Conflicting info on pen size...

underground chickenman

Songster
10 Years
May 30, 2009
562
10
131
Orlando, Florida
I'm a city farmer (chicken and veggies) thinking about giving coturnix a try. I am finding conflicting information on pen size. I have read that the appropriate size is anywhere from 1 sq. ft. per bird to 20-25 birds in a 24" x 30" pen. What do you have and how does it work for you? Does the height of the pen have a bearing in the floor space required? In other words, if height is pretty low, say 9 or 10 inches, should you have more floor space, or are they unrelated?

Thank you for the help.

UGCM
 

possumhunter

Songster
10 Years
Jan 6, 2010
200
0
109
I'm no expert...but from what I understand, it is 1 sq ft per bird with 4-5 birds max in say 5 sq ft pen. I think when you start putting more birds together in one pen, you want more sq ft per bird so they have more room to "hide" from the naughty birds.
 

Teach97

Bantam Addict
11 Years
Nov 12, 2008
5,603
14
241
Hooker, OK
you will get several conflicting theories on this...one camp is very sure they are right and those that do other wise are wrong and the other group will tell you it works

I keep my breeder trios in 10"x18"x8" deals...about that...I fudge inches cuz i don't ever think to measure...anyways...I grow them out in 2'x2'x8" and usually but like 25 in there from about 2 wks to like 4 wks then start thinning them out...it works for me but you will be told many things! Good luck...
 

Hangin Wit My Peeps

AutumnBreezeChickens.com
11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
6,396
32
263
Birnamwood, Wisconsin
We always went for the 3-4 sq foot per bird rule in the coop (which I learned about here from our chicken experts
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) and free range in the day. I think anything less then that and you will only have a stinky mess with lots of pecking going on not to mention it would not be so fun for the birds.
 

peewee

Songster
11 Years
Sep 25, 2008
868
6
141
Orlando, Florida
1 square foot of space per bird is the usual rule of thumb. This is not set in stone because I have heard many people on here that give them less room with no problem. I personally believe more room = happier birds. In planning out your pens make sure you give them something that is as wide as possible. You really don't need as much head room as you would for buttons. I would say something that is around 10"-12" tall (or more) would be all that you need. They do like to stand on their tippy toes and stretch out and some of the larger birds do have some long necks.
Coturnix are not chickens so you CANNOT free range your birds. Let one of those little buggers out and you will be very lucky to get it back. Also that is considered releasing a non-native species and you do not want to get into legal maters over that.
Welcome to the addiction!!!
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Hangin Wit My Peeps

AutumnBreezeChickens.com
11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
6,396
32
263
Birnamwood, Wisconsin
Coturnix are not chickens so you CANNOT free range your birds.

Oh my gosh I totally read his post WAY wrong
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I had to go back and reread...when I seen quote above.
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Now I can understand the 1 sq foot and no you sure wouldn't want to free range them.​
 

CARS

Songster
10 Years
11 Years
Jan 24, 2009
1,670
28
181
Saint James/ Comfrey MN
I am the conflicting one I guess
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I had up to 4 hens and a roo in a 16" x 16" x 10" cages for eggs (mainly) and meat.

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I don't know if the tight quarters hindered their growth but it didn't effect egg production at all.
 

DLS

Songster
11 Years
Mar 15, 2008
846
6
161
100 miles SOUTH of Atlanta
I have the laying pens from gqf. 3 hens & 1 cock per hole. 3 pens per cage thats 12 birds in a SMALL space & they have loads of room.Easy to clean if you hang from celing & get the auto waterer . Just a few pens & you would have what you want in a small space
 

aprophet

Songster
10 Years
Jan 12, 2010
3,798
43
239
chesapeake Va.
Many different colleges have worked with these birds for quiet a long time . I have been reading studies from the early 60's all the way up through the 90's , most of the college reports /studies agree on size of pens and cages I am using roll out cages based on the size georgia quail farms sells . I have built one pen so far it is 7 sq ft I was thinking 10-20 birds for aprox week 4-8 I will prob bill my birds to reduce pecking I may have to ajust the numbers once I get going. looking at georgia quail farms web site and checking their brooder size and how many birds they have been built for might help some it may depend some on whether you are trying to use them for meat or eggs as well, most of the pens I have built are 8"-12" tall. the egg cages I have so far only hold a pair of BW each when I get my coturnix I may try a trio or quad . good luck with your flock a lot of knowledgable folks here.
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