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new to quail, building my first cage

Discussion in 'Quail' started by david225, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. david225

    david225 Hatching

    Nov 13, 2013
    I'm new to quail and I'm going to start building my cage this weekend. I'm gonna start with a few coturnix quail. The cage base will be 4'x4' base with 2 or 3 story's tall. I've been reading on a lot of builds and get different answers to a few questions I have. Maybe you guys cab help me out some. Also from south Louisiana any tips or pointers will help. Thanks, David

    1. How tall does the cage have to be? So the quail don't hurt them selves.

    2. I want to put a slanted floor so the eggs roll to the front. How much of an offset for a 4' cage so the eggs won't break?

  2. James the Bald

    James the Bald Songster

    Jan 6, 2013
    Having built all of my own cages, I can say that I didn't make my cages any deeper than 24"... and here's why: If you have to remove your birds when you are getting ready to clean the cage, 24" is about as far back as I can reach. Also, 24" is easier to clean with a wire brush than 48" would be. Three of my cages are 24"x36". The flooring is 1/2" hardware cloth, reinforced with 5/16" rods underneath to keep the center from "sagging". I'm sure 1/2" x 1" fencing would be fine, but I couldn't find any when constructing my cages. The sides and top are made of 1" wire fencing and are connected using J-clips and J-clip pliers on the edges. I picked up a 5 tier shelf from Home depot, and using cup hooks and some light chain, I hung the cages from the bottom of the shelf. The front is lower than the back by 2" so the eggs can roll to the front. Below the cage, I used a sheet of plastic that I line with newspaper to catch the droppings. At the end of the week, I rollup the newspaper and toss it into my composter and spread fresh newspaper out.
    I hope this helps out.
    Edited to add: my cages are 12" high.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  3. WaterfowlWierdo

    WaterfowlWierdo Songster

    Mar 15, 2013
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    I have coturnix and bobwhite, the coturnix are in a 3'x8' and 18" tall and they are doing great with the height as they love the comfort of hiding. I have the bobwhite in a 5' tall cage so they can get a good wing stretch in but that seems to be too high if you plan on being in the pen often cuz when frightened they shoot straight up in the air and 5' gets alot of momentum! and they usually hit their heads pretty dang hard!
  4. RJSchaefer

    RJSchaefer Chirping

    Mar 18, 2013
    Rockford, IL
    I wouldn't have a cage (for any livestock) more than 36" deep. It's hard to reach back that far. Mine are in what used to be rabbit cages that are 24"x36"x18". One is a three-level and the other is a long cage with 7 compartments. They don't seem to be bothered by the height.

    The floor is 1/2"x1" welded wire mesh. Get galvanized AFTER weld, preferably 12 or 14 gauge. If you get before weld, you'll have a rusty mess within a year or two. You probably won't find that wire in a hardware store. Most of what I see at Menards/Home Depot/Lowes is 16 or 18 gauge galvanized before weld. Hardware cloth (typically 20 or 22 gauge), IMO, simply isn't sturdy enough in the long-term. Smaller wire more prone to rust means a higher likelihood for breakage and unexpected repairs down the line.

    But, if all you can get is something from a hardware store, it will probably be OK for quail with diligent maintenance. Rustoleum is bird safe, so if it starts to rust you can scrub it down and coat it with Stop-Rust. It just needs to cure outside for 5 to 7 days. I used about 8 cans on my stacked cage, although that was extremely rusty when I purchased it.

    Many people I've spoken to have said to get doors that flip inward, so the birds can't wiggle their way out. We have doors that flip out or up, so we solved the wiggle problem with pieces of cut cast-iron pipe to add weight.

    I'm not terribly familiar with the climate in Louisiana. Are you prone to frequent freezes? (We can't use PVC up in these parts because the sub-zero winter will make it too brittle.) If not, you might want to look into the PVC hanging cages for rabbits. They're inexpensive and easy to build, and could be adapted with some basic math to accommodate quail. They also give a nice "plug and play" frame to swap out damaged cages without disassembling the whole shebang.

    Like James, I'm using newspaper (shredded here). I toss everything from the dropping pans into my worm bin. Eventually, some gets dumped in the garden, and the chickens work through the compost and eat the worms. At least, that's how it worked when I had rabbits. Hopefully it will also work with the quail.
  5. david225

    david225 Hatching

    Nov 13, 2013
    Thanks guys for the input. I was going to do them 4'x4: because I got my hands on a bunch of 4'x4' cubes made out of Teflon. I was gonna just leave them that size but wont be a problem to cut them in half and put a ply wood back on each side.
  6. silver-quail

    silver-quail In the Brooder

    Jun 20, 2013
    Post a pic of these Teflon cubes david225

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