Quail Nest Boxes Work

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Chick Charm, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. I have 10 coturnix in one large coop/pen, 8 hens, 2 roos. I have 2 roos in a seperate bachelors quarters to keep the hens from getting chased so much. First egg was layed 4 days ago Thursday on the 1/2'' hardware cloth. Since that initial egg, all others have been layed in the nest box I made for them. The nest box is 8'' X 8'', 6 sided with a 4 1/2'' hole cut into one of the sides and hay thrown in for the nesting material. Nest box is placed for easy egg retrieval. Oh and our temp here is 114 high today and 85 low, and they still lay. I'm impressed!

    I was not certain that they would lay in the nest box. However they love it. Even the girls that are not yet laying have showed their interest and nesting nature by using it every day. I will say I like the aspect that they are keeping the nest box free of their poop and thus the eggs are clean. For sanitary reason I like the nest box, however I'm not sure they will keep the nest boxes clean like chickens do.

    So here is my big question. How many nest boxes should be or could be used each day for 8 laying coturnix? And how many people go to the effort of giving nest boxes to coturnix? Are most having them lay on wire or slanted wire for easy roll out?
  2. MobyQuail

    MobyQuail c. giganticus

    Sep 10, 2010
    Quote:my birds lay 95% of their eggs in their sandboxes...
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    My bobwhites have a special place they love to lay their eggs in....I take a 3 gallon water bucket and turn it upside down. I cut a mouse hole about a 1/3 of the way up, big enough so they can go inside, and weight it down with a brick on top. I put hay inside for them, and they love to build a nest in them and lay their eggs. Not really a "nest box", but it is a nesting place.

    I know this has nothing to do with your question, but I just thought I would throw in my "2 cents" worth. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  4. bhazell123

    bhazell123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2011
    Welsh La
    I built a box with a decent size whole and his started laying in it so it helped him and they won't lay eggs on the wire so fewer broken eggs and it doesn't get to nasty change hay out and keep it dry mine got rained in [​IMG] so have to clean it but mine lay in their box too
  5. kahlertm

    kahlertm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    Durango, Colorado
    I have two Peter Marshall Grass Rabbit Caves in each of my 30" x 30" cages with 7 hens in each (no roos). I have found they use only one box and one of the girls only uses the sand box. So one box for 7 or 8 hens plus a sand box is what I am recording as working. This is X 5 cages. I am going to move those extra unused grass caves out and into more cages as I grow out more hens.

    I also use other things like a washed out big kitty litter jug or milk jugs with the lid cut off laid on it's flat side with sand/shavings mix. I use those mostly for when they are youngsters learning dust bathing and are inside the brooder room. Saves on spreading sand everywhere....side tangent, sorry that's me.

    Yes, I agree, Nesting boxes work. Quail dig it. I have even purchased hanging fake plants to pin up over the sand boxes so there is a sense of cover. Silly but they do run for cover when I come NOT bearing meal worms or greens. So they are using the devices I have put in for environmental enrichment. So you are right on in what you are doing.

    Dig the bucket one. Will use in outside run....Which I have come to determine I will do in a paver or small concrete bottom for hosing off/bleach or disinfecting if needed and baking in sun when not occupied. Again I digress.

  6. I did notice 3 hens all in the 8'' X 8'' nest box today. So I'm guessing that possibly they were at least going through the motion of laying if not in the act. And I learned I could have made the nest box even smaller. Maybe 6'' X 6'' next time. Or just use the bucket method mentioned above. Seems that the one nest box will be sufficient. So far so good I guess. As long as they are happy and laying eggs I'm good with that.
  7. Mibotsu

    Mibotsu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2011
    Balbriggan, Ireland
    Quote:my birds lay 95% of their eggs in their sandboxes...

    the 4 that i have gotten so far have all been in the DEAD center of the inside part of the coop...next to the sandbox's lol
  8. kahlertm

    kahlertm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    Durango, Colorado
    All my eggs laid in the grass baskets are dead center in the middle. I have watched and the coturnix hen will sit and peck around her automatically just like a chicken hen does. I have seen coturnix hens also trying to roll other eggs laid in the nest under them as they lay their own.

    I put shavings in my nesting baskets. Same in sandbox. Others do not. They just stand in corner and lay...I find those are the newbies or the laying occurs right when something exciting is happening like feeding or me walking in on them "off of my normal schedule". [​IMG] Remember law of perpetual sameness? I think it can work the opposite too. Not only laying strike, but strike of laying!!!!! "holy coturnix, the chow is already here? Mealworms!!!!...plop".

    No I am not stating that the coturnix are broody. I think its probably a normal laying behavior to pick at the nest while you lay if you are a hen.

    Nice work. Happy Quail equals more eggs.

  9. Josh45640

    Josh45640 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    SE Ohio
    I have a sand box and three nest boxes filled with bedding. My coturnix will sleep and rest in them but will not lay in them at all. I've tried taking the eggs and placing them in the boxes to see if they will start laying there. That works in my chickens, but not the quail. They still seem to just lay wherever they happen to be standing whenever the egg is ready. The only two that seem to have a preference where they lay will lay right next to the waterer every time.
  10. A friend of mine told me yesterday that coturnix do need some cover around their nest box to feel safe even though most do not supply it. My set up only has a roof with some large branches thrown in so I am still unsure why it was so natural for them to take to the nest box. I solely guessed as to the size of the box and I was thinking maybe by chance that has something to do with it. I like the results but have not benn able to conclude anything by it yet.

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