do quail eat your garden plants?

Missinasworld

Songster
9 Years
Mar 24, 2012
21
40
109
Ok so I have a bug issue..and I have a green house frame without a cover. I am thinking that maybe I will get 1/2x1/2 in wire and wire the entire thing in, add a door and turn it into a giant 16ft by 10ft quail run and vegetable garden. I have major issues with bugs and I am wondering if the quail could help with that..but would the quail EAT my plants? I see lots of runs with plants in with the quail. what do you all think..would it work? I have attached an old photo of the green house when it had its cover..the cover is gone. but I could bury wire under the ground and do up the sides and it would not be a big deal to add a door...and then I could set up 2 planter boxes for the plants and the rest of the area would be made into quail habitat...
greenhouse.jpg
 

TwoShepherds

Crowing
Apr 4, 2019
876
4,760
387
Southeast TN
My first quail are only about a week old so I can't answer your question, but I bet they would be really happy in an outdoor enclosure like that. I would love to get something similar someday.
 

Eonflux

Chirping
Jul 15, 2020
75
122
68
Ok so I have a bug issue..and I have a green house frame without a cover. I am thinking that maybe I will get 1/2x1/2 in wire and wire the entire thing in, add a door and turn it into a giant 16ft by 10ft quail run and vegetable garden. I have major issues with bugs and I am wondering if the quail could help with that..but would the quail EAT my plants? I see lots of runs with plants in with the quail. what do you all think..would it work? I have attached an old photo of the green house when it had its cover..the cover is gone. but I could bury wire under the ground and do up the sides and it would not be a big deal to add a door...and then I could set up 2 planter boxes for the plants and the rest of the area would be made into quail habitat...
View attachment 2421098
Ha, I was thinking just like you on how wonderful it would be to keep quails in my garden. That was a huge mistake, I’ve tried everything from birds net, covers, off the ground planting box with bird nets cover on top. Nothing will stop them from eating all your plants and turning your garden into a desert. But whatever you have now should works as an aviary, just don’t get your hope up about having beautiful plants and flowers with quails in it.
 

FortCluck

Hatch-a-Long Queen
Sep 9, 2019
21,411
93,387
1,317
Central Virginia
Quail dig up plants right from the roots. You could always put wire around the boxes and the quail can still get the bugs, but then they can eat the plants.

Also make them their own garden box that they can destroy and that might help keep them away from your plants.

I have a rose bush in with my quail and they haven’t destroyed it yet. It’s been there for almost a year. They love the shade it provides.
 

maadroj

Songster
May 25, 2019
328
412
168
Beautiful space. My experience is with California valley quail, so take it with a grain of salt. We used a greenhouse template to make our aviary, covered in 1/4" hardware cloth.

The quail will eat almost anything if they're hungry enough, and sometimes they will unintentionally destroy plants without even eating them, usually by dust bathing in the soft dirt around the roots. But there are plants they are not interested in eating, and plants that may survive their attention if large enough. I currently have lemongrass, jasmine, lemon verbena, rosemary, lavender, breath of heaven, peppermint, butterfly bush, vinca, blueberry, honeysuckle, and monkeyflower growing in the aviary. They may nibble on these but not enough to notice. Citronella did well until it got trampled to death, and a sunflower did pretty well and they loved the seeds. I've learned to cover freshly planted plants with a basket to protect them until they're established, and provide alternative soft dirt spots for dust bathing. I thought they might be averse to eating strongly scented plants, but they decimated the mints and found alyssum to be a tasty treat. They devoured cauliflower and broccoli starts and bean sprouts, though beans might be ok if covered until larger.

For us the aviary is for the birds, so it's ok if they eat or destroy the plants while we figure out what works. Now it's beautiful, they have lots of places to hide, and I hope the scented plants also help cover the quail smell for both predators and neighbors. :D
 

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