Got a hutch, will it work for quail?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by OneLostHen, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. OneLostHen

    OneLostHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Santa Fe, TX
    I got this hutch for free, all it needs is a roof. One of my friends had it and never used it. Hopefully I can make use of it!

    It is 5.5 ft by 6 ft. The cage part is lifted about 31 inches off the ground and the total height of the inside is about 30 inches. It is all made out of hardware cloth.
    Is the height of the inside (30 inches) too tall? Will they hit their heads if they try to bounce around?
    Ideally, I'd like to make another door on the far right side to make access easier, that shouldn't be too hard to do.

    Also, they will be in the yard that my chickens roam all day. The chickens have their own coop, but run the yard everyday. Should I fence off the bottom of the quail pen so the chickens can't reach the quail droppings?
    I'm hoping I'm right in thinking that with the amount of open air, I shouldn't have any trouble with the two in the same yard.
    The quail will strictly be in this pen.
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    Inside
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    I'm sorry for the bad quality pics, it won't upload any from my device, so I had to take a pic of a pic to get it to work!
     
  2. Chicken-Farmer

    Chicken-Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That should work fine. Maybe a little too much headroom, but see how your birds are before making any modifications. My birds don't flush very often, yours may be the same. Maybe block a couple sides off for wind protection. Another door would be good. Otherwise Murphy's law would dictate your girls lay their eggs in the far corner out of reach! Good Find! Should be able to fit 30 in there easily.

    Chicken-Farmer.
     
  3. OneLostHen

    OneLostHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! Yes I'm hoping to get atleast one more door on there!
    Not only to retrieve eggs, but to clean it easier an set it up the way I want.
    So it shldnt be a problem with my chickens if I fence off the under side of the quail cage?
    And also, if I start out with around 10 quail, can I add more of the same breed easily? Or is there a integration process similar to the process with chickens?
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Make sure the top is fully covered if your chickens are free ranging. They love to get up high and poo on anything lower, and you don't want your quail coming into contact with chicken feces. Other than it being gross you don't worry about chickens eating the quail droppings, worry about the chickens giving the quail diseases. Don't handle them without washing up in between or switching gloves. This thread shows what happens if the chickens infect your quail. Of the two species quail are substantially cleaner, so unless you bring home sick quail you wont' have to worry about them giving your chickens anything.
     
  5. Chicken-Farmer

    Chicken-Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would worry more about keeping predators out than keeping chickens out. To be honest I think people worry a lot more than they should about raising these little guys. Some people have raised chickens along side their quail for years without any problems. See for yourself, watch how your birds react, and adjust as necessary.
    I add birds back into my colonies all the time, from birds that I hatch. Once again watch how your birds react to the situation and adjust as necessary.
    My meat birds are kept in 6'x3' cages in a large colony of up to 30 or so. I butcher at 7-8 weeks. My breeders on the other hand are kept in groups of four: 1 male/3 hens. I would hesitate adding new birds into the small groups. I figure that in the large colony pens the new birds get lost in the crowd and can integrate easier with the group.

    Chicken-Farmer
     
  6. OneLostHen

    OneLostHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great advice! Thanks guys!
    There are simple ways to add a door, but I want to make sure it's as secure as the existing door, so I'm going to have to do some altering. Im hoping it won't be too hard tho.

    I will probably start at a group of around 7-10. I know I'll want more, but the first few will be my "guinea pig" quail. lol
    Once they seem happy and I have it all set up perfectly, I'll add more.

    I scored some cheap paint at Home Depot and spent some time painting it yesterday. I just hate how hard it is painting the wood under the wire!
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    Thanks for all the help! I'm excited about it!
     
  7. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Given the amount of information available on coryza I'm not sure why you suggest risking it. All the OP would have to do is roof the cage to keep contact with chicken feces to a minimum. The trade off is potentially losing an entire flock and having to quarantine before you can start over.
     
  8. OneLostHen

    OneLostHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is getting a roof. That's the only reason nothing is living it in currently.
    The wood on it has rotted and is being replaced by new ply, or a metal roof. I'm not sure my fat chickens could fly to the top as it's almost 6 foot tall, but a roof will be going up regardless as I don't want the little residents rained on.
     
  9. Chicken-Farmer

    Chicken-Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The point I was trying to make is that people tend to over complicate things. The simplest solution is I usually the best. His birds are being kept in an open air environment with chickens that will be coming and going. They will not be housed permanently in the same pens. People act like chickens are a quails kryptonite! In certain environments and situations I would agree that quail are more suseptable to certain diseases. But in this case I'm pretty confident that the quail will do just fine.

    As I tell my kids when we are building cages, "we're not trying to contain velociraptors, just a little 10 oz bird!"

    Chicken-Farmer
     
  10. OneLostHen

    OneLostHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm glad the set up I had in mind is looking promising!
    I never would put them together just because of the size difference alone.
    But yes, with the chickens coming and going, and I have no problem fencing off the bottom, I'm feeling like it will work just fine.
    Thanks again!
     

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