What is the angle and how big is the gap for an "egg catcher" crate?


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 12, 2011
For coturnix quail, I love the concept of a slanted bottom where the eggs all roll forward to be collected. Assuming 1/2" hardware cloth on the bottom of the pen, how much of an angle do I need to get the eggs to roll forward and how big of a gap in front of the cage to allow the eggs to roll out but not so big that predators can come in?

As Arte Johnson used to say "Very Interesting" question.
The slope is about 1" per foot up to 2 feet. To the shortest side. The size of the gap they need to roll out of depends on the size of the egg, and coturnix can lay some very different size eggs. My guess would be a 1" Gap. Most eggs should roll out under that, but you may have to open the pen and fish out a monster egg every now and then.
I forgot to mention that a sloped floor pen with a greater than a 1/2"x1/2" gap in it is not predator proof. The pens with such a modification should be confined to a closed area, with proper predator control!

This is why I have not perused this option. All my pens are outdoors, and if I had a 1"x Y gap in a pen, then I would probably awaken to a mouse/rat/house wren/etc... in my bird pens. Just something to think about
So do your quails just lay anywhere joe125? Then you collect the eggs off the floor? No squash or break...nesting boxes...
Not trying to hijack you thread winkydink...just that I have just started with quail and this made me think...
Most lay in the dust pan, or where ever they happen to be at the time. Some get squashed/broken/dinged up a bit. That attrition is normal, and sure beats a 1"x y' predator hole. In my current setup.I'm just saying.

I don't mean hijack anyone's thread either. Thinking is good! I would love to have those cool sloped floors where the eggs just roll out, but I don't have the barn, with the proper pest control.
My eggs are around 27mm at the thickest. So the gap is 3cm, which means, that almost any rodent can get in there, and your best solution is to have a protective door with smaller wiremesh (1/4" keeps mice out) to protect your cage.

The egg gap also means that the hens enjoy craning their necks through the gap... so your main problem is to make the egg tray stick out enough so that no hen learns to peck the eggs -- mine manage to stretch their neck out about 10cm. You can try and stop this by adding little struts, but then your eggs often end up snagged on those.

The 1/2 hardwardcloth is ok for smaller birds, but, my hens manage to deposit quail-do that is so large that it actually sits on the 1x1/2 inch cloth that I use.

Also, the thinner gauge wire bends and wobbles and my first design made from 19G(0.9mm) didn't roll the eggs too well, I now have 1"x1/2" 16G (1.6mm) and that works just fine, and I'm using the cheaper 19G on the walls and the roof.

I also don't bother with designing an angle, I make a normal cage with the front cut a little higher and then I tilt the inset cage in the wood cupboard that holds the inset. This makes building easier and the entire thing ends up more stable.
Thank you everyone for elaborating.

The predator-proofing of the gap is the part that puzzles me. Fruit/roof rats are very common here in Silicon Valley (this was all orchard here until 50 years ago) and they worry me the most as they are smaller than the norwegian rat. I not only want to keep them out of the pen, I want to keep them away from my eggs!

I've been through hundreds of threads & pics on pens (90 pages) but how to put a cover over the egg-catcher detail has eluded me. If somebody has a pic that illustrates this, I'd be grateful if you posted it.
You could design it like a piano lid that you can lift up, one lid for each egg catcher. But that becomes tedious to lift up over time, and it's ever so easy to forget to close too.

Or, you can think of the quail cage like a wardrobe with inset cages, and that you affix another door to that wardrobe that is covered with the small mesh to protect from whatever plagues you in your area, so that you don't have to worry about the individual cage security, but have the entire cage protected when it's closed.
I don't have sloped pens but I do have kitty litter pans (or bbq metal pans...whatever you call em). filled with sand and oyster shell and mealworms (on Tuesday and Sundays). I find eggs in the pans.

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