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Grounded Coturnix

Discussion in 'Quail' started by mochicken, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. mochicken

    mochicken Songster

    Apr 27, 2011
    NW Missouri
    To those of you who keep quail on the ground ( Bfrancis and others )

    I am looking at how I will utilize my space to keep as many birds as I want, one of the ways I can do this is keep my "grow out" birds on dirt but I had a couple questions.

    Do you have bottoms on your pen covered in dirt or just the sides and tops?

    If I built them a small shed type hutch at the end will they return to it every night to get locked up like chickens?

    And do they lay eggs in the shed part or just anywhere they want?

  2. bfrancis

    bfrancis Songster

    Mar 30, 2010
    Okmulgee Co, Oklahoma
    I do not have a bottom on it...straight ground...but have what is called "aprons" around the perimeter to discourage diggers from coming in. Before I built the enclosure they are now in I had them in a re-purposed guinea house with access to come in or go out....they pretty much did what ever and slept where ever with no rhyme or reason and the same with egg laying.

    With the set up I got now, even though it has a roof over it...I built small lean to structures in each pen to protect from winds and blowing rain...they do seem to huddle under those at night..but not all...and several will lay eggs under that. It's lite enough to just pick up one side for egg collecting.

    I do lay flower pots on their sides and some do make use of that for eggs...but not all the time. Collecting eggs daily is probably the biggest down-side to having birds on the ground in my opinion.

    For space...Battery cages are best because you can stack colonies vertically and get better use of all the real estate. On the ground, you have surface area effectively used, but the vertical, although convenient for me to get in and out of, is wasted for a bird no taller than 3-4 inches tall..but it does allow for free flight...

    All that to say this...both have pros and cons and its a personal preference thing.

    Good luck to whatever your choice...but we want to see pictures of your decision!
  3. chrishel

    chrishel Songster

    Jun 28, 2011
    The Windy City
    What is your approximate square footage per bird? How do you clean the enclosure? Do you turn over the ground every so often?
  4. bfrancis

    bfrancis Songster

    Mar 30, 2010
    Okmulgee Co, Oklahoma
    Quote:1 sq ft per bird. I use a dog "pooper scooper" pan with a handle and a small broom for cleaning weekly. Oxine everything for disinfecting and a couple times a year I do turn all the soil, but keep a good sized dust bath turned weekly.

    Living in the woods where leaves are plentiful...I throw oak leaves in the runs too for a litter method. Once a year I scrape off all the top layer and put that in the compost, loosen the under soil and throw more leaves in.

    Using this method is more time consuming for the deep cleaning, but our garden looks great!

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