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Looking for feedback on quail enclosure.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by DulcisPulli, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. DulcisPulli

    DulcisPulli Just Hatched

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    Hi all! I am looking forward to keeping 3-4 quail for eggs and as pets, and I am hoping I can get some feedback on my idea so far. It is based on what I have seen for most quail pens, with extra access on the sides, with hardware cloth on the sides, top, and bottom. It will be under a patio roof where no water can get to it.

    I am keeping these as pets and I want them to live for a full life. I am concerned about their feet living on hardware cloth, but I have read around that it is healthier because they can't stand in poop. I planned on having a box in there with sand for dust bathing and another in there filled with straw or pine chips.

    What would you do differently if you were building a coop for long term quail keeping?



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  2. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would provide them with a place to hide. It could be as simple as a pine branch propped in the corner. Just a place where they can go if they are felling exposed. This will also help with reducing the chances of head bonking because they would rather run for cover.
     
  3. DulcisPulli

    DulcisPulli Just Hatched

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    Makes sense! I will probably just make a little coop on the side instead of a box. Do you think a quail would live for a few years in a pen like that?
     
  4. TwoCrows

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

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    You could always use grass hay in the pen. I have kept my quail on bedding all their lives and they live to be 6 to 7 years of age. Wire is hard to stand on all day long. If you were raising meat birds that aren't going to be around a long time, wire is fine. But for a bird that you want to keep around for as long as possible and for their comfort, bedding is far easier on the feet. Hardened poop can build up and become sharp and cut the pads. Bruising from standing on wire causes bumblefoot as well. So I personally would use bedding. If you live in a cold climate during the winter, wire can cause frost bite.

    Add some natural or fake foliage. In the wild, quail will mill around under brush piles all day long. Your quail will benefit in security if they have brush to hang out under. This will also help to stop them from flushing up into the ceiling and hitting their heads, should something scare them or a predator comes lurking. Quail go straight up when there is no choice. They would prefer to dive for cover under a bit of brush or branches, but if they have none, they go straight up. Quail are powerful flyers and can break their necks hitting the ceiling.

    Give them a place to dust bathe, the grass hay also works for nest making. Quail can build elaborate nests and if you keep only females, they will all get along and lay in the same nest, taking turns playing house.

    And yes, if you do have harsh winters, definitely give them a little box to hide in for warmth and safety.

    Keep the direct sun off of them, although they do enjoy a bit of it for sunbathing. Keep them out of the winter winds and precipitation.

    Use hardware cloth of preferably 1/4 if you have it. Tiny mice can get through 1/2. Although 1/2 will work if that is what you have. No open bottoms so predators can reach up and grab toes if you do go with wire. Keep the grounds as clean as possible so you aren't attracting predators at night with all the poop smells.

    Good luck and enjoy your quail keeping adventures! :)
     
  5. DulcisPulli

    DulcisPulli Just Hatched

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    Thank you so much! This is exactly what I was hoping for :) Ahh thank you. We are in Orlando, so I will make sure they aren't too hot. Just out of curiosity, what do you use for bedding?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  6. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I personally use solid bottom pens. It more cleaning but easier on their feet.
     
  7. TwoCrows

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

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    Also...if you are not feeding a gamebird layer feed, offer the hens up some crushed oystershell on the side for healthy hard eggshells. If they don't get enough calcium, they can become egg bound easily. I keep chickens too and use the chipped up oystershell for the automatic dispensers. So no breaking it down is required, the quail can eat it readily as is. If you are here in the US, Drs. Foster Smith sells ground oystershell for birds you can use. If nothing else you can hammer down some standard pullet sized oystershell so the quail can eat it.

    Also, quail love some extras added to their diet, not only for good bodily health but good for the mind as well. Greens, quartered fruit, corn on the cob, peas in the pod, meal worms, cabbage, berries of all kinds, all kinds of things. 10% of the diet is fine for the goodies so they eat the most of their quail food. But these things contain minerals and vitamins they won't get from their regular feed and it also is a great bonding agent. When they see you coming with that bag of goodies, it's instant love. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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