Raising quail underneath deck

Discussion in 'Quail' started by SpringChicken2, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. SpringChicken2

    SpringChicken2 Chirping

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    I am planning on getting two Coturnix quail. I want them to have a big area for them to roam, but I have zero architectural skills and building a whole run for them is too big of a stretch. So after walking around my backyard I came up with this idea of turning a small portion underneath my deck into a quail “aviary”. It’s quite a big space I think, for two quail, and there is a small patch of grass that they could forage in. What are your thoughts on this?
     
  2. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Crowing

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    How high off the ground is the deck?

    Why only two and not a slightly larger flock?
     
    mdees88 likes this.
  3. SpringChicken2

    SpringChicken2 Chirping

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    It’s slightly less than 5ft, how many quail would you recommend? I just thought 2 would be good to start out with.
     
  4. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Crowing

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    If I were you, I'd go with a larger aviary and get at least 5 quail. Since you'd just be building mesh walls around a section of deck, the difficulty level won't go up as the size goes up, you'll just need more materials.
    In this case, you'll probably want some kind of padding on the bottom of the deck so they don't hurt their silly little heads flying into the air if/when they're startled.
     
  5. SpringChicken2

    SpringChicken2 Chirping

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    Alright, what padding should I use? Also, the majority of the space under the deck is concrete slabs, however there is some small patches of grass. Will the concrete be okay for them?
     
  6. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    You'll need to think about predator proofing. Rats especially love quail and will dig into an enclosure to get them. I had galvanised wire under ours thinking that would be enough so the rats just pulled the birds through the wire. They've also eated a huge hole in a thick piece of wood to get in when we put a solid wooden bottom on their cage, and had a good go at the galvanised wire/hardware cloth on the sides too! So mine are in elevated cages now as they are safer that way.

    The most important aspect of planning an enclosure is thinking about cleaning it out and collecting their eggs (as they tend to put them in random places). You want to be able to clean it out regularly and find those eggs without breaking your back or having to be a contortionist. I like the elevated cages from this point of view too.

    I'd get a group of quail who have grown up together as they are social creatures. They can be very difficult to integrate if you need to add more birds so it's best to start with more than you need in case you lose one or two.
     
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  7. SpringChicken2

    SpringChicken2 Chirping

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    Yes, I’ve heard about rats:th:hit I plan on putting them in a dog crate at night. Are rats nocturnal? Do they hunt during the day or night? I also want to build a door so I can go in and our easily.
     
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  8. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    They are generally nocturnal hunters. I've seen them out during the day on the odd occasion but they are an introduced species here and we have no predators to eat them other than the odd (brave) housecat. So they are pretty bold. Rats are horrid!
     
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  9. SpringChicken2

    SpringChicken2 Chirping

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    Sorry for the off topic question, but do you think whenever I get the quail I should clip their wings? I don’t want them flying up and breaking their necks on the roof.
     

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