How many cortunix quail can live comfortably in a 6'by 4' aviary with plenty of space forage and wha

Discussion in 'Quail' started by buggaboo, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. buggaboo

    buggaboo Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jan 24, 2013
    So I decided against keeping bantam chickens in my aviary for eggs because chickens need lots of room and not sure about zoning restrictions...I know coturnix quail are great layers and I've had buttons and the past and they were very simple to care for and so cute. :} My reasons for having them are pets mostly, and secondly eggs are important to me as well, but firstly happy birds is priority so I want them to be very comfortable and not overcrowded. How many can I keep in my 6' by 4' aviary, accounting for the sand/food/water dishes, etc? I DO NOT want to stuff as many in as I can fit and 1 square foot sounds a bit small for my taste, I don't even make my parakeets stay in their cage lol.

    Also I was thinking of buying a small dog house and attaching it somehow to the outside of the aviary where they can enter and exit when they like, maybe just for sleeping and laying kinda like a mini coop and was wondering how big that would need to be as well. I want that to be just big enough for them all to sleep together huddled up...then again not sure if sleeping in such close quarters is normal for this type of bird...Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,022
    4,712
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    6'x4' feet of space is 24 square feet. I am on the same page as you, crowding in 24 birds, (being that they can be kept in 1 square foot of space) is not a healthy environment, considering all the pooping and breathing going on in close quarters. I would think you could keep 10 or 12 birds in that amount of space comfortably. Especially if they were all females. Come breeding season Coturnix quail need to group up, generally one male to about 6 or 7 females. Having two males in such close quarters might be trouble.

    So on this note, you might just want to keep one male and his harem of girls in this 24 foot square space. Put in a small brush pile, (cut branches or even fake christmas trees, (I use the xmas trees in my aviaries) for hidey spaces, security and privacy), dig up one corner to make a dust bathing area, spread out some shavings or grass hay for litter, and sounds like they will have a great home.

    Adding a shelter is always a good idea for coveying up on cold winter nights, rainy or windy days. Quail are unlike chickens in that they lay eggs in a nest box. Your quail will most likely either build nests out of your litter, or lay them anywhere they please. But as far as shelter is concerned, they may not use a darkened shelter like a dog house for sleeping or escape from the elements. Quail like to sleep in an open area in the night in case a predator comes along, which then they fly straight up to escape. So any shelter you provide for them needs to be airy and open or well lit during the day so they think it provides them with escape routes. My birds use a rabbit hutch for a shelter and it seems to keep them comfortable enough that they regularly use it. And you may need to lock them in this shelter the first few days so that they become comfortable enough with it, as they may never enter if they are not already used to it.

    Good luck! Oh, and welcome to BYC and the quail forums!
     
  3. buggaboo

    buggaboo Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jan 24, 2013
    Thanks so much for the thorough response! :D I just found this forum and I've been reading literally all day lol I need to get to work haha. It's an indoor aviary if that makes a difference, it's basically a converted greenhouse that I'm working on. I do like to keep the environment natural though so I was thinking of putting some edible plants on the bottom and maybe half live grass? Not sure if that's a good idea with the poop...I'm glad you said 10-12 that's actually the exact numbers I was thinking in my head and that would give me right around the number of eggs I'd like.

    Kind of disappointed that the converted doghouse would be a waste...I like projects and the extra space for them would be nice but I did see a small dog house with venting on the side (bars were about an inch apart), but I could cover those with mesh if it's too big, so maybe that'd be airy and bright enough for them to want to use?
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,022
    4,712
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    So this is a greenhouse? And are you trying to give them outdoor time? (Sorry for my confusion. LOL) If they are enclosed already, then they won't need more shelter. However you might still be able to use a dog house type thing if you cut in windows and gave it more light. It is not necessarily the space size, but the open feel it gives the quail. So anything you can do to lighten up the place will help.

    Quail love grass. And planting things on the floor would be greatly appreciated by the quail. But just remember...you don't want the floor of the aviary to be wet. The dirt will grow bacteria's, fungus and the round worm population will explode. So what I do is use potted plants or grasses. I can remove them to water, or allow them to rest if the quail have eaten them down to the nub and the place stays dry. Clean and dry is the key to keeping quail on the ground. Dry, drier, driest.

    Another thing to keep in mind...bio security between your chickens and your quail. Any walk in aviaries for quail, and you can track in chicken poop and such. Chickens carry diseases that kill quail. So use chicken shoes and quail shoes and never the twain shall meet! And always wash your hands after visiting the chickens when on your way to your quail. Do not share water or feeders, rakes and any cleaning equipment between the two.
     
  5. buggaboo

    buggaboo Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jan 24, 2013
    No sorry I guess I'm just not explaining myself properly.. I bought I greenhouse frame to use as the bones for my aviary. I'm covering it in mesh and converting it into an aviary (saved alot of money this way). Still working out the details before I start building it though. I won't be giving them outdoor time, but I'm going to use a 4by6 rabbit dropping catch pan on the floor, filling it with some sort of dry substrate and using a few planters to grow wheatgrass and maybe some other assorted edibles they can pick through. Initially I wanted the entire aviary floor to be entirely wheatgrass or barley grass and laying down a couple stepping stones to get through, but now that I'm set on quail I realize that it'll be unsanitary with more that a couple birds. It's confusing when I try to explain, but I'm making a visual for it on paint as I figure out the details, I'll post when it's complete..lol.

    Thanks for the great advice :} Can't wait to get my babies.
     
  6. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,195
    40
    178
    May 13, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    My 18 live in a fabric greenhouse In Anchorage Alaska. 4 males. They love it And they are making me lots of yummy deep litter for my garden. During the summer they will be split up unto quads for selective breeding.
     
  7. buggaboo

    buggaboo Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jan 24, 2013
    Very cool, did not know you could just use the netting to keep them in, I suppose they're not as clever as I'd anticipated. lol :] That means I can get them alot sooner than I thought! How big is your greenhouse by the way?
     
  8. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,195
    40
    178
    May 13, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    [​IMG] This is the one I use.
     
  9. buggaboo

    buggaboo Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jan 24, 2013
    Nice, glad to find someone with the same idea, do you have a picture of the inside setup? Would love to see what you have in there! Yours looks like alot better quality than mine but its ok because mine is for indoors, they're maybe similar size though? Mine is 4 by 6 1/2 and 6 1/2 tall. Here's what I plan to do with it, considering more live plants though... I hope to have 10-12 quail total, my pair of budgies in there and maybe add a few more budges since quail will stick to the ground budgies stick to the highest point so space issues with mixing them won't be a problem. The only thing I'm worried about is the floor. I'd love to have this much grass, but not sure about the poop abilities of the quail? I'll try it and if it fails I'll just have a small section of grass.

    Can anyone find an all natural dry food recipe for coturnix or similar quail?


    [​IMG]
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,022
    4,712
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Be very careful using netting for the sides. Predators can rip thru that stuff very easily and when they smell quail for a midnight snack, they won't quit till they eat them. A heavy gauge wire is always preferred. But your idea for their area and run is a good one.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by