Is there a way to humanely keep quail?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Angelight, May 14, 2013.

  1. Angelight

    Angelight Chirping

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    I can't handle the thought of having birds in a cage, feet above the ground, no grass or dirt access. I especially can't handle having stacks or rows of cages. There has to be a humane way to raise them, right? A safe way for them to be pets, productive, and yet still efficient. I live in a subdivision and have chickens. Quail seem like an interesting addition to my suburban homesteading attempts but they have to have their instincts, needs, and wants met. Any ideas?
     
  2. Biginner

    Biginner In the Brooder

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    I keep my quails (7 of them) in a 14' x 14' x 5' netted area in dirt with a nice coop that they stay in during the winter.
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the word

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    My Coop
    I keep my birds in aviaries, on the ground all the time. If you build something completely predator proof, there is no reason they can not live in aviaries. I have never had a critter break in, they have all survived sub zero temps, blizzards, torrents of hail, wind and rain, (the aviaries all have roofs) and the quail are quite content. They also have access to a small coop as well. Some of my crew of birds will be 7 years old this year. They love scratching in the dirt, taking dust bathes on the ground, chasing bugs and running freely in the aviaries.
     
  4. veggiecanner

    veggiecanner Songster

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    I keep mine in cages, inside a shed for their own safety. other wise they would be cat snacks.
    I think in order for me to have them out side I would have to have a chain link dog kennel, that I would recover with 1/2 x 1/2 inch welded wire. All around the base would have to be concrete at least 2 foot deep. The entire thing would have to have a solid roof over it.
    In side the fence would be a coop where I would lock them up for the night like you do chickens.
    Maybe some day. But I doubt it.
    But what I have is a domesticated bird. They are living the life that know.
    I would never take a bird from the wild and expect it to live the rest of it's life in a cage.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  5. Angelight

    Angelight Chirping

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    You're getting more, right? LOL!
     
  6. Biginner

    Biginner In the Brooder

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    I was planning on it. Got a quail sitting on eggs right now
     
  7. Angelight

    Angelight Chirping

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    That's awesome! I've read that quail never sit on their eggs! So great!


    Thanks, everyone for the comments! I've found several tractors that are quite interesting. Now, I'm trying to learn more about the quail to decide if a tractor or small aviary (I can't make a bit one so I may have to decrease the amount of quail I want.) will be better for them. The tractor would have to have a door on both ends and have 1/2" hardware cloth covering the bottom, as well as the sides. That makes me wonder if they'd not like it. They would still have access to the ground but not in the same fashion. Maybe if I add a sand box in it? Grass, bugs, and a sand area... Their bedding area would have plywood so they'd have a hard floor to escape the wire. I'm still wondering about making a door to the bedding area like with chicken tractors. Could I put it so that it opens to the side instead of down since they'll be on the same level at all times? Or maybe have it open up so as to add to their roofed area? Any thoughts on that? : )
     
  8. SavageChick

    SavageChick Chirping

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    I agree with you about wanting the most natural setting. I personally love the aviary that KylesQuails has in their gallery. From what you have described as an ideal home for your own birds, a similar walk-in aviary seems like it would be the most fitting for you. Is there a way for you to build one yourself? Otherwise, there are outdoor walk-in aviary kits online that might be worth looking into.
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    Last edited: May 15, 2013
    Oisian and Not_A_Robot like this.
  9. UndergroundQuailRoad

    UndergroundQuailRoad In the Brooder

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    "Humanely" is a relative term, and subjective to what you consider humane. I generally look at the relationship between health risk and a given methodology. For example, If you are unwilling to supply appropriate amounts of space for a given set of conditions, the health of your birds are at risk. Quail will not stick around like chickens, so you will need to contain them in a cage or an aviary, in addition to protect them from predation as others have mentioned, and it important to isolate your quail and chickens, as they infect the quail with diseases that the chickens are immune. Raising birds on wire, irrespective of the height is intended to benefit their health, but it is still important to provide the opportunity for dusting, access to cover and the availability to get off the wire. Alternatively, the prevention of the spread of disease can also be achieved through the increased availability of space, better drainage, and proper feeding and health care.

    I would just caution you to consider that if you are tractoring your quail over ground you range your chickens on, that you are exposing them to a risk of disease.
     

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