Aviary Ideas

danalovesdogs

Songster
Jul 6, 2019
77
350
146
Connecticut
I’d like to build my quail their first aviary and I’d love your input. If I want it to hold 40-50 quail, does the one square foot per bird rule still apply? What is the maximum size mesh I can use in a predator-intensive area? Does it need a floor, and if so what substrate should I use for ease of cleaning?
If anyone has pictures of their aviary I would be very grateful!
 

BReeder!

Free Ranging
Mar 12, 2018
1,545
5,446
502
Plainfield, IL
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My Coop
I’d like to build my quail their first aviary and I’d love your input. If I want it to hold 40-50 quail, does the one square foot per bird rule still apply? What is the maximum size mesh I can use in a predator-intensive area? Does it need a floor, and if so what substrate should I use for ease of cleaning?
If anyone has pictures of their aviary I would be very grateful!
I certainly think you could get away with 1sqft per bird in a coturnix setup. Just beware that poop will build up fast. Deep litter would be the way to go, adding more bedding every week.

As fir the mesh size, stick with 1/2in hardware cloth if you have predators. The smaller homes keep quails from poking their heads or and keeps predators from getting their paws/ claws/talons in. Bury it 1-2ft deep all around the aviary to keep digging predators out too. Also be sure to have solid framing if you have predators. I am not convinced that a bent pvc pipe will hold up to a coyote that wants to break in to get dinner. They may just collapse the structure on you leaving you a mess and dead birds.
 

le_bwah

Crowing
May 1, 2018
880
2,307
256
Boise, ID
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The 1 square foot guideline becomes more tolerable in larger spaces, but your quail will likely get more out of an aviary if they aren't crammed in. Can't go wrong with 1/2 inch hardware cloth, secured without gaps. Having a dirt or bedding floor is rather the point of an aviary, I think—deep litter or deep bedding work great, depending on the climate. Some people use sand as it can be raked and hosed down (also cheaper to replace).

This is my aviary. It's about 150 square feet—16 Coturnix in there now, with no plans to add more. Floor is not quite deep litter (need to add more wood chips soon) and is planted with ornamental grasses.

P7200214.jpg


They LOVE the grasses—they lay their eggs there and take shelter during rainy weather. I'm not as diligent as I could be at turning the dirt/litter, but it works because of my flock size—50 quail in a structure this size would filth the bedding out without frequent turning. Another reason sand is a good substrate to look into.

P7120215.jpg


Coturnix in an aviary setting exhibit more natural behavior such as foraging and nest-making, and I believe their quality of life is higher than that of birds raised in smaller cages. Whatever design you come up with, I'm sure your birds will love the upgrade!

P7240216 2.jpg
 

BReeder!

Free Ranging
Mar 12, 2018
1,545
5,446
502
Plainfield, IL
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Great info, thank you guys! One last question: is there anything I should avoid when putting a roof on it? As in, must be above x feet or certain materials work better?
Do you want to walk in it? If so go at least 6'6" from ground to bottom of rafters. There are various clear panels you could use, or you could use any other roofing option like tin roofing, plywood covered in shingles, clay tile, etc. It comes down to the amount of protection from the elements you require in your area, the amount of sunlight you want to come through, and just aesthetics.
 
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