Mixing hen groups in new cage

Guille

In the Brooder
Aug 3, 2020
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So currently I have 3 hens in a cage directly on the ground, but as I see how the soil deteriorates, and given that I have only 2 positions for it to rotate, I am seriously thinking in getting them a more typical wired based cage (sad for them though).

My question would be - if I were to do this, is it a good moment to bring more 2-3 more hens? I´ve heard about the difficluties in adding individuals, but since they would all move together at the same time to the new habitat, maybe its easier, or just some minor pecking. Thoughts?
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
Sep 29, 2014
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It's better if different groups of birds can see each other with a barrier in place for at least a week. But with quail that's no guarantee that the birds will accept each other. It's best to get birds in the same colour/s as yours are as anything different will not be accepted by your hens.

Would rats potentially be a problem with a wire bottomed cage? I've had rats (which love to dine out on quail) grab birds through the wire and try to pull them through. You'll need to keep the wire clean as well because dried poop can become very sharp, potentially causing bumblefoot. I used solid wooden based cages after the rat problem with straw as bedding as they love hiding in straw.
 

muddy75

Blind Doggie Blues AGAIN
Premium Feather Member
Aug 17, 2018
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soil deterioration?? i need a bit more information on your set-up ie size of cage etc.....personally I keep my birds on the ground in a fixed aviary and we turn the soil every couple months with a small garden tiller (less often when quail are the only birds) and lay down a fresh mulch layer as needed.
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
Premium Feather Member
May 15, 2019
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When I have my birds on the garden beds I hoe it under once a week or so. On the adobe... not so much. That stuff gets hard during the summer. I have several places that I can rotate my pens to, though.
 

Guille

In the Brooder
Aug 3, 2020
29
17
31
It's better if different groups of birds can see each other with a barrier in place for at least a week. But with quail that's no guarantee that the birds will accept each other. It's best to get birds in the same colour/s as yours are as anything different will not be accepted by your hens.

Would rats potentially be a problem with a wire bottomed cage? I've had rats (which love to dine out on quail) grab birds through the wire and try to pull them through. You'll need to keep the wire clean as well because dried poop can become very sharp, potentially causing bumblefoot. I used solid wooden based cages after the rat problem with straw as bedding as they love hiding in straw.

Rat shouldnt be a problem. I live in the 5th floor of a new building, and this is in an inside garden. Haven´t seen a rat in my life close to where we live.
 

Guille

In the Brooder
Aug 3, 2020
29
17
31
soil deterioration?? i need a bit more information on your set-up ie size of cage etc.....personally I keep my birds on the ground in a fixed aviary and we turn the soil every couple months with a small garden tiller (less often when quail are the only birds) and lay down a fresh mulch layer as needed.
To put it simply, I have 3 of them in a 1 sq meter cage, and the garden is 2 sqm (this is a garden in an apartment we are talking, not a house with an aviary). So I have them a couple of weeks in one side, then move it to the other. At the beginning there was grass, but now there is grass in neither. So they are just over the soil (with some woodchips), and it may be simpler to just get them in a more typical cage.
 

Guille

In the Brooder
Aug 3, 2020
29
17
31
I'm not entirely sure I understand the problem with their current cage.
Let´s summarize it as garden is ruined, there is no grass, I have no space for further rotation - decision is taken to move birds from on-the-ground cage to a traditional above ground cage.

The key question is if in this move, there is an opportunity to add birds (1-2 addtl) to the current flock of 3.
 

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