Cleaning a quail cage?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by AndreaGS, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. AndreaGS

    AndreaGS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2008
    West Sacramento, CA
    So, my fiance and I want to get into raising quail. We've built an incubator and have an old terrarium that would make a great brooder. I have some specific ideas for their adult enclosure, and am probably going to be building that from scratch.

    Since we're going to be keeping them outside (we live in CA), I have a couple questions about cleaning the cage.

    Do they escape easily?
    Just wondering for when I would be cleaning, if they can/will jump out.

    If you keep them on wood shavings, how often do you clean?

    Are they easy to lure someplace else?
    Was wondering for the cleaning - when I want to do an intensive clean, would it be possible to get them to hop into a temporary cage, or are they easy enough to handle that you just nab 'em and put them into another cage (we're going to get coturnix)?

    Thanks so much! This place has been a great resource for me!
  2. SamG347

    SamG347 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2007
    You could just make it so the birds are on wire and their poop falls through the bottom. This would be easy for you and the birds. Keep the eggs cleaner and the birds out of their feces. I'm getting some cages made for my birds that use COATED wire for the bottom. Which is good for cleaning, resistant to weathering, and softer on the birds feet and eggs. You should be able to easily put the birds in another cage when you want to do a complete clean..aka scrub down everything and such. Not sure what species of quail you are talking so no idea what dimensions to reccomend.
    Good Luck!
    Have anymore questions feel free to ask.
  3. AndreaGS

    AndreaGS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2008
    West Sacramento, CA
    Thanks, Sam! From what I can see (I am a habitual lurker here), you are just a powerhouse of information!

    I'm still debating between wire and wood shavings. I like the convenience of the wire, but also really dig the aesthetics of the shavings.

    The coated wire sounds nice. How widely spaced is the wire that you use?

    We're probably going to go with the jumbo coturnix.

    Thank you again!
  4. digginchicks

    digginchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2009
    Sullivan, Indiana
    are you planning on having a flight pen for them that is always fun
  5. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    Coturnix really don't fly all that well. They are not the type of bird you would want to release...they will work for that until about 6-8 wks of age but after that not really great fliers. When you say raising quail...for your own use (eggs and meat or pets?) or to sell and make money? If you are planning on making money I would advise wire...I think it is 1/4 hardware cloth but don't quote me right now I only had 1 coke today [​IMG]...if you want birds that are neat to watch and such I would say go for button quail...for egg production and meat go for coturnix...they do escape easily but are easy to catch...especially if you have two boys to chase them down for you!!! [​IMG]
  6. AK_Button_Mama

    AK_Button_Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    I found a local feed store that sells kw cages for rabbits I really like those cages and they are already built for the coturnix. I will take a photo and post it.... oh wait look at my photo bucket account....

    if you look on there you can see how I have stacked the cages to make more fit into a area.... it really works out nice too cause you just pull out the tray and dump it out I like the wood shavings so I use it in the trays. it makes clean up easy!!!

    the photos I am refering to are on page 3 down at the bottom (the abrn has been rearanged as of late to accomodate a chicken room. but it will give you a idea of how I have my stuff set up!

    good luck the coturnix are so cute!

    oh and to answer your question I house mine (even my buttons) on 1/2 x 1 inch wire bottoms.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  7. AndreaGS

    AndreaGS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2008
    West Sacramento, CA
    We'll be raising them for our own use - eggs and meat. We're only a family of three (not counting the cat and dog), so we probably won't keep that many. Plus, we're in the middle of suburbia [​IMG] Our friends do keep a few chickens though, and I was thinking it would be fun to have a bit of an exchange going on.

    Not sure where to find the coated wire - can you get that at your local hardware store?

    I've seen a couple photos of people keeping their quail on wood shavings and it just looks so hmmm..."homey"? Of course, it seems like it might be a pain in the butt to clean!

    I'll be keeping them next to my vegetable garden for ease of feeding them scraps and composting the droppings [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the advice - ya learn something new every day!
  8. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I wouldn't suggest keeping them on shavings if you plan on keeping them outside. monarc23 has her's outside, and I believe she has a 'box' for them to sleep in. This would have shaviings or whatever in it, and you could easily keep them out of the box while you clean it, or inside the box to spray the outside pen.

    Coturnix are better kept off the ground in a cage. They can get worms from being in the dirt, so you would need to worm them if you planned on eating them and kept them on the ground.

    I would think 1/2" wire for the bottom would be better, as I don't think their poo would go through 1/4" very well. Part of my buttons cage has 1/4" wire in it, and the poo just sits there a lot of the time.

    Coturnix are usually pretty tame, but if they get out outside, it might not be that easy to catch them. I had a pharoah hen get away a few months ago. The dog found her, frozen basically, just the other day [​IMG] Best to not give them the option to escape. Even if you were to clip their wings, they would still be able to fly, just not as far.

    I believe the space requirements for coturnix is 1 sq. ft. per bird.

    I have some young ones that are still in the house on shavings, and let me tell you, it is not a pretty site! They are very messy, and they poo a lot!! Put them in a wire bottomed cage, right next to your garden, then all you need to do is shovel it up and toss it in!

    Oh, and Sam didn't mention this, but his cages will have ang;ed floors, so the eggs will roll to the front of the cage. This would make it easier to collect the eggs, and not stress everyone out!
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  9. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    Quote:Coturnix fly amazingly well??? VERY well infact. I dunno where your birds came from but mine can fly football fields distances...LOL! Age doesnt seem to matter here either atleast not for mine. It was my male that flew up and away and i thought he was a gonner...he flew very far away and i gave up...but he came back the next morning. [​IMG] He's a jumbo too, and was over 12 weeks old at the time.

    I dont mean to disagree with you but I deffiantly wouldn tell people they dont fly too well because lol anyone iv'e talked to that's had them fly off, says it's a wir and they're gone! LOL! it was that way for me too! My bird flew like he had been flying all his life. Now i've had other hens that when they get loose the fly a short distance then land and hide----and they hide amazingly well...then i have to keep eye contact and sneek up on them and grab them.

    I advise clipping wings....but basically like shelley said they can still get some air (just not antyhign major you can catch them but they also run pretty well) LOL!

    BTW Shelley, im sorry about the hen! But im glad you finnaly know what happened ot her even tho the results weren't what i had hoped for for you [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    I prefer more natural cages with wooden structures, shavings, hay or straw, etc... I have a 2x3' guinea pig cage with wooden bottom, 8" high wooden sides, and then mesh up another 28" for the trio I'm eventually keeping. My coturnix are still eggs yet. [​IMG]

    My buttons are all in aquariums with various setups using bricks, driftwood, and wooden small pet houses to entertain them. Buttons are flightier and more likely to try to escape than coturnix and I don't really have any troubles. I do small cleanings where I just slowly scoop out the bedding from one end to the other with the buttons still in the cage and then as needed I'll do complete wipe downs to disinfect. For that I remove the quail to a collapsible dog crate with a top opening. Scoop them up, pop them in, and zip it up. Then I can work on the pen as long as I like and leave the vinegar to dry if I need to after wiping the glass. Pop them back in and it really doesn't take that long. I have maybe 1 escape every few months which is quickly caught. They can fly the entire length of my house and bounce of the ceiling in the process though. I'm sure a coturnix could make quite a distance in the open if they fly anywhere near as well as buttons.

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