It may depend some on your climate? (Humid or dry?)I have read much about course river sand for chicken coops and runs, I am wondering if there's any reason the same thing wouldn't work for quail? I was planning on using DL but since my run will be on concrete and I don't have a ton of room for compost I'm rethinking to sand for a run with daily or weekly sand sifting. My plan is an Eglu (the small guinea pig version, since quail wouldn't need the roosting bars or enormous run) on a raised bed filled with sand (on a concrete patio) for the run and aspen shavings or paper shavings for the indoor coop.
I've never kept quail before so I'm not sure exactly what to expect from their needs and behaviors, do they go into the coop at night or can they be trained to do this or will they just hang in the run all the time? I live in a suburban neighborhood and we definitely have raccoons, I'd vastly rather have them locked in the coop at night to prevent the chance of raccoons getting at them.
Please let me know if I'm off-base anywhere! This place is such a great resource.
I have used sand for my chickens on the bottom of my coop and run (and brooder for older chicks) for the past seven years or so and personally really like it. I scoop up the poo daily with a large cat litter scooper. (Quail poo might be too small for that.) I live in Utah where it is relatively dry.
My parents used to raise these type of quail and told me there is a parasite that can kill them if you do not change the bedding regularly. Don't know much about that personally but other people on here might?
Good luck with your quail project! It seems like they would be a smart bird to raise with all of the economy issues going on.