abroot

Hatching
Jun 5, 2020
6
7
8
I have 6 2 weeks old quail and I'm housing them in a midwest ground guinea pig cage. The cage doesn't have a wire bottom which means I have to clean it out every day to prevent it from smelling (man do they poop a lot). I'm considering using some sort of non-toxic cat litter or sand as bedding so I can just scoop it up with cat litter scoop. I know that quail tend to eat sand, so has anyone tried kitty litter or any other effective bedding for easy cleaning? I would also appreciate any tips on ways to reduce their poop or smell of poop.
 
Nov 28, 2017
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UK
I’d just use sand, personally. It’s not going to hurt them to eat, it’s like grit to them. And there’s not likely to be any nasties given it’s for kids. I’ve tried wood cat litter pellets but they just turn to mush and it’s disgusting with the birds running through it all day.
 

muddy75

Ready to Spring into Summer
Premium Feather Member
Aug 17, 2018
13,234
101,991
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southern indiana
My Coop
My Coop
i’ve used pine shavings and pine pellets etc.......in a small animal cage, I put the water elevated on something like a piece of wood or lid/plate and I keep a litter scoop handy to do partial bedding changes as needed
 

Pandaisy

Songster
May 30, 2020
222
637
146
Germany
I’d just use sand, personally. It’s not going to hurt them to eat, it’s like grit to them. And there’s not likely to be any nasties given it’s for kids. I’ve tried wood cat litter pellets but they just turn to mush and it’s disgusting with the birds running through it all day.

I heard sand can kill quail chicks. They eat to much of it and starve to death with full bellies. Unlike chickens, quail chicks will eat anything that fits into their beaks. I can't recommend it, sorry.
 
Nov 28, 2017
2,871
4,396
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UK
I heard sand can kill quail chicks. They eat to much of it and starve to death with full bellies. Unlike chickens, quail chicks will eat anything that fits into their beaks. I can't recommend it, sorry.

Thanks for sharing your experience, I am sorry about that. I’ve used sand for lots of the Button and Coturnix I’ve hatched, all were absolutely fine. I’ve never had any quail chicks or chicken chicks die from eating the sand in my brooders.
 

NY Coturnix

Songster
May 12, 2020
266
352
121
New York
I have sand trays that my quail get once they go to the outside pens. At 3 to 4 weeks. Not sure if its dangerous for younger chicks but I use pine chips when they are in the brooder. I bought one of those kids beach sifter toys from Dollar General that came with a little shovel. It works great for cleaning the poop out of the sand. I found the kitty litter shovel didn't work because the openings were too big. The beach toy is perfect.
 

beccabonny

Chirping
Apr 21, 2020
29
123
56
I also use the beach toy, was thinking of switching to an old flour sifter though. I haven't used sand with the chicks but I do provide my 2wk and older guys a sandbox. I wouldn't recommend litter unless you can find like...all natural. Because what kind of chemicals might they eat? Plus I can't imagine it would be cheaper than some builders sand. I've read long term use of play sand can impact their respiratory systems so be aware of the type you're buying if you do that.
 

FloorCandy

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
2,576
5,076
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I use sand outside, and after 3 weeks old my chicks had access to sand all the time and have been fine. Sand is so easy, once you try it you won’t want to use anything else.

I use a kids rake to pull it all into a pile, and then a big serving spoon to scoop it into a regular kitchen sifter, and I shake it thru. My coop house part, is about 3 and 1/2 by 2 and 1/2 feet square, and it takes me like 6 minutes to clean it out. Once they’re done killing the grass in the pen part, I’m gonna fill that with sand too.
 

Pandaisy

Songster
May 30, 2020
222
637
146
Germany
I use sand outside, and after 3 weeks old my chicks had access to sand all the time and have been fine. Sand is so easy, once you try it you won’t want to use anything else.

I use a kids rake to pull it all into a pile, and then a big serving spoon to scoop it into a regular kitchen sifter, and I shake it thru. My coop house part, is about 3 and 1/2 by 2 and 1/2 feet square, and it takes me like 6 minutes to clean it out. Once they’re done killing the grass in the pen part, I’m gonna fill that with sand too.

They should now what to eat and what not at 3 weeks old. My grown up quail live on sand too. I added some pine shavings and they piled it all up in one corner to get to the sand again. :barnie
 

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