Quail coop square footage


Feb 18, 2019
Central Washington State
Hey there! I’m planning a quail hoop house, and I was wondering...

I have read that quail only “need” about 1 square foot per bird... I will of course be giving them more than that, but I’m wondering about vertical space as well. Will quail hang out in branches or bushes? I know they don’t really roost like chickens, but I’m wondering if there’s a way I can maximize the vertical space that a hoop house creates. I’m thinking that the footprint will be roughly 8’x6’, for around 18-24 birds.

Our plan is to raise Corturnix or Bob Whites(or a mix) for meat(and a few weeks of bonus eggs!) and butcher sometime between 12 and 16 weeks, with a potential second round of California Quail to be released(they are already wild here). So nothing really long term... but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to give them a good quality of life!
First off, why would you release quail, even if they're wild there. Not sure of you're even allowed to, and it would just be a waste of money as they likely wouldn't make it.

As for vertical space, mine do just fine with 12 inch high stackers. They are ground delwellers, so they don't use branches and the like like chickens. Think ducks.

Also at 8-10 weeks, they're adults and can be eaten. No use waiting another month and a half. You'll just be wasting feed
From my experience coturnix quail will not really use vertical space, they're basically a ground bird and they don't perch or anything : D If I'm remembering correctly I think its 2-3 feet per bird, you can cram more in a small space but like you said, more space is better for quality of life ^^ also remember that I think 8-12 weeks is the prime butcher time for coturnix! not sure about bobbies though!

They should appreciate shrubs/plants/decor/hides inside of the hoop house, the only thing I'm thinking may be an issue is I can't quite remember how TALL its gotta be for coturnix (cause they do the pop-corning thing where they flush and jump/fly really hard really fast straight up) I think its supposed to be 8 feet but it might be 6 feet minimum height? Hopefully someone else can chime in about that, my brains bad at numbers haha, also be sure that despite them being wild in your location that its legal for you to release the California quail :D and raising wild to-be-released birds is probably going to be way different than birds raised to be eaten/pets/livestock!
I use a second floor but they don't really use it if they don't have to or if they are not sort of trained or nesting there. Females use it to avoid the males. The males almost never do. They use little buckets as stairs, not taller than a glass. If it's taller they won't bother to go upstairs. We have wild emigrating quails here. But I don't think that incubated birds will make it on their own.
Thank you for all this feedback! We are hoping to release California quail, to help bolster the population, primarily because we hunt them. I have a lot more research to do, I am just now starting to form some solid ideas about what we want our quail experience to be like.

Do you guys know where I could look online to find information about the legalities of it, or acquiring a permit to release? If I can do it legally, And follow predetermined guidelines for raising birds to be released,I definitely want to.
My Japanese quail have ramps (naturally curved flakes of bark) in their aviary that they gladly climb. Sometimes they even seem to clamber up just to flutter off, again and again. If I find any pictures on my phone I'll post them! They also have a lower log, but I only see them up there when going after stray treats.

Next spring's project will be a 3 ft tall covered "observation deck" for the birds. Collecting natural materials for the ramp now, letting them get used to it before it becomes the spooky tall thing.

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