Keeping Quail Indoors???

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Dolly1218, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Dolly1218

    Dolly1218 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone! I finally talked my husband into getting some Quail. We want to raise them for their eggs and occasionally to sell some baby chicks. We are also planning on keeping them in our spare bedroom. I have raised ducks indoors, and had a blast. I would be spending a ton of time with the Quail, so I want a friendly breed, I was thinking Cotournix or Button. Here are my questions:

    Can they be raised in a parrot bird cage? Or in a 50 gallon+ fish tank with a mesh top? Or a Critter Nation cage?

    I heard wire hurts their feet, would I just lay down hay or aspen/pine bedding at the bottom?

    How smelly are they? If I clean the cage evry other day..I can deal with the smell of 3 ducks in a small room..

    Do they need a bird bath or just a dust bath in their cage?

    I want to give them some outdoor time, do they get stressed easily? Could I put them on a bird flight leash or would a covered outdoor pen be better?

    I wanted to have 4 females in one cage-for eggs
    1 pair in another cage-for chicks. Is this a good ratio? I heard they are happier in pairs rather than trios or more..
    and another pair in a 3rd cage-for chicks

    I dont need a ton of eggs to eat/sell for eating, but I would like to sell more chicks.

    Thank you so much, have a great day/night! If there is any other advice you can give me, that would be wonderful!!!
     
  2. rollkeeg877

    rollkeeg877 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've raised both breeds and buttons are crazy they jump and fly so you keep them in a bird cage with a parrot or something they get along well and don't smell at all cause they poop like a canary and the coturnix are more meatie and are more friendly then other breeds and you can keep them in a tank and in a bird cage as a pair with a parrot and if you put a male in with your hens it might help a little so i would say it sounds good but remember buttons are really flighty and scared of everything and coturnix are like chickens they lay well so do buttons but there eggs are smaller and also don't put them on thin wire you can put them on larger wire but not that thin crap kk so thats what i know
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't had buttons, and can't speak for them. But if you want eggs, coturnix are your birds!

    You can raise them in just about anything, and if you can stand the smell of ducks, coturnix will be no problem. :)

    We kept a coturnix in a bird cage for over a year, and it worked out great. They're terrific little birds, and come in so many different colors. Have fun!
     
  4. TheWeeBee

    TheWeeBee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For buttons, because they're small, needs lots of running space (they're very active birds), and can pop up when startled, I would opt for some kind of large rodent cage. You want a cage that is longer rather than taller. Line the bottom with pine shavings, and make sure you have their food in low dishes so they can eat from them off of the ground. Hamster feed bowls work perfectly for this, and I've recently converted mine to drinking from the drip-fed water bottles so they don't mess up their water.

    Fish tanks are a bad idea because they don't allow for air circulation which can cause mold and ammonia buildup from the poop and moisture.

    Do not house buttons with hookbilled birds! Some people have luck with housing them with budgies, but even still they run the risk of having their buttons killed or mutilated. I would only house them along with soft-bills like finches and canaries. My budgies (esp. the hens) can be really aggressive and territorial when they go broody (just had to separate two sisters this morning who were fighting non-stop). Buttons are sweet birds and can't really fight back and thus make for easy prey.

    Quail eat a high protein diet and that can make for some smelly poops. As long as you change their litter on a regular basis, it should keep the smell down. Although I can't recommend an air filter highly enough! I got one for Xmas and it has made a HUGE difference in the smell of bird dander and poop in my den room :)

    Quail are ground birds and as far as I know, don't take water baths. A large bowl filled with clean sand will be perfect.

    Buttons can be spastic, even when hand raised. I have two tame ones and they both have their little "moods" they go through. They enjoy being handled (usually) and my one male will snuggle with me every chance he gets. The hen, though, depends on whether she's feeling broody or not.
     
  5. Dolly1218

    Dolly1218 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2012
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    Thank you all so much! I actually was not planning on housing my quail with any other birds. Im just not sure what type of cage to get that will keep them comfortable. I thought a parrot type of cage, because they could fly around and have a lot of space...? Or would a rodent type cage be better?

    Do quails enjoy any type of bird toys? I dont know if that type of stuff would interest them/make them happier or if they could care less..

    And if anyone knows the answers to my other pervious questions, that would be wonderful! Thank you all again!!
     
  6. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The ratio needs to be at least 3 hens to a roo or your hens will suffer. Fish tanks are fine, but clean it daily and give water in a covered bowl. Dog travel bowls work great. Use pine for bedding and the need a dirt bath. They love spinach and apple slices.
     
  7. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cover the tank with cheese cloth. They startle up and break theit knecks. They can flush quit high.
     
  8. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have kept mine in infant portable cribs! They work great and can be cleaned with a hose
     
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  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quail are ground birds, so go with floor space rather than height. Almost anything will work. They love dirt, so a dirt floor would be great, but most people prefer straw or hay for ease of cleaning, or wire--but the birds don't prefer wire, so I try to give them bedding & change it frequently. Bedding *over* wire can work well--allows wet waste to fall through while still providing comfortable ground for their little feet.

    As for toys, mine love sandboxes. Two high sides to hold the sand in, one or two low sides for them to get in through. Fill with play sand or dirt. They'll spend lots of time in there, and probably lay their eggs in it (which argues strongly for sand--you'll have lovely clean eggs). You can throw handfuls of bird seed (the sort used to feed wild birds--don't buy from Scott or Miracle Gro--they were convicted in court on several counts for having deliberately poisoned their bird seed in order to keep insects out of it during storage--killed lots of wild birds--they're not doing it now, supposedly, but I will never trust them again) in the dirt or sand and they'll enjoy picking through.

    Some will play with a small ping pong ball or similar, or a small bell. Mine don't, but I've heard some do.

    They'll enjoy handfuls of weeds from your garden to pick through for bugs & seeds.

    They'll also enjoy treats such as meal worms and boiled eggs, and soft fruit like strawberries.
     
  10. rollkeeg877

    rollkeeg877 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    london ontario
    i would say put buttons in something with the door on the side other then that when you open the cage they will fly out I've had very bad luck with that
     

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