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Hay, sand, shavings or wood pellets??! :P

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Binki, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Hey guys :) I currently have had my quail on hay (except for the aviary where it's earth) but I'm looking for something more absorbent since these last few bales have been very straw like. Wire floors are not an option.

    I was wondering if you could share your opinions and experiences on keeping quail on sand, wood shavings or wood pellets (the kind they use in horse stalls, not the burning fuel kind).

    I have a covey of quail indoors for the winter for fertile eggs and was considering sand for them so I could kind of "kitty litter it" - sift the droppings once a day, does anybody have experience with this?

    I was reading about Coturnix quail on a "prepper" website and they said they raise their quail on wood pellets - I've never tried them but I'm under the impression you wet the hard pellets so they expand and become softer and more absorbent making a dry and warm bedding that is supposed to also help with odor :)

    And then there's wood shavings as a last option - awful or awesome?

    Thanks :D
     
  2. Everlong

    Everlong Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2016
    Mississauga, Ontario
    90% of my cage is wire, maybe 80, the "box" where eggs are laid is wooded, it used to have dry grass in it. I bought some straw, and from 5 eggs a day, I'm at 2 now for the past 4 days. I don't think quail like straw or hay.
     
  3. eHuman

    eHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2016
    Your egg production decrease is more likely due to change in their environment (like putting in straw), not enough light, molting or stress of any kind than it is to using straw. If it was the change to straw they will pick back up soon.

    Chopped straw is fairly absorbent and provides warmth for them in winter but you need to rake it to mix and fluff it a few times a week.
    I don't like the wood pellets because they break down fast and form a hard crust over dry material that cannot absorb anymore.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  4. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for the input guys :)

    My quail seem to love the hay, scratching in it, making nests, picking at the edible bits hehe but I don't cut it up, most pieces are about a foot or so. Chopping it up does seem like a good idea to get more absorbency and to be able to move it around - how do you chop yours up @eHuman? [​IMG]
     
  5. eHuman

    eHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2016
    @Binki I am blessed to be able to buy chopped straw by the bale. I prefer straw to hay as it doesn't get a funky smell or mold like hay.

    In the past I have run a circular saw cross-grain through a bale to chop it up. Need to make multiple parallel passes on all 4 long sides, do the best that you can until the thing falls apart and the saw is useless.
     
  6. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Oooo that's a good idea, with the saw [​IMG] I think I will have to use scissors to chop up my hay, hehe maybe a "tv task" meaning cutting up a tote box of hay while I'm watching a show [​IMG]
     

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