Quail questions


9 Years
Jun 24, 2013
New to quail and need some help, is 1/2 by 1 welded wire ok for the quail to walk on or is shavings a better choice also do Quail settle down like chickens do in the dark? Thank you


Jul 26, 2016
If you are putting them on wire you need it t be 1/2 x 1/2 anything bigger and they can fall through. Also I like to have the on solid floors. Its more work on you. I have both style cages and after you deal with a few with bumble foot you will start liking the solid floor cages.


Jul 9, 2015
Ontario, Canada
This is my opinion on wire vs. shavings -

Quail poo dries razor sharp on wire causing bumblefoot, an infection that's very difficult to get rid of.

Quail poo has to be mashed through the wire usually to fall through, landing on a tray that smells more because it stays wet longer because shavings absorb moisture.

You have to protect the tray from vermin like mice and rats that want to eat the poop for nutrients.

You also have to protect directly under the birds feet to prevent them from getting ripped apart by raccoons of bitten off by other predators.

When it's time to clean the rock hard dried sharp poop on the wire floor, you have to soak it for a long time to soften the poop and scrub it vigorously, if you use a bristle brush it will also flick poo water around lol.

You also have to clean the poop tray.

As for a solid floor with wood shavings, I spread newspaper down, two ply, overlapping each other a bit so I can roll up the dirty shavings when I clean it.

Then I use a dustpan for the rest of the bits like in the corners.

I stick it in a big paper yard waste bag or you can compost it, maybe burn it? I don't know about that.

The shavings smell great, the quail love them even dustbathe in them along with their sand, they dry up poop causing it to smell less and have less of a chance of accumulating on their feet and I can sprinkle some finch seed mix in there that they enjoy scratching and pecking at.

The shavings are at TSC for about $5 for a giant compressed bag similar to a bale of hay. They overcharge at pet stores ;)


11 Years
I keep my adult quail in 1/2" x 1" wire cages made specifically for quail, 1 ft tall, and the length & depth can be varied depending on your needs and what size the poop trays come in. The bottom wire can be made with The coated wire, which not only protects their feet, but lets the cage last longer, because any drips or leaks from waterers won't rust it, and the slightly acidic poop won't be sitting there eating at it between cleanings. ;) The legs of the cage attach to the ones above and below it, and the poop trays slide right underneath the cage. They are stackable up to 3 or 4 cages tall, depending on your needs. The coated wire is a bit pricier, but use it just for the bottom of each cage, and I believe it really does pay for itself... replacing the bottom of a cage is a trouble I would rather avoid.:rolleyes:

I include sand boxes in each cage, for them to lay their eggs in and to dustbathe in. They are just little plastic bins/boxes/tubs that I choose so they fit in through the doors. I cut down an opening on one long side so they can easily get in and out, and fill them with sand. Generally I use rinsed play sand, since that's the easiest type I can get out in the middle of nowhere; rinse, let dry, full bins. The sand blends with the poo in the poop trays and makes a good compost, which will be appreciated the next year, especially for things like asparagus. :)

I've raised quail for years, and have perhaps had 2 or 3 bumblefoot problems the entire time out of many hundreds (1K+) of quail. Not only that, but the 1/2" x 1/2" wire is thinner, weaker, will not hold its shape, and will need replaced much more often. It also can't be used on any cage larger than a foot or so, or it will bow down so much a waterer can't be put in the cage. In my opinion, 1/2" x 1/2" is only good for temporary transport cages or the tops of brooder tubs.

As for the hatchlings and juveniles, i raise them on sand in big plastic tubs. I use clean cheap pillowcases to cover the sand for the first 10 days or so, until they know sand isn't the major part of their diet. :lol: I rake and sift the sand every few days to clean it. I've made a litterbox-scoop-type thing to do that, and it works decently. I keep the quail separated by size, and they don't go in with adults until they are adult size themselves.

As for wood shavings, I save those for deep litter in my chicken coops. ;) :D

Hope I haven't deluged you with too much information all at once. I tend to be bad about that. :old:duc:caf :confused:

For the TL:dr version - 1/2" x 1" wire is fine, especially if coated wire is used for the bottom. 1/2" x 1/2" wire is too weak. Cages should be about 1 ft tall. I give them sandboxes. The babies grow up on sand, covered at first, in their brooders. I keep everyone the same size together for safety. And I only use wood shavings in my chicken coops. :cool: :old :frow


9 Years
Jun 24, 2013
Thank you all for the info, i really appreciate it, are quail easier to move in the dark like chickens? thanks again


Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
New Zealand
I've never tried moving them at night but I'd say that they would startle and boink upward, and it would cause chaos and panic. They are ground dwellers and this is their one defense - boinking upward at amazing speed. If your cage is more than a foot high they could break their necks hitting the roof when they do this (though a very tall, 6 foot cage they won't quite reach the roof). A foot high seems to prevent them gaining enough speed to hurt themselves. Quail are generally very easy to catch anyway, being just the right size to hold in your hands, and if you hold their wings and let their legs dangle they usually stay very still.

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