enjoy it. The quail are 3 and 4 weeks old right now so it won't be long before I start receiving eggs. I'm excited for the wait.