Stackable Button quail cage idea

Discussion in 'Quail' started by amandacv86, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. amandacv86

    amandacv86 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm interested in raising button quail to sell the eggs for hatching or eating and to sell the babies I hatch for pets. Due to limited space, I would love to be able to stack as many cages as possible to have a smaller footprint. I want the birds to be comfortable and happy, too.

    I want to build a shelf, either out of PVC or wood. Leaning towards wood because it would be sturdier, I can paint it whatever color I want, and I am planning on building an aviary for my cockatiels soon so it'll give me a good starter project. I have very limited carpentry skills. Then again, the aviary will probably be done before this.

    How tall do the cages need to be for them to be comfortable? I know they boink so they need to be under 12 inches to prevent them from getting enough momentum to really hurt themselves, so would 6 or 8 inches be ok? Planning on making them out of pvc coated wire with bases either made out of coroplast(corrugated plastic), cat box litter trays($1.29 at the asian store by my house), or dish pans from smart and final.

    I'm thinking of having a large shelf on the bottom for storage, and 6-8 cages on the shelves. I read a 10 gal aquarium is good for a pair, so at least 2 sq ft. Cheap walmart fluorescent lights or LED Christmas lights on a timer to keep them laying in the winter. One pair or trio in each cage. I also want to make an extra cage so when I clean I could have it ready and it's less stressful on the birds. Going to use feeders and waterers that mount on the outside of the cage to save on floor space, and put a nest box and sand bath in there. Haven't decided if I want to use wire or bedding. If I use wire, they'll have both the sand box and nest box to rest their feet.

    I could also build the cages into the shelf, but then I wouldn't have the ability to take them outside and squirt them off with a hose to clean them.

    Also, any ideas how to run this kind of venture? Any tips or constructive criticism is appreciated.

    I may have forgotten something, but just wanted to run this idea by people who are more experienced in button quail. :)
     
  2. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    do not keep buttons in trios. and wire is really rough on the little feet of these guys even if part is not wire. just saying...
     
  3. amandacv86

    amandacv86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! So far I'm only in the planning stages, so no worries. :)
     
  4. buttonquailtx

    buttonquailtx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use clear plastic storage bins with a square cut out in front and wire attached for ventilation. I drill a hole in the side for a hamster water bottle.

    Keeping buttons in trios or groups is a very controversial subject. I keep some in pairs, some in trios, and some in groups. The only ones that I have ever had problems with keeping in groups are whites since they tend to get pecked at more than any other color.

    If you plan on incubating the eggs, then trios or groups can work. If you plan on letting the hens hatch their own eggs, then keep them in pairs. But ultimately,it's all about how it works for you.

    I agree about the wire. !/2 inch wire is really too big for them to be comfortable on, and 1/4 inch is too small to allow droppings to fall through. It's best to keep them on clean bedding such as aspen or pine. Never use cedar!

    I'll try to post pics of my button quail cages tomorrow. Tomorrow is a cleaning day, and I will post after cleaning.
     
  5. amandacv86

    amandacv86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. I'm leaning towards trios for non-broody hens(and incubating) and pairs for ones that will raise chicks. Buttons that are parent raised might appeal to people more.

    If I did decide to use wire, I was going to line it with 1/2x1/2 rubber mesh. I saw a you tube video of someone who does that successfully. It seems to be more comfortable for them. I'll probably just stick with aspen, though. Doesn't it drive you nuts that they sell cedar and pine for pets? I use pine in my aviary only because it gets good ventilation, but would never use it inside.

    What do you think of the height? 6-8 inches? Like I said this will be a small operation with limited space so stacking is a must, but I don't want to compromise their comfort.

    The feed store near me has small gravity feeders for pet birds for 1.99 that I think would work perfect, and Wal-mart sells waterers for birds for a little under $1.

    Any tips on how to run a button quail business is appreciated, or if you could point me in the direction of some resources. I couldn't find a lot on the subject.
     
  6. buttonquailtx

    buttonquailtx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Button quail eggs are can be sold on ebay and this forum has a for sale section. It is much easier to sell egg by mail than chicks. Shipping chicks can be expensive.

    There are many free website hosting sites you may check into. And some sites will sell you a domain name for around $10.

    Check in your area for cage bird expos. You can rent a table there and sell chicks and started birds.

    My suggestion is to start out small and see how that goes, and slowly build up your business. You probably won't make a lot of money selling buttons, but you should be able to pay your feed costs at least.

    Buy eggs from many different breeders to insure a more diverse blood line. Also breed for colors to capture the market of people searching for one particular color.

    I would build the cages 10 inches high to keep them from feeling too confined. Remember, a quail's escape route is straight up, and too confined a space might cause them to become nervous. Just place a soft foam material on the inside roof to keep down injuries.

    Other than cage bird swaps/expos, I never suggest selling birds from home.

    Check into getting NPIP certified. This will help sell eggs and make you feel better being able to prove your birds are healthy.

    I have known several breeders that keep their buttons on wire, and the coated wire is much easier on feet. But honestly, you will be much more satisfied with bedding. Especially if kept inside. The bedding helps absorb some of the odor from droppings.


    Hope this helps.
     
  7. dougjefferson

    dougjefferson Out Of The Brooder

    I use cedar all the time. No problems at all. Dogs, goats, guineas, chickens, pigs have all bedded down in cedar shavings ( I make a lot of things out of cedar). All I have found in researching this is not to use for really young animals as it MAY cause breathing difficulties. But each to own.
     
  8. buttonquailtx

    buttonquailtx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many people use cedar with no problems.I use it in dog beds to help with flea control. But with smaller birds, it may cause respiratory distress simply because they have smaller, weaker lungs. But if someone has been using cedar, and it works for them, then it's his/her choice and right to use it.

    I'm not disagreeing with anyone on their husbandry practices, if it works for them. I raise bearded dragons and use sand, which many breeders say is bad. I have never had any problems using sand and will continue to use it as long as it poses no problems. So I agree 100% with dougjefferson, if it works for you, stick with it.

    That being said, I try to give the best advice I can to people with less experience. And I try not to suggest anything that has a possibility of causing problems to new keepers. As they gain experience, they can try other methods to see what works for them.
     
  9. buttonquailtx

    buttonquailtx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    These are some of the stackable cages I use. The are made out of clear totes. I cut a square out in the front and bolted some hardware cloth to aid in ventilation. I also drilled a hole in the side to place hamster water bottles on outside.

    The top cage has at trio of a blueface male, a silver hen, and a cinnamon hen.

    The bottom cage has a Vader male and a redbreasted hen.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Pros:

    Can be stacked 3 high to save space
    Easy to clean and disinfect with a mild bleach solution
    Good ventilation while reducing drafts
    Allows adequate light
    Good size for a pair or trio
    Hamster water bottles insure sanitary water supply and help keep cage dry
    Very inexpensive, around $10 each to build
    Can be easily modified to use as a brooder

    Cons:

    Only good if keeping birds inside
    Opens from top, giving birds more opportunity to escape during cage chores
    Not sturdy enough to keep pet dogs or cats out.
    Have to move top cages for access to lower cages.
     
  10. amandacv86

    amandacv86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Those would be perfect! Only thing is, I do need them to be cat and dog proof. I don't think they'd try to get to them, though. I had my 3 button and 2 cot chicks in a 10 gal aquarium brooder for about a week and one cat got up on the table they were in and slept next to it because it was warm. The male button bopped(no injury) and I ended up changing them to a 20 gal. I put baby blankets around it this time so the quail can't see out so it gives less of a chance for things to startle them. The lid is just a piece of a cage I had modified, not very secure, and the cats don't even seem to care.

    I like the look of the bolts over zip ties! :) Do you remember how many gallons those containers are? Thanks!
     

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