Ground quail pen!!

Peristeria

Chirping
Jul 4, 2020
170
190
73
USDA grow zone 7b
Recently I realized my ladies might be cold in the winter (usda grow zone 7a-ish) so I was thinking about making a ground pen. Even if they won't be cold here, I want to make one because I can't stand to see them on the wire.
So, for you all who have ground pens, are they hard to clean? Do you have to remove the poop or will it flow down hill with rain? I have 12 quail (at the moment, haha), so any size recommendations? I know 1 square ft per bird, but for ground do they need more?
If any of you can post pictures of your ground setups it would help me a considerable amount! Thanks!
 

Peristeria

Chirping
Jul 4, 2020
170
190
73
USDA grow zone 7b
Mine is a full walk-in aviary....we turn the soil several times throughout the year and add/remove mulch as needed. Relatively low maintenance. View attachment 2427423 View attachment 2427424 View attachment 2427425
I move mine around during the spring/summer. During fall/winter, they're on my garden beds, so I just hoe the poop under once every couple of weeks.
Thank you all so much! Mine isn't going to be walk in since it is on a hill, but it will be a low roof run with a coop attached for shelter from the elements. I was thinking about putting the coop portion inside the hill, but then I remembered I would have to clean it. I could put a door in the side but I am worried it would flood. I can't think if any other way to describe it than a hobbit house with a run out front. Do you think this is do-able?
 

le_bwah

Crowing
May 1, 2018
1,029
2,605
286
Boise, ID
My Coop
I've got sixteen happy hens at the moment on about 150 square feet. No fighting, lots of hiding places. I turn the bark/mulch/dirt combo over about once a month and add more substrate when it becomes visibly "poopy." Muck out the whole thing in Spring and start all over. Might need a solid roof if you've got a rainy season (wet bedding/poop stinks and attracts major flies).

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Awnings and mister go up in the summer. Ornamental grasses help with shade and ambient cooling.

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Tarps and plastic sheeting go on in the winter. They don't seem to mind walking on a skiff of snow as long as they have a place to get dry and warm up.

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Takes the girls a while to fully filth out their bedding. Whatever enclosure you go with, ground cover and hides are a must—they behave much more naturally when they're not stressed about being in the open.
 

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