Calling all indoor quail keepers

Discussion in 'Quail' started by iamcuriositycat, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm looking for folks with experience keeping coturnix quail in small, indoor spaces. Living rooms, basements, closets--wherever you keep them. I'm working on a proposal for an "urban sustainability" magazine that will show folks how they can raise their own eggs indoors. We currently raise quail outdoors, and I'm planning to bring a small group indoors so I can draw from my personal experiences, but I'd also like to draw on the expertise and experience of others. I do have one rooster indoors (long story) and he's about to get several hens for this project.

    Please post here or contact me if you're willing to help. Or just share some of your thoughts and experiences in this thread, and I'll contact you for permission & further details when I'm ready to use the material.

    I'm also using the search feature and looking at previous threads about raising quail indoors, so I may contact some of you privately if I find information I want to draw on. Meanwhile, here are some specific thoughts, ideas, and questions I have about raising them indoors:

    * I found out almost accidentally that quail will readily drink from a hamster or other rodent water bottle. I plan to use one for my indoor quail to reduce water mess and ensure they always have a clean supply. Any thoughts or experience with that?

    * Instead of taking up precious floor space with a chick feeder, I'm using a small bird feeder, the kind you hang inside a wire bird cage, for my current indoor quail. I have it hanging at head level, so he can't get into it and scratch it all over the place, and it doesn't get pooped in either. So far it's working great, but my biggest concern is size--once I have more quail indoors, they may go through the feed quickly. Thoughts?

    * I use baking soda in the bottom pan, under the wire. He doesn't walk in it because he's on wire, but it takes care of the odor really nicely. I wonder how effective it will be with larger groups?

    * He has a sandbox (i.e., a small tupperware container with sand from the yard in it) which he loves. It does get poopy, though, so I love the suggestion in another thread of using a litterbox scoop to clean it out.

    * I'd like to include other "natural" elements that will help the quail feel comfy in there. Suggestions? Fake plants? Small nest boxes? What else?

    * Have you found egg productivity to be impacted by their indoor lifestyle? Is ordinary indoor lighting adequate to keep them in top form? What about winter--do they decline in productivity, or does the steady indoor lighting routine keep them laying constantly?

    * Do you add anything to their feed--greens, fruit, scraps, etc.? Bird seed? Anything beyond the standard game bird feeder?

    Thanks so much!!
     
  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm way too new to this to comment, but it's interesting and I hope you get the answers you're looking for.

    I just moved my almost 40 Coturnix out to my detached garage yesterday, I had them in the house. The odor wasn't really a problem, but I changed them twice a day. They are going into an outdoor albeit very sheltered run, and I want them to start getting used to the cooler weather. So, they'll stay in the detached garage about 2 weeks, and then into the permanent run.

    I've got a bunch of buttons, those will be permanent indoor birds.
     
  3. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The most challenging problem keeping quail indors will be odor control/daily manure disposal, since quail generates hell a lot of ammonia in their wastes.

    Anything else is EASY.


    I keep quail outdoors on wire, rutinely remove manure and they still STINK OFF a good portion of my backyard.
     
  4. 95yj

    95yj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    don't use a gerbil waterer, i have one outside and it still gets wikid nasty cause they spill all of it. unless i just have a really cheap one.
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!

    Denninmi--you were changing twice a day? Ouch! I'm thinking of something that would be practical for anyone--maybe a once-a-week cleaning... the concept is something along the lines of "Eggs From Your Living Room," and it's geared for folks who may never have raised livestock before but want more control over their food supply. They may be living in condos, townhouses, apartments, or just on a small city lot (possibly with a garage). So I think changing twice a day is a bit much--but maybe with a tray in the bottom, they could just dump it once a day. Still, if there's a way to control odor with baking soda or stall dri or something along those lines...

    pascopol--ours are pretty stinky outdoors too. But then, we NEVER clean them--the manure falls through into straw below, and I toss fresh straw when it gets really bad. The pens themselves get hosed down periodically, but really not all that often. My sense of smell is pretty weak, so maybe I'm not understanding the full impact. We'll see! lol

    95yj--Thanks for that. I'll let you know how it goes--it was working well for a couple days outdoors, but we'll see how it goes indoors. I have the sort with a ball in the end, I don't know if that will matter. I'll definitely be watching out for mess and may have to try something different. Thanks!

    I appreciate all the feedback, guys!
     
  6. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    I house all my coturnix indoors. I have roughly 150 Coturnix quail and 100 Button quail housed indoors in a garage that is a separate building. I have a brooder and hatchery room in the garage, and then I have the quail room. I clean cages every other day, mostly the coturnix, since they are quite messy. I have fans attached to cages and I can control lighting for egg production.

    It isn't too bad. It is my passion so what needs to get done, gets done. I have some retired coturnix pairs in the house and they make great pets.

    If you use a great absorb able bedding, keeping them indoors is doable. Maybe not as much as I have but a couple here and there doesn't hurt.
     
  7. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    If you want to hear a story...I started breeding Coturnix in a 2 bedroom apartment [​IMG] I can tell more [​IMG] If you want...
     
  8. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]:thumbsup
    Quote:I have a feeling there is somewhere a story which will beat your story when coming out....


    Something like;

    We live in efficiency appartment in no pet zone. We have 5 children, 2 dogs, 5 cats, rabbit, rat and a mouse. In order to be more "green" and have pets capable of giving us a breakfast too, we now keep 50 coturnix hens in 5 cages, the hens give us about 40 eggs a day, that's not really enough for family of 7 but it is a start.
     
  9. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    Wowza, now that's a story. I was supposed to only have 2 dogs but I managed to have in one room 30 coturnix, 2 guinea pigs, 2 hamsters, 2 parrots, and a bunch of eggs and chicks [​IMG] I was in college too at the time. When I graduated, I drove from Oregon to Florida with all these animals in a car and had to sneak them in motels during resting stops [​IMG] No one complained... the start of Stellar Gamebirds though [​IMG]
     
  10. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    google "Quail an egg and meat production system " I could not get the link to work right it is the first link at the top of the page.


    I used a few of the ideas in this pub when I was planning and building pens and cages the door latch they show is a one handed one it is so much easier the originals I built
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010

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