My new flight pen/aviary!!!

dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
70
241
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
 

dpenning

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 20, 2013
1,762
7,333
407
Blue Ridge, TX
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!
View attachment 551012
View attachment 551014
View attachment 551015
View attachment 551016 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".)
View attachment 551017
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.
 

Binki

Songster
Jul 9, 2015
961
190
161
Ontario, Canada
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!
View attachment 551012
View attachment 551014
View attachment 551015
View attachment 551016 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".)
View attachment 551017

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
 

dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
70
241
South Central PA
Wouldn't be surprised if you get some broody girls if you let the eggs pile up a few days :D

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!
 

lightchick

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 3, 2014
4,586
323
316
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!
 

Binki

Songster
Jul 9, 2015
961
190
161
Ontario, Canada
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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!

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,
 

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dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
70
241
South Central PA
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 :)
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!
 

Binki

Songster
Jul 9, 2015
961
190
161
Ontario, Canada
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!

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
 

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