Sand vs. hardware cloth for Coturnix Quail floor

coturoy

Hatching
May 23, 2015
5
2
9
I live in the desert and I'm thinking about making an aviary or rabbit hutch enclosure with length and depth around 6'x3' to hold 5-10 Coturix Quails. I'd think of them as pets that happen to lay eggs. For those of you using sand instead of mesh for the floor, have you noticed that the quails have become sick more often since I'm guessing that more waste is left behind? Do you every replace the sand or do anything special besides scooping out the feces every week or so? What type of sand do you use and how thick is your layer of sand? Thanks in advance for your help.
 

TwoCrows

🌻🐣🌻
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,959
107,281
1,712
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

I use sand in all my poultry runs, coops and aviaries. In dry arid climates, sand does not grow molds, bacteria and fungus don't grow and parasites don't last long in the dry conditions. All of the above need a lot of damp. I dig my sand out of dry washes and arroyo's. Make sure it is sand and not dirt by wetting it down. Dirt will clump, sand falls apart when wet. I clean my sand off every day when I am doing other routine maintenance's. It is very easy to clean and maintain. You can also hose it down in the summer time, then turn it all over 30 mins later and the birds will stay incredibly cool. Add a fan and you will have very cool birds even in the hottest of temps!

Sand also gives them a place to dust bath, eat gizzard stones and quail love to be in contact with the ground or some sort of solid floors like dirt.
 

TwoCrows

🌻🐣🌻
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,959
107,281
1,712
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Oh, and my sand is 3 or 4 inches thick for my quail, 4 to 6 inches for my chickens. You can use natural sand, play box sand or even sand from sand and gravel companies. Hardware stores sell cleaned sand that you can also use.
 

coturoy

Hatching
May 23, 2015
5
2
9
That's helpful. How do you clean your sand? I imagine it's like scooping feces out of cat litter, but I've never owned birds before. And if I'm out of town for a week and leave a friend to check up on food and water, can the sand wait until I come back? Also, I read an article on backyardchickens.com saying that quail can carry Coccidiosis, the parasite that causes Valley Fever. Coccidiosis lies dormant in dry soil until it's kicked up or rained on, which I'm guessing the quails can do with their dust baths or if I spilled some water. Do you vaccinate your quail when you first get them so Coccidiosis never gets in the soil in the first place?
 

TwoCrows

🌻🐣🌻
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,959
107,281
1,712
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
I use a latex type disposable glove and clean through the sand. It is really easy to do. That is the beauty of sand...it can take a lot of birds and a lot of poop and still stay clean. In dry air, it just dries up. The sand allows it to dry up as well. So if you are going out of town and someone is taking care of your birds, you can clean it when you get back.

Cocci is everywhere. In the dirt and yes it blows on the wind. If you start with babies and allow them to become immune to cocci through the exposure they get in the brooder, you should never have to deal with an outbreak of cocci as long as you practice good hygiene with your quail. My birds have lived on the ground for a decade and I have never once had a singe outbreak of cocci. Only in the brooder have I ever seen cocci and learned if you raised your chicks on wire, they can become immune and never have troubles with cocci the rest of their days. I have never used medicated feed nor have I ever vaccinated for cocci. Allowing them to develop immunity grows the healthiest quail.
 

quail raiser

In the Brooder
May 16, 2015
56
3
31
louisiana
I raise my quail on sand about 4 inches deep and use a gardenn rake to turn it whenever i check for eggs or feeding. I use sand used for sand blasting. Change it out every few months
 

quail raiser

In the Brooder
May 16, 2015
56
3
31
louisiana
My brooder is a plywood box on the end of a 6 foot long 2 foot wide hardware cloth pen. I have a door on top of the brooder box i use to change feed and waterers, there is a slide up door on the side that i can open from the outside so when chicks are old enough i can let them out on the wire. I guess that's why i never had a problem with cocci, they developed immunity. the whole thing is about 3 ft off the ground and i never have to handle the birds til i move them 2 my flight pen
 

coturoy

Hatching
May 23, 2015
5
2
9
Quote: I take it that the chicks are picking up low doses of cocci from the mesh that give them enough exposure to become immune, but low enough exposure so they don't die?

I know that a lot of parasites remain in their healthy hosts at low doses after infection. I wonder if senior citizens are at higher risk of contracting Valley Fever through contact with poultry. Well, this is heading towards hypochondria. Thanks for the info.
 

TwoCrows

🌻🐣🌻
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,959
107,281
1,712
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Quote:
I take it that the chicks are picking up low doses of cocci from the mesh that give them enough exposure to become immune, but low enough exposure so they don't die?

I know that a lot of parasites remain in their healthy hosts at low doses after infection. I wonder if senior citizens are at higher risk of contracting Valley Fever through contact with poultry. Well, this is heading towards hypochondria. Thanks for the info.
You are correct! The small exposures they get from small amounts of poop in the wire, give them enough exposure to become immune and not get sick. Taking into account that you do keep the wire relatively clean as well.

I have never heard of people catching Valley Fever from poultry. You might talk to a veterinarian about this. :)
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom