Coturnix cage questions

Discussion in 'Quail' started by momto8kiddos, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. momto8kiddos

    momto8kiddos New Egg

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    Apr 16, 2009
    Hey everybody,

    I've spent about two days reading through all the great info on this site. The helpful attitude here is terrific!

    I'm a complete newbie to quailing or any kind of birding [​IMG]. So I've been looking through all the info on cages. Some of them have an enclosed area. Some provide nesting material such as straw. Others are just bare wire. So I'm a little confused as to what I actually need.

    We are planning on hosting 25 Coturnix quail for eggs for our family of 12. In the future we may do meat as well but I want to get my feet wet first before deciding. We live in Virginia where it can get down to the teens but sometimes to the single digits in the winter. It gets hot and humid here, typically lower 90's but sometimes as high as 100. We basically live in the woods so wind will not be much of a problem. But we will have predators such as raccoons, foxes, rats, mice, snakes. Our hope is to make the cage somewhat moveable (like an elevated chicken tractor) so that we can place it over our inactive garden beds to enrich the soil without having to dump the pans everyday. Whatever is the least amount of work, right?

    The dimensions I'm thinking of is 6' x 2' x 12" with a roof on 3' legs. I'm planning on using 1/4" hardware cloth over the whole thing plus making a double bottom to prevent predators from reaching through to the bird feet/legs.

    1. How much space should I leave between the two bottoms.

    2. Do I need double sides or double tops?

    3. Will they lay their eggs just on bare wire wherever they are or do I need an enclosed area for them to lay in?

    4. If they need an enclosed area, is it okay to use hardware cloth on the floor in that area?

    5. If I have closeable shutters on the outside for when the weather is bad, will that be enough of a enclosed area for their needs?

    Lots of ideas going around in my head. But since I have absolutely no experience with poultry of any kind I'm not really sure what to do.
     
  2. joe125

    joe125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2010
    I build a simple 2x4x1 wood enclosure with 1/2" hardware cloth on the bottom, and all around. I can sub divide it into 2x2 pens, which I normally do, then further sub divide that into smaller pens, but don't worry about that right now. That open air design is fine for the Georgia spring/summer/fall, and early winter. After that, I put 3mil. plastic over the pens for the winter.

    This pen gets set on legs about 37 inches above the ground, where the poop falls. Then, it's up to me to shovel it out, and put it where I want it.

    3. Will they lay their eggs just on bare wire wherever they are or do I need an enclosed area for them to lay in?

    Coturnix will lay/drop their eggs anywhere...Bare wire/sand box/feed box/water fount/etc... If the eggs were sticky, you would find them on the roof.

    5. If I have closeable shutters on the outside for when the weather is bad, will that be enough of a enclosed area for their needs?

    Not sure what this means, but as long as you keep coturnix relatively dry and sheltered from the wind, then they will be fine. Down to about 12 deg. F.. They won't crank out a bunch of eggs, but they will be fine.​
     
  3. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    Welcome from Chesapeake I just went through one of the coldest Va winters we have had for a while. I have a privacy fence around my birds inside the fence at one of the corners I put a tarp on 2 sides to knock the wind down. I am almost on the coast, the NE winds here are pretty bad part of getting through the winter is to feed GBS from hatch to dispatch as JJ says , anything else with a lower % of protein they do not seem to to do as well.I have mostly Bobwhites and Coturnix. I also have a few Chukars and Gamble Quail Instead of feeding Layer, I offer them high calcium grit to the coturnix when they are laying every now and then they lay a "Jelly Egg"

    When I was first build my pens I used GQF's website to get dimensions to build my pens by.

    https://www.gqfmfg.com/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=49

    https://www.gqfmfg.com/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=25

    the pens I built are slightly larger and I only keep pairs of my Bobwhites
     
  4. Robo

    Robo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2010
    Knoxville,TN
    For the floor use half inch wire, then use 1/4 inch if Predators are a big problem. I just use half inch wire all over and build my pens 4x10x2. I have several of these and a ton of smaller ones. When it got to -10* and 6 inches of snow here I slid a piece of wood over the wire and put some boxes full of straw in there. I only had a 75 watt lamp and they did fine. As aprophet says feed them a high protein GBS. If you want eggs in the winter you can put some Christmas lights in the pen.[​IMG]
     
  5. momto8kiddos

    momto8kiddos New Egg

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    Apr 16, 2009
    Thanks for the responses! I am so thankful to have experienced quail keepers to ask.

    Quote:I thought 1/4" wire was too narrow - as in poop-clog-prone. That's why I was thinking of doing a double bottom instead. Do you use 1/4"?

    Quote:Why do you subdivide? (Can you tell I'm a newb? [​IMG])

    Quote:[​IMG]
     

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