What about a Rabbit hutch to keep quail?

Cheeky Chick

Songster
7 Years
Apr 29, 2012
1,122
21
148
Long Island, NY
I'm interested in raising Coturnix, and I've seen some great "Off the ground" rabbit hutches for sale on Craigslist, that I think would be perfect for quail.

Do you think that would work? They have the little house and the run part that's all wire with a tray for underneath? I'm going to go have a look at a few and then I have to find some quail out here. Not an easy thing. I guess I could also try hatching them myself, although those of us on Long Island have been having a problem with shipped eggs of any kind hatching.
hu.gif


So-what do you experts think of the rabbit hutch idea?
 

danpv

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 8, 2012
21
0
24
Was in a similar position a few weeks ago. Feed store where I bought my coturnix also had a rabbit hutch that I purchased since I didn't have anything better at the time.

The hutch has a small enclosed house with one screen window, a door to the outer pen and a hinged roof. The enclosed area has only a tray underneath, no wire. The outer pen is all 1/2" wire mesh all around, including hinged top. Only pen bottom is open, which is fine since the unit's resting on a cement patio - and I liberally use wood shavings everywhere. They love their outdoor pen; if I had to do it again, I'd have a hutch with a tiny enclosed house and a larger outdoor pen.

Depends on what comfort level you want to offer them. Off the ground would be easier to deal with and clean, imho; but they should have an area of solid flooring so they're not constantly on 1/2" wire. One inch wire sides is too wide and should be avoided. They can and will crap everywhere including in their food and water; consider hanging those containers so they can't step in, poop in, or knock them over. You'll want to thoroughly clean and disinfect any used cage/hutch before use.

If you have lawn space, they'd enjoy a pen that allows ground contact so they can hunt for bugs. They love to take dust baths too. I use sand in a large clear plastic wide-mouth jar and they still manage to throw sand everywhere.
 

Cheeky Chick

Songster
7 Years
Apr 29, 2012
1,122
21
148
Long Island, NY
Was in a similar position a few weeks ago. Feed store where I bought my coturnix also had a rabbit hutch that I purchased since I didn't have anything better at the time.

The hutch has a small enclosed house with one screen window, a door to the outer pen and a hinged roof. The enclosed area has only a tray underneath, no wire. The outer pen is all 1/2" wire mesh all around, including hinged top. Only pen bottom is open, which is fine since the unit's resting on a cement patio - and I liberally use wood shavings everywhere. They love their outdoor pen; if I had to do it again, I'd have a hutch with a tiny enclosed house and a larger outdoor pen.

Depends on what comfort level you want to offer them. Off the ground would be easier to deal with and clean, imho; but they should have an area of solid flooring so they're not constantly on 1/2" wire. One inch wire sides is too wide and should be avoided. They can and will crap everywhere including in their food and water; consider hanging those containers so they can't step in, poop in, or knock them over. You'll want to thoroughly clean and disinfect any used cage/hutch before use.

If you have lawn space, they'd enjoy a pen that allows ground contact so they can hunt for bugs. They love to take dust baths too. I use sand in a large clear plastic wide-mouth jar and they still manage to throw sand everywhere.
Good idea about a solid area of flooring. I can put down a replaceable piece of wood. (my husband must have a half ton of pieces of wood-and I know alot of it is untreated-the wood he used last year to make my chicken coop) I probably will be able to offer them a little of their own area, but as my chickens have the run of the yard all day-I'd rather not cross-contaminate.

What do you use your quail for? Food, eggs, or just pets? I know my kids will probably insist on a few as pets, but I'm thinking more along the line of eggs, since with 3 growing boys, and a hardworking husband-we eat A LOT of eggs. A LOT.
 

danpv

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 8, 2012
21
0
24
I can't raise chickens where I live, so quail are a good compromise for eggs especially. Initially I didn't think I could butcher the cute little innocent fowl; but after a few weeks of cleaning up after the messy little things, their charm has worn off and I dont' think I'll have a problem when the time comes.

After two weeks, I'm only averaging a dozen or so eggs per week for six hens, but they're well fed and I'm expecting that total to triple soon - or it's curtains for the slackers!
 

Cheeky Chick

Songster
7 Years
Apr 29, 2012
1,122
21
148
Long Island, NY
I can't raise chickens where I live, so quail are a good compromise for eggs especially. Initially I didn't think I could butcher the cute little innocent fowl; but after a few weeks of cleaning up after the messy little things, their charm has worn off and I dont' think I'll have a problem when the time comes.

After two weeks, I'm only averaging a dozen or so eggs per week for six hens, but they're well fed and I'm expecting that total to triple soon - or it's curtains for the slackers!
lau.gif
From what I understand, Quail are much different from laying chickens. I'm very attached to my layers, but I did have a pack of meat chickens that honestly, I couldn't stand. I'm sure that if we have any slackers or an overpopulation (or maybe I'll hatch extras, we'll see) I'd have no problem having quail dinner.

My kids we're very upset when I got the meat chickens as babies, but as they grew to be nothing more than stinky velociraptors...the whole cute factor wore off really fast.
 

James the Bald

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7 Years
Jan 6, 2013
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... Depends on what comfort level you want to offer them. Off the ground would be easier to deal with and clean, imho; but they should have an area of solid flooring so they're not constantly on 1/2" wire. One inch wire sides is too wide and should be avoided. They can and will crap everywhere including in their food and water; consider hanging those containers so they can't step in, poop in, or knock them over. You'll want to thoroughly clean and disinfect any used cage/hutch before use.
I agree with your statement that "they can and will crap everywhere"... that solid flooring you suggest is another item that will need to be cleaned and scrubbed of feces. Just me, but after a while, that wood flooring will start to decay and rot and will need to be replaced. The 1/2" hardware cloth will allow the droppings to fall through to the ground.
Something to consider.
 

TwoCrows

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I agree with James here that a solid wood floor will grow bacteria and rot eventually. Wood can not be sanitized. I use a rabbit hutch as a coop for wintering my birds in an aviary. I am not a fan of cleaning wire, and the floor of the rabbit hutch is wire. And as James has already told us, wood rots. I just add grass hay over the wire. About 2 inches of it. Some of it does get trampled into the catch tray beneath, and sometimes the wire is exposed, but at least most of it stays covered. However, you will need to remove the soiled hay each day and replace it with new. I think hutches make great quail pens. Just make sure they are 100% varmint proof if you are keeping them outside. Cover the 1 inch wire holes on the sides with 1/2 or 1/4 hardware cloth. And secure the catch pan beneath so nothing can pull it out in the night. Use a good lock on the front cage opening to keep it from being fooled with in the night as well. Here is a pic of a Bob hen inside the rabbit hutch...


 
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Chick Charm

Songster
10 Years
Rabbit hutches work well. I prefer to have them on 1/2'' hardware cloth so that the poo falls through and it provides the best protection. You can place a small plastic tub in the coop filled with sand or dirt or either mixed with a little DE for bathing and a getaway for their feet. I you don't provide a nest box they will lay in the sand or just on the wire.






Wish you the best.
 

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