Edible plants in aviary

Discussion in 'Quail' started by LemurFox, Apr 21, 2019.

Tags:
  1. LemurFox

    LemurFox Chirping

    34
    39
    64
    Feb 15, 2017
    I would like to plant edible plants the quail can snack on. I was reading that catnip is a no, but how about other mints? I plan to include corn, winter rye, alfalfa, nasteriums, sunflower, dandelion, and clover. I read some kale is okay, but not in large amounts so I am not planting those, but how about giant mustard, turnip greens, radish greens, lettuce (not iceberg)? Dill and fennel seems to be okay. Any suggestions to add? Herbs, veggies/greens (NO tomatoes or beans), etc??? Sorry for the rambling! Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  2. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Songster

    1,956
    3,938
    236
    Oct 30, 2017
    Central Texas
    I'm pretty sure they're going to murder the corn long before it gets to edible size.

    If you can put in protective cages, I might plant sunflowers. Let them get a foot+ tall and the quail probably won't eat them, and when they're done flowering, the quail can pick out the seeds.
     
  3. LemurFox

    LemurFox Chirping

    34
    39
    64
    Feb 15, 2017
    Thanks! I had sunflower on the list, but forgot to include it. Dandelion too.
     
    penny1960 and BReeder! like this.
  4. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Songster

    1,956
    3,938
    236
    Oct 30, 2017
    Central Texas
    What are your plans to keep them from murdering the seedlings as soon as they appear? Quail are like mini chickens in that regard, they'll tear your plants up for snacks.
     
  5. LemurFox

    LemurFox Chirping

    34
    39
    64
    Feb 15, 2017
    I was going to plant full grown plants for them to eat. It is fine if they destroy them. For seedings, I will cover them with wire so they can't get to the roots.
     
  6. le_bwah

    le_bwah Songster

    760
    1,739
    216
    May 1, 2018
    Boise, ID
    My Coop
    The ones you listed are good treats, but in my experience the birds destroy almost every live plant given to them. Only my ornamental grasses and lone miniature mint have survived. It's probably best to grow herbs and veggies outside their enclosure and pick some for them as an occasional treat.

    You could build a frame strapped with hardware cloth and grow grass/veg/sprouts through it. That way the birds never get the chance to eat it to the roots. Here's mine:

    P4020002.JPG

    I also like to grow dwarf sunflowers in a separate garden bed and give them the seed heads after they've dried.
    PA270676.JPG
     
  7. LemurFox

    LemurFox Chirping

    34
    39
    64
    Feb 15, 2017
    Thanks. I have built similar frames in the past and was planning on making one in the quail run as well for skinnier plants. I don't mind them destroying the plants, but I was not sure they would go overboard eating them. Good to know you have mint. I wanted to put some in if it were safe since it is so vigorous. I read about people having quail in greenhouses, but that probably did not work in the end.
     
  8. Mine love spinach, dill, parlsey, oregano and lemon balm, have not tried mint yet. They also love sunflower heads. Im thinking of planting boxes of herbs all around the base of my pen, on the outside, the herbs and spinach will hopefully grow through the wire somewhat for the Q's to eat. Last month i bought some herbs and had them stuck on the table by my indoor Q's and they managed to pull the branches in and desecrate half of the dill plant and lemon balm. I guess they knew i was buying it for them!
     
    penny1960 and BReeder! like this.
  9. LemurFox

    LemurFox Chirping

    34
    39
    64
    Feb 15, 2017
    Thanks! I have lemon balm too. I might plant a few vigorous items in the run and the less vigorous under the frame.
     
  10. el dorado quail

    el dorado quail Songster

    187
    1,046
    166
    Mar 24, 2019
    What about bee balm? That's a rapid growing semi invasive that should be able to keep repopulating their aviary
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: