First time Quail keeper

Discussion in 'Quail' started by WyandotteBiased, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. WyandotteBiased

    WyandotteBiased Out Of The Brooder

    26
    0
    22
    Apr 25, 2014
    Hi~

    So i have owned Chickens for over 5 years now and am looking for a new adventure and am planning on picking up 4 Button Hens and one Cock bird. I have an old chicken coop i am planning on setting up to be a haven for my little quail. (I have fixed the wire to be small enough and will be putting shade cloth around the edges to prevent them being pulled through if need arise.)

    So, now for the interesting parts, what will i absolutely need in my Quail haven? I will be having live plants in there and sand (as from what i learnt, they do dustbath a majority of the day)

    Thank you for your help. And any tips of keeping Quail happy would be much appreciated.
     
  2. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,156
    175
    136
    Apr 20, 2015
    Button quail are said to be monogamous, so you might want to reconsider the 1-male-4-females thing. That said, I have a group with one male and 3 females that do great together and hatched several clutches of chicks the natural way last summer.
    With sand and plants, you are pretty much covered - just make sure the plants aren't poisonous. You can try giving them little hutches, logs, rocks and such to stand on and hide behind and in, but it's not really necessary when they have the plants to hide behind.
    You might want to keep their feed and water slightly elevated as they tend to get bedding into it and walk through it. If they can get into their feed, they love digging it out too. Might not be a problem if the feed is seeds, they'll just eat it where it lands, but I feed mine ground gamebird feed and if they are on sand, that just disappears once it's out of the feeder. Feed should be above 20% protein - for chicks, I use 24%.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  3. ChelseaDagger

    ChelseaDagger Just Hatched

    I definitely recommend an elevated waterer, like a nipple waterer or one of those waterers people with rodents use. Quails love stepping in their water if you leave it in a dish. Then stepping in poop. Then stepping in dirt and feathers. Then stepping in their water again and turning it into dirty foot soup.

    I will warn you that if you are going to house your quails outdoors, make sure you have a proper awning over your coop to discourage wild birds from getting too curious. They carry awful diseases. Honestly though, button quails are tiny and fragile and I've only ever really seen them kept as indoor pets.
     
  4. WyandotteBiased

    WyandotteBiased Out Of The Brooder

    26
    0
    22
    Apr 25, 2014
    Thank you both for your posts.

    Yes, the hutch will be properly covered and safe from the elements. i was planning on having the cage, (as it has a wooden beam along the bottom) split into two types of flooring, the further half would be sand and the closest half would be maybe a soil or sugar cane mulch. This coop also has an inside area and this will be full of hay and sugar cane mulch, Does this sound good for Quail? Thank you!
     
  5. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,156
    175
    136
    Apr 20, 2015
    Personally I find that hay has a tendency to become covered in droppings and stick together in large, nasty hay-cakes if you leave it too long - a bedding with smaller particles, such as shavings, allow the droppings to fall through and get covered in bedding, where as they stay on top of the bedding when you use hay. But if you change it more regularly than I did, it might not be a problem. I've never tried sugar cane mulch, so I don't know about that.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by