I want to start breeding quail and I need some cage/pen ideas. Also I want to try to breed broodiness back into quail, well my strain of quail anyway. Pictures and measurements of pens/cages would be helpful.
Both kinds go broody and raise their own chicks fine.
I think any strain will.. and any colour.. I have white and pied ones breeding as well and natural coloured ones.
But they wont go broody and attempt to nest in normal quail cages or if you keep a lot together. Its too unnatural for them and stressful.
You can make the cage any size.. just not too small.. as they want to be healthy and not overweight. I would say at least 24 inches long and 12 wide... for both species.
The secret is give them privacy and lots of cover and hides. Also keep them in a quiet place.
My best success is when I keep them in mini chicken tractors. Mesh on the floor, but the pen placed on the ground.. so grass, plants and stuff can poke through.
Cover the back and 1 or 2 sides up with solid wood or plastic sheeting.
Inside put lots of hay, boxes stuffed with hay, plant pots with big tufts of grass. You can even use plastic plants. Make sure some of the top is covered to give shelter from the rain. Give them a pan for a dust bath and the usual food and water stuff. Feeding lots of insects is a great way to get them into breeding condition. Smashed up hard boiled egg with the shells is also good.. but too much is fattening. They need some grit too.
My quails usually make use of the wooden nest boxes.. which I surround with the plants.
Once you see the hen laying in there don't move the pen or disturb the quail with handling or too much activity..
The quail should have as little distraction as possible. Don't let them be able to see other quail in other pens.. as this tempts them off the nests to see what their neighbours are doing!
Usually the males can be left in with their mates. The Chinese painted quail are best in pairs.
Sometimes the male Japanese quail annoy the female.. although they don't harm the chicks.. they still try to mate the female and just trample the nest. So you may want to take the male out once the hen is on the nest.