Quail indoors?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Pippy, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Pippy

    Pippy Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2013
    Does anyone keep quail indoors, like in a big birdcage ? Why or why not ? Smell? Noise?

    Entertaining the idea of keeping 3-4 in the house, but not sure if that's realistic?
  2. Pippy

    Pippy Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2013
    Never mind! I found a bunch of old threads on the subject. I do have a question about the smell - how smelly do they get? I have a pretty sensitive nose, so I won't do it if they get smelly quickly. I don't mind changing the bedding about once a week, but don't want to do it any more frequently.
  3. Lyrika

    Lyrika Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2013
    I kept my quail indoors when I first got them, and I wouldn't want to do it again. I had to clean every few days or they just become too stinky.
  4. owlett5

    owlett5 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2007
    Turner, Maine
    I only have one right now until my eggs hatch, but currently the smell is pretty minimal. She's quiet, hardly makes any noise at all.

    I use shavings under the cage floor and use a water bottle for water. Pretty much as long as the bedding stays pretty dry I only have to clean her out once every week and a half. I'd guess with two birds it'd be like once a week, three birds every four days, and four birds probably every three days.

    There is something called Sweet PDZ which people say helps a ton with odor, I've yet to try that out though.
  5. sammit

    sammit Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 25, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    i had two inside and i had to clean them everyday, i couldnt stand it! they were on newspaper and straw. wont do that again!
  6. teradragon

    teradragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 8 chicks (hatched 17th Dec) in a box 90cm x 55cm which is made of wood and is open at the top. They are jumbo chicks so are about the size of the smaller breeds of quail now. I am using newspaper, then sawdust, then hay. I am currently cleaning them out twice a week. The smell of the sawdust and hay is nice and lasts a couple of days. After day 2 I light a scented candle to mask any smell, but I haven't noticed much smell.

    The only issue I have is dust coming off the feathers. You get that with most birds though.

    I'm planning on processing half of them when they are fully grown, so I could let you know what it's like in a few more weeks!
  7. Pippy

    Pippy Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2013
    Thanks everyone! Judging from the replies, they do get smelly, so I'll build a pen for them outside. I have a very keen sense of smell, so it sounds like it won't work. The room I'd keep them in (sunroom) gets warm in the summer too, due to all the windows.

    I currently have 8 two week old chicks in a large cardboard box on newspaper and aspen wood shavings, and am changing it out at least twice a week. I'm hoping for at least 3-5 hens and plan on giving the boys away. If anyone lives in virginia you're welcome to them!
  8. teradragon

    teradragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    have you tried apple cider vinegar in the water? It really does make a difference to the smell of the poo.
  9. WaterfowlWierdo

    WaterfowlWierdo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2013
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    I work at a feed store, and I use sweet pdz powder in the brooders (there are ten brooders in one room, each capable of 100 chicks) I prefer not to use pdz in the bantam cages just because of how they are set up, but the biggest smells are the rabbit and cat! the chicks put out very little odor with pdz
  10. omw2help

    omw2help New Egg

    Aug 7, 2014

    I've been lurking for several months now, but would like to chime in on my indoor quail.

    Here's what I have found to work so far. I have 2 girls in a generic white wire bird cage 24"x18"x16". Fake plants have been wired to the top inside the cage for a sense of security and bonk cushioning. It has a wire floor with a plastic tray under to catch droppings. The tray has wheat scoop cat litter at the bottom, and I sprinkle in some extra baking soda to help with odor control. I scoop up droppings daily from the pan, and spot clean any poops that didn't get pushed through. I took some plastic placemats from target, cut them in half and they are wired around the sides of the cage to prevent poop from popping out the sides, and helps contain the food/water/grit/shells from flying all over the house. Inside the cage is a hanging feeder, a rabbit water bottle over a tray to catch the drips, a cuttlebone, a dish of oyster shell, and a dust bath box with a lid. The dust bath contains bird grit (mostly sand), organic potting soil, oyster shell, and I sprinkle a seed mix in daily to give them some fun. Recently they have both been laying in the box! The whole cage is placed on a bath mat on the floor which prevents sand/food/seeds that escape the above plastic barrier from bouncing too far. (I'll post a pic once I figure out how haha)

    I know this setup sounds small, but I live in a 1 bedroom apartment in the city. My girls get to "free range" around the apartment hallway and kitchen whenever I am home. Their out of cage time ranges from 1 hour to 12 hours. They love to peck and bathe on the floor mats, and even more fun is exploring a pile of dirty laundry on the floor! Yes, they poop, but it picks up easily from the tile or wood floor. I adore their cricketing and peeping! Their faces look at me expectantly when I come home to hurry up and open the cage door. They come bouncing out immediately and give a good wing flap and leg stretch. :)

    I bought them as adults at 5 months, one tolerates picking up and petting, the other will run :( They aren't really afraid of me though, I can't say they boink much, only if I surprise them somehow. They're now used to the dishwasher and vacuum cleaner and other urban noises. I'm in love, and I didn't even hatch them myself. I can't imagine how much more tame they would be if I had raised them myself from chicks! My next project will be to start raising them some mealworms...

    I get an egg per day from each girl. Per everyone's recommendations on the forum, I feed Purina Game Bird Growth and Plumage. I had to drive an hour away to get it, but that's what you get for living in the city.

    Also... I tried the "hay over wire" concept thinking it would enhance comfort.. with my size cage it just does not work. The poop gets smeared EVERYWHERE, on the nice clean hay, on the bars, on their feet, which quickly stunk up the room. No bueno.

    Cheers, and thanks to everyone who has posted about quail before me. Your advice has been fantastic.


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