Quail q’s.

Chickem707

Songster
Jul 11, 2018
534
489
182
So, I could possibly be getting some quails next spring, most likely Japanese or coturnix. I have some questions regarding them, any help is much appreciated.
1. How do you house them?
My 6 chickens have a 20x20m enclosure and an old kids playhouse as their run/house. It has no top. The general opinion I’ve read on keeping them together is a big no, so what kind of enclosure and house do they need?
2. What kind of feed do they need? Do they have it all the time like chickens? Or do they over eat?
3. Do they need any other special things? Or just anything else major I should know about?
Edit: 4. Would i be able to house them in with ducks? I’ve read they fly, so they’d be in a chicken tractor sort thing, just in the same area as ducks.

Thanks for your help :)
 
Last edited:

JaeG

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
8,085
24,219
951
New Zealand
The biggest thing with a cage to consider is how easy it is to clean out. You don't want to have to be a contortionist to clean it out as they can be messy birds, and if they escape they will more than likely take off in fright and disappear, though I've had the odd escapee and the one that flew off did come back to find his friends. If you are going with the Japanese quail and you don't mind lots of cleaning you can stock the cage at 1sq/ft of floor space per bird (remembering that feeders and waterers take up some of that space), but less birds in more space will mean you aren't cleaning them out so much.

Because they can flush straight upwards at great speed (to escape predators) this puts them at risk of head injuries so it's best to have them in a cage that's a foot or less tall, or alternatively 6ft or more. At a foot or less they haven't built up enough speed to do serious damage when they connect with the ceiling, and at 6ft they have slowed enough not to collide with it with impact.

I've had terrible trouble with rats trying to get at mine when they were on the ground (even chewing through the hardware cloth or just grabbing them through the half inch gaps) but in a solid bottomed cage off the ground I've had no issues at all with rats. An elevated cage is much easier than a ground cage to clean out as well.

They need gamebird feed of around 24% protein and the hens need oyster shell grit free choice. They won't over eat. As a treat you can give them mealworms, bird seed, alfalfa and sunflower sprouts, finely chopped fruit or vegetables etc (pretty much anything you'd give your chickens just in quail sized pieces).

I'm not sure on the ducks - I do know ducks are immune to most poultry diseases so they can't be carriers so I'm assuming it would be ok, but hopefully someone else has a better idea than I do. I wouldn't keep them in the same cage as the quail are so much smaller than the ducks.

The Japanese quail are the most docile and pet like of the quail species, having been bred as a production bird. They are naturally curious about their keepers and tend to stand in the way as you clean them out.
 

CapricornFarm

Chicken addict
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Feb 1, 2010
76,581
273,903
1,807
Southern Virginia
Just keep the quail by themselves. I keep them in cages like this...
20181014_151948.jpg
This is a rabbit cage i just made, but the quail cages are quite similar. Feeders are different, and i make a loft to put a plastic shoe box on , to hold sand for bathing. I also provide nest boxes, hanging waterers, and hiding places. I will close in the ends for winter.
 

Chickem707

Songster
Jul 11, 2018
534
489
182
The biggest thing with a cage to consider is how easy it is to clean out. You don't want to have to be a contortionist to clean it out as they can be messy birds, and if they escape they will more than likely take off in fright and disappear, though I've had the odd escapee and the one that flew off did come back to find his friends. If you are going with the Japanese quail and you don't mind lots of cleaning you can stock the cage at 1sq/ft of floor space per bird (remembering that feeders and waterers take up some of that space), but less birds in more space will mean you aren't cleaning them out so much.

Because they can flush straight upwards at great speed (to escape predators) this puts them at risk of head injuries so it's best to have them in a cage that's a foot or less tall, or alternatively 6ft or more. At a foot or less they haven't built up enough speed to do serious damage when they connect with the ceiling, and at 6ft they have slowed enough not to collide with it with impact.

I've had terrible trouble with rats trying to get at mine when they were on the ground (even chewing through the hardware cloth or just grabbing them through the half inch gaps) but in a solid bottomed cage off the ground I've had no issues at all with rats. An elevated cage is much easier than a ground cage to clean out as well.

They need gamebird feed of around 24% protein and the hens need oyster shell grit free choice. They won't over eat. As a treat you can give them mealworms, bird seed, alfalfa and sunflower sprouts, finely chopped fruit or vegetables etc (pretty much anything you'd give your chickens just in quail sized pieces).

I'm not sure on the ducks - I do know ducks are immune to most poultry diseases so they can't be carriers so I'm assuming it would be ok, but hopefully someone else has a better idea than I do. I wouldn't keep them in the same cage as the quail are so much smaller than the ducks.

The Japanese quail are the most docile and pet like of the quail species, having been bred as a production bird. They are naturally curious about their keepers and tend to stand in the way as you clean them out.
Thanks for the info
 

Chickem707

Songster
Jul 11, 2018
534
489
182
Just keep the quail by themselves. I keep them in cages like this...
View attachment 1562853
This is a rabbit cage i just made, but the quail cages are quite similar. Feeders are different, and i make a loft to put a plastic shoe box on , to hold sand for bathing. I also provide nest boxes, hanging waterers, and hiding places. I will close in the ends for winter.
That’s nice, thanks
 

007Sean

Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Oct 25, 2015
33,660
201,644
1,652
South Central Texas
Not much to add to, seeing how @JaeG and @CapricornFarm have pretty much covered the basics to your questions.

Only thing I have to add is do not raise quail and ducks together. Ducks like to make mud puddles and can make one out of a single drop of water. :lau
Gamebirds need dry conditions, they do not do well in wet, muddy conditions. And in winter need some form of shelter to keep drafts away from the birds. Gamebirds as a general rule, should not be kept with other poultry. Disease being the biggest threat to gamebirds from comingling of two different species. Also, BIOSECURITY is the number 1 priority when raising gamebirds. Cross contamination is a major reason for losing gamebirds. If you do have other poultry, they should be seperated a considerable distance away from your quail.
I would recommend starting out with a cage type enclosure before trying your hand at raising them in a "on ground" enclosure. Much easier to observe and to relocate them if anything major goes wrong, than in a large ground enclosure. HTH
 

igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Apr 9, 2013
24,023
127,701
1,632
My Coop
My Coop
We keep our quail in an enclosed garden. They have plants and shelters I've made to hide under and live on the ground. They're in the same yard as my chickens but have their own area. Not much I can do about that. There are wild birds that visit our yard so if they're too delicate to make it I figure it wasn't meant to be. I don't use medicated feed, I put a box of soil in the brooder on hatch day instead.

They are less work for me than the chickens. Their feeder doesn't get raided by the wild birds and they don't serm to be quite as destructive. Probably because they're smaller and can't move things around.

If I'd started with quail, I might not have chickens.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom