Coop Design Advice

Discussion in 'Quail' started by stevenmwilliams, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. stevenmwilliams

    stevenmwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 12, 2012
    Hello all,

    I'm looking at getting some Japanese quail in the spring and have been trying to design a coop. I am based in the UK and the quail will be kept outside.

    I've been playing around with Google SketchUp and have the following design. The coop will use 1/2 inch wire for the walls & floor and clad with wood at the back for draught protection. The roof I'm planning on using is a translucent polycarbonate roofing sheet to allow the light through but keep the worst of the rain out.

    The dimensions are 2.40m wide, 1.80m tall & 1.00m deep.

    My main questions are,

    • Is the nesting box space too big? I've read that Japanese quail will mostly stay outside and I will place cover for them in the outside part of the run) Would I be better making it smaller to give them more outside space?
    • Will they use a ramp to access the space above the nesting box as I've heard that they aren't keen on using ramps?
    • How many quail would a coop of these dimensions comfortably house?

    Any advice would be much appreciated as I do my research before becoming a quail owner in the spring. Thanks in advance.


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    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    My Coop
     
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  3. stevenmwilliams

    stevenmwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 12, 2012
    I've updated my design. No built in nest box now, just a removable shelter. All the front panels are now opening doors to allow for easier egg collection and I've decided to panel the sides to give more shelter for the quail.

    I was also playing around in SketchUp so now have a dustbath, feeder and log in the coop design!

    Any feedback on the suitability of this design from current quail owners would be much appreciated.

    Steve

    [​IMG]
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Looks great! You can also add a cut branch from a tree and prop it up in the corner for a natural feel and the quail should be quite at home in this coop! [​IMG]
     
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  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Looking good! I'm glad you gave up on the raised area & the nestbox--wasted effort on quail! Mine never use the second level in their pen, so I don't even provide access any more.

    The biggest amenity that quail appreciate in a pen like that is a sandbox. Take all the energy you were going to put into that nest box, and build them a simple sandbox (or better yet, two sandboxes--sometimes one or two dominant birds will guard the boxes, so provide multiple sites) with three high sides and one low side (the high sides keep them from wasting most of the sand), and fill it with play sand from the hardware store.

    They'll spend most of their time in the sandboxes, and lay their eggs there too--which keeps the eggs nice and clean and easy to collect.

    They'll also appreciate regular infusions of weeds & grass from around the property, which they'll pick the bugs & seeds & greens from. They also ADORE bird seed (like what you'd put in a wild bird feeder) as treats.

    Where are you in the UK? I grew up in Newmarket, in Suffolk County, and a little bit in Prickwillow which is not too far from Ely (also Suffolk County).

    Nice drawings, by the way. You're very talented!
     
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  6. stevenmwilliams

    stevenmwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 12, 2012
    Thanks for the advice. I live in the county of Wiltshire in a town called Swindon. I would prefer to keep my quail on the ground but its just so wet here that I don't think its feasible. I will build a run that I can put out on the grass on nicer days and also plant up trays of seed to put into the coop. I'm gradually building up my research before getting my quail in the spring.
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Good for you! Around here, folks mostly just decide they might like to raise quail and they go out and buy a bunch. They are so cheap--50 cents a piece or a quarter sometimes for chicks--and easy to keep, nobody bothers with research. I didn't either--we just grabbed some and started learning, and I feel bad for the quail I learned on. They weren't badly treated, but life could have been better for them.

    One thing about the seed trays--they will dig them all up in a hurry. By all means, give it a shot, but don't invest too much into it. :) I love the run idea, though--that makes a lot of sense for giving them space while keeping them dry. Just be aware that, to the best of my knowledge, they won't ever go "up" to get into the coop, unless you make them.

    I never made it over Wiltshire way. We sometimes traveled to Wales or London, but that's the closest we ever got. It's amazing how little of the country we ever actually visited (we went north sometimes too, usually to visit the Highlands & Scotland, and east to Dover & Calais, but never south past London).
     

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