My new flight pen/aviary!!!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by dianneS, May 18, 2017.

  1. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

    828
    44
    191
    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    I'm still fairly new to quail, only hatched my first batch a few months ago, but everything has been going great with them so far.

    My original plan was to have the birds on grass in a portable pen and move them to fresh grass every day. That was working just fine, but I recently decided to get rid of the last of my chickens (I'm just over chickens) and give the run to the quail!

    The chickens haven't used the run in months (free-ranging) and I did disinfect it thoroughly and completely rehabbed it with new poultry wire, roof etc. (Yes, I have plans to do hardware cloth around the bottom, but we really don't have any issues with rats, snakes, or predators in general (livestock guardian dog) but I will get to it soon.

    I've filled the run with mostly plants from the "chicken proof" list to give them hiding space and a natural environment. I do have some comfrey plants in there (currently wilted) that they do eat. Comfrey is high in protein and grows like crazy. Good for both hiding in and munching on. I want to add more edible plants and herbs.

    I found these old terra cotta pots in our garden shed that make great little nests/shelters. I made a few more hiding places with some rocks and flagstone. I gave them some peat moss to dust bathe in (I'll probably add some sand too) and hay for nesting.

    I've got a pan on the floor for their food now so they can eat off the ground (more natural). And I am starting a worm farm just next to the run for additional quail food!

    I'm really pleased with these birds so far, and I don't think I'll miss the chickens at all! I've been working my tail off for the last several days in the scorching heat to get this project complete, and I must say, I'm pretty pleased!
    quailrun.jpg
    quailrun1.jpg
    quailrun2.jpg
    quailrun3.jpg This is currently the "bachelor pad". Seven males in there, they will be culled and go in the freezer very soon.
    I'm thinking of making this pen my "finishing pen". I'll put the birds that I want to process for meat in this pen, move them to fresh grass, give them extra herbs and mealworms, lots of organic grains for a week or so prior to processing. (I think "finishing pen" sounds nicer than "death row".)
    quailrun4.jpg
     
    HUGHES555, biophiliac, Binki and 2 others like this.
  2. dpenning

    dpenning Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    605
    102
    156
    Jul 20, 2013
    Blue Ridge, TX
    This is fantastic, exactly what I want to build out for my quail. I just hatched 30 and have a small hutch built for my breeders, two sides but I need open space for the rest of them to grow out. Looks great.
     
    Quaillvr and dianneS like this.
  3. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,170
    496
    196
    Jun 10, 2013
    Awesome looking setup.
     
    dianneS likes this.
  4. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

    952
    140
    151
    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Wowww!! That's perfect, a lot of thought and effort went into that and you know what they like :D it looks landscaped in a natural way, love the pots! Wouldn't be surprised if you get some broody girls if you let the eggs pile up a few days :D

    I'm jealous of your good livestock guardian dog, hardware cloth can be pricey although it does go on sale at TSC. I prefer 1/4" so nothing can reach through or get through like snakes, mice, rats, hear a mink can get in an inch hole xD what I'm worried about here in Canada in the city are mainly raccoons, possum and skunk :p

    Oh and definitely Hawks - a Cooper's hawk set up a nest like 100 feet away and actually hasn't tried our chickens once.... But feel it's the same hawk that would try and swoop at my smaller birds being rehabilitated in the aviary - even when we were several feet away with my big orange dog :mad:

    Hope it's babies don't get too hungry because our chickens are free range... *squints at the hawk nest after her ramble* :p
     
    biophiliac and dianneS like this.
  5. Dani xxx

    Dani xxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    225
    44
    66
    Oct 23, 2016
    Farnham common bucks uk
    Looks fab I love it I think they will def enjoy their time in there ! X :)
     
    dianneS likes this.
  6. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

    828
    44
    191
    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    Really? You think Coturnix might actually go broody? That would be super cool if they did!

    Yeah hardware cloth is expensive, but I may just overlap a second layer of chicken wire with the holes offset instead. We've had so few predator problems. When the chickens used this run the wire was so rusted it just ripped and there were huge holes all through it. The chickens could get out, but somehow nothing ever tried to get in and get them!
     
  7. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

    4,538
    243
    266
    Apr 3, 2014
    Minnesota
    Awesome setup! There is definitely a bigger possibility of a broody Coturnix in a more natural setup.
    Not sure how likely, but it'd be fun to find out!
     
    dianneS likes this.
  8. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

    952
    140
    151
    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
    Mine did - all she seemed to need was that little bit of grass next to the nest and a keen keeper.... To forget the eggs for a few days and notice her acting broodyish once several were laid in that spot :)

    I have some cute vids where I'm digging up the aviary ground for grubs and the female is tidbitting for the babies and their keeping warm in her feathers, poking their faces out of her back hehe.

    Hopefully these pictures work,
     

    Attached Files:

    lightchick and biophiliac like this.
  9. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

    828
    44
    191
    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    Wow, that's awesome!

    Do the Texas A&M's go broody? I would assume no, since they're a hybrid? I have five or six standard brown Pharaoh girls and too many boys right now, so hopefully someone will go broody one day. That would be fun to see!
     
  10. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

    952
    140
    151
    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm under the impression that Texas A&M quail are not hybrids with a different species but coturnix quail selectively bred mostly for size?

    My broody girl is a mix of pharaoh and Italian and was destined as pet feed before I bought her and was only about 6 months old when she went broody - eventually put the top half of a dog crate on top of her so the male and girls didn't bug her and let her out twice a day or so to dustbathe and stretch her wings (huge broody poos!). She had feed and water beside her.

    When they started hatching I removed the other quail but the broody hen seemed stressed trying to find them fresh bugs all the time although I had chick starter and she was tripping over them and seemed to lose a bit of interest in keeping them warm/feeding them after four or so days so I brought them inside to raise myself :)

    Had to mark 13 eggs and remove additional ones the girls kept laying in the nest so she could keep them covered :p
     
    dianneS likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by