Chickens will come back to their pens at night to roost; quail don’t have the same kind of roosting instinct. The roof helps protect them from being spotted by flying predators. From my experience, there are benefits in raising Coturnix quail in off-ground cages. Check that the entire perimeter of the coop bottom makes contact with the ground, leaving no gaps for clever predators to crawl underneath. Not much to the assembly. Whether you hatch your own quail eggs or rear day-old chicks, you will need to plan for the critical first few days of your birds’ lives. You can place a ground coop under some tall bushes or roof extension. The grow-out cage can be an individual pen or the brooder pen. First thing to remember is how to cage Coturnix quail. Many coops available commercially are made with chickens in mind; construction and design elements that are suited for chickens become weaknesses when used for quail. However, such a sighting today would, unfortunately, be a rare event. Breeding of Coturnix Quail is another reason why a lot of homesteaders chose to keep them. Quail are a wonderful alternative to chickens, require minimal space, and can be housed efficiency with their well-being in mind. Placing the coop beneath a few mature trees will provide shade and also help protect birds from wind, rain, and snow. I’ve found that it’s best to wrap the bottom structure with a “skirting” of chicken wire or other fencing material. Unfortunately, motivated predators can still attack and procure quail through ½-inch hardware cloth. Commercial cages tend to be quite small, while other options will give your birds a bit more room. Dig a 6-inch deep trench around the coop and bury the pavers. Care of Coturnix quail is exceedingly easy. Housing Quail. You can also bury 1/2-inch-square hardware cloth around the bottom of the coop, fastening it to the coop with staples or wood trim for added security. The Coturnix quail is a pleasant little breed of quail that many opt to keep for meat, eggs, and in some cases, as a pet. It is a plug and play. ! China, these cute little birds do not tolerate cold areas well at all and do best at temps averaging around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Small-Flock Cornish Cross Processing Made Easy, How To Keep Your Chickens Safe This Winter, 5 Ways to Cool your Chicken Coop this Summer, Farm Fresh Eggs: 7 Things to Tell Your Customers. You can add more birds per square foot as you feel comfortable. First domesticated in Asia, quail belong to the family of birds called the Phasianidae that include chickens, pheasants and partridges. When I first started raising quail, I lived in a two-bedroom apartment before upgrading to a 5½-acre homestead in Florida. However, many predators will dig underneath a coop. Elevated coop with door latches and solid floor. You can keep your birds entertained and healthy by providing dust baths in a shallow dish or small kitty litter box, which are easy to clean. I chose a rigid plastic panel for the flooring. Provide some off-wire locations as well, such as a nesting box with pine shavings, so that the quail can rest their feet. As mentioned in my new book, The Quail Lady’s Guide to Raising Coturnix on the Homestead, it’s best to prepare pens for all stages of growth before obtaining the birds or hatching eggs. European quail (Coturnix coturnix) could, at one time, be found wild in certain parts of the English countryside – especially in the Eastern counties. If the birds have not been subjected to genetic selection for bodyweight, t… Quail don’t mind calm, quiet visits, but if small children or pets are running by, they’ll likely startle. Both housing methods are suitable. Learn tips and tricks for safely housing these marvelous birds from quail expert and owner, Kelly Bohling. Coturnix quail do not “pop” like other quail (shoot straight up and potentially cause head injuries) so the height of their pen can be lower. What works in one part of the country may not work well in another. (Unless otherwise noted, all photos by author.). The housing must be 100 % dry AT ALL TIMES (100 % roof coverage with adequate overhang). She has been featured in Aviculture Europe and honored by the Heritage Poultry Breeder Association of America for her research on quail. Typically, this type of housing is done with the use of 1/2 inch hardware cloth. Shingles or galvanized flashing (available in rolls or wide sheets) are my personal preferences for roofing materials, and I like angled roof lines to encourage rain runoff and prevent rotting leaves from accumulating. Quarter-inch hardware cloth can also be used for a floor and is ideal for security purposes, making additional skirting unnecessary. Also, 1/2-inch hardware cloth can be stapled to the floor of the coop as an additional barrier against burrowing predators, although droppings tend to cake in the wire gaps and requires more frequent coop cleaning. Kelly Bohling is a native of Lawrence, Kansas. A solid-floored, elevated coop provides security against burrowing predators in addition to preventing attacks through a wire floor. The Coturnix quail adapted beautifully to the ground. With modern farming, there are many ways to raise an animal. I’ve lost a couple of birds to predators through 1/2-inch hardware cloth floors, as hard as it is to imagine. They’re also less likely to get mites or other parasites by living above the ground. This means that they don’t have a strong natural maternal instinct to sit on eggs. Other species of quail have different housing requirements. They can not free range or live with chickens and if living with other breeds of quail, like button quail, can become aggressive. Ventilation and daily maintenance is necessary to keep you and your birds healthy. This is an excellent housing option to keep coturnix quail for someone who is just starting out. It’s also more comfortable for your quail long term. I know that this has been very briefly discussed in the past - I have found several threads of people considering quail and alternative housing options that fit into a permaculture garden, but very little in the way of tried methods and their results. Take a deep breath, your flock will survive the winter, Small-Flock Cornish Cross Processing Made Easy, How To Keep Your Chickens Safe This Winter, 5 Ways to Cool your Chicken Coop this Summer, Farm Fresh Eggs: 7 Things to Tell Your Customers. I’ve observed a couple of hens sitting on these clutches, but they haven’t successfully hatched any eggs yet. I have even read that a person raised Coturnix in a makeshift coffee table in their New York apartment, and when company came over, they just put a tablecloth over it! A single hen is easily capable of laying 300-350 eggs in a single 365 day period. If you are a beginner and interested in Coturnix quail, my new book, The Quail Lady’s Guide to Raising Coturnix on the Homestead, is out; it’s a prequel to Coturnix Revolution and highly recommended for all stages of quail raising. Female quail on the ground. Quail enjoy snuggling into pine shavings and will even burrow out a small area for a clutch of eggs. Be aware of the wildlife around you so you can build pens or buildings accordingly. Hardware cloth works better than chicken wire for quail coops, as it’s more durable and has smaller openings. Some people recommend a regular worming regimen, others suggest waiting until your birds show signs of worms and dealing directly with an infestation. Coturnix are ground dwellers. Rather than punish wildlife for their instinctual behaviors, we must take responsibility for providing a safe, secure environment for our animals. If you’re raising them indoors, you’ll need to clean quite often to limit the ammonia build up, as quail do defecate a lot and it can get smelly fast. See more ideas about Quail, Quail coop, Raising quail. Button quail and other species can be housed in pens (either on-ground or wire-floored), above ground or on ground, and aviaries. Alexandra Douglas was born in Chicago, Illinois. In my personal opinion, Coturnix quail ( also known as Japanese quail ) are one of the best backyard poultry. Deciding on the type of coop will depend on what you think is right for your quail and what’s best suited for the space you have available. Baby Quail Housing Rachael Brugger. Construction or river sand is a great alternative, because its coarser particles won’t impact your birds’ crops. Coturnix quail have several varieties optimal for raising such as Jumbo Brown and Texas. Old shavings that have become saturated with droppings and discarded food result in “toe balls” (clumps that stick to quail feet), and also attract flies and other pests. Unlike chickens, who prefer to lay eggs in a nesting box, quail may, or may not lay eggs there, But they will enjoy the snug space, especially in the winter. Also consider what form of coccidiosis prevention you want. Most importantly, they eat a small amount of food, for which they produce a large amount of quail eggs. Quail are amazing birds, and in previous articles, I’ve written about hatching and brooding Coturnix quail (Coturnix japonica), also known as Japanese quail, and Chinese blue-breasted or button quail (Excalfactoria chinensis), and some other species of quail as well. https://www.communitychickens.com/housing-coturnix-quail-zw02003ztil Visit her website or follow her on Facebook. A few security measures will keep your quail calmer and safer. Hutches in the backyard. I hope that these housing method tips give you an idea of what you need for your quail. In the commercial setting, I’ve seen people house 4 to 5 birds per square foot; however, I prefer 1 to 2 birds per square foot as I raise larger, selectively bred Coturnix and like to give them more wiggle room. Coturnix Quail are also very adaptable, ranging from the muggy climate of Florida to the frozen tundra of Michigan. Posts: 2. posted 5 years ago. Kelly also spins the Angora fiber from her rabbits into yarn for knitting, which can be found in her Etsy shop, ThreeRabbitYarns. Always make sure to protect the birds from the elements. They only tend to fly when startled. Button quail and New World quail species, such as bobwhites and exotic species of quail, can be moved to grow-out cages later in growth, as they’re slower growing and more delicate. This applies to quail too. They had the opportunity to live in three different housing options which I’ll share later. Unless you are able to install wire mesh under the house or provide a solid floor under the house (like concrete), you may need to raise the house off the ground slightly in order to keep rats and other pests from burrowing in. With that being said, the name “Jumbo” is simply a term for a large Coturnix quail. They won’t roost in trees, but rather find shelter in thickets and bushes, and scratch about in forest detritus for insect snacks. We have tried many methods of raising quail and found that in our environment, raising our quail off the ground worked best for us. Quail Ground Pen. There are several things to consider for ground pens: My friend Lisa’s ground coop for her quail. This will leave 4-6 inches (after the ground settles) above the bottom of the coop wire, making it much harder for predators to access the coop. Currently, she owns Stellar Game Birds, Poultry, Waterfowl LLC, a poultry farm that sells chicks, hatching eggs, eating eggs and meat. Getty images. What are the downsides of Coturnix / Pharaoh / Jumbo Quail? Their housing requirements are minimal. Housing Requirements for Coturnix Quail The needed housing space should depend on if you are raising quail for meat production, egg production, or breeding. Quail are ground birds by nature. The grit will help them digest their food as well as annoy any potential mites. Coturnix chicks will need to be moved to a grow-out cage by three weeks old. Her book on Japanese quail, Coturnix Revolution, is a comprehensive guide to raising and understanding these domesticated fowl. Fox, cats and raccoons can easily invade a coop. Avoid cedar shavings, as the strong odor can cause respiratory issues. Wire pens can be used indoors (with a tray underneath to collect droppings) or outdoors. https://www.communitychickens.com/housing-coturnix-quail-zw01909ztil One area of quail husbandry that can prove challenging, however, is housing them. Open on two sides with two solid walls protecting birds from prevailing wind and rain. Environment plays a significant role in how we choose to house our animals. The Coturnix Quail. Alexandra was hooked on quail as soon as she was handed a day-old pharaoh Coturnix. Oct 22, 2020 - What are the best housing options for quails? However, it comes with drainage and cleanliness challenges. Ground pens are enclosures that allow quail to have access to the earth. They are the fastest growing of most quail species. Quail are also well at home in an aviary you must remember though that they should have a housed area so they can get out of the wind, rain and strong sunlight. Consider burying some type of barrier around the coop. There are lots of different species of quail, but Coturnix Quail are probably the most highly productive quail. It is amazing how these birds adapt. My specialty is the Coturnix quail, therefore I will discuss different housing methods for them. I now put a few pavers or bricks on top of the nesting box door, in addition to securing it with a hasp and lock, and have had no further issues. Since it’s waterproof, it doesn’t become saturated with moisture and ammonia, and is easy to rinse off. A ground coop arguably provides the environment closest to a quail’s natural habitat, but there are a few factors to consider for the safety and health of the birds. Coturnix Quail housing . The housing area for the quail should be on or near the ground. No matter which coop and flooring you choose, there are additional considerations that apply to every quail shelter. What Would You Do? Keeping the cage dry and clean is the easiest form of prevention. It merely is trial and error and what works for you. Coturnix quail can be happy in an aboveground pen such as a rabbit hutch, guinea pig cage, or small cage made specifically for quail. Housing and runs. Walls screened with 1/2-inch hardware cloth should be sturdy enough, especially in elevated coops in locations where low branches have been removed to deter loitering visitors. Keep your pen in a dry, draft-free, and secure location. on Pinterest. Whether you breed to replenish your stock, sell chicks, raise meat birds, or just have fun as a hobbyist, an 18 day incubation period is fantastic. In the end, the birds will be better off if the surprises can be limited and their environment kept quiet. Coturnix are prey animals, meaning that they are game for predators. Japanese quail mature in about 6 weeks and are usually in full egg production by 50 days of age. You can follow her on Instagram @threerabbityarns. Pens should protect your birds from predators such as rats, snakes, raptors, foxes, raccoons, opossums, and dogs. One major fault of quail is their tendency to startle easily. You can adapt guinea pig or hamster cages for quail. Taller coops with higher ceilings may help decrease injuries from startling, and I’ve even considered padding the ceilings of my own coop. Housing adult japanese and italian quail, I have given two examples of ideal housing for adult coturnix quail, you can see them on this page. Coturnix and bobwhite quail are most commonly raised of quail. In this article, I’ll cover the special housing needs of adult quail for their well-being and your success. Keeping quail and successfully housing them is a learning process, but a rewarding one. They can be a bit controversial due to valid fears over quail drowning in torrent rainstorms, but if you can provide high ground for young quail within the pen, this should not be an issue for your birds. Use a combination of ashes, sand, dirt, and some grit. Coturnix and other. They are consistent, easier to sex and readily available in most areas. Japanese quail are hardy birds that thrive in small cages and are inexpensive to keep. Good drainage and even terrain are important when choosing a ground coop location. Why accomplish this, in the past even addition plans cost you at least a couple of hundred dollars each? Raising Coturnix quail—also known as Japanese quail—is an approachable endeavor, made easier by the low maintenance habits of the birds and their hardiness against disease and climate shifts. When Japanese quail are kept domestically on raised wire-floored coops, they rarely show broody tendencies; sitting on and hatching their own eggs is very unusual behavior for quail. Or, you can avoid the bending necessary to deal with a low coop and chose a raised coop instead. As acquiring them was unplanned, we did not have quail-specific housing. In just a few minutes, a raccoon can dig a trench large enough to reach in and grab a couple of birds. Block the hawk’s line of sight and they lose interest. My Chickens are Eating All Their Eggs!! You can put wheels on the coop or handles on each end to help move the coop and clean underneath. Both button quail and Coturnix grow fast, and in the blink of an eye, they’ll be ready to be moved. There isn’t a right or wrong way to raise quail. Selecting Housing for Raising Coturnix Quail Constructing a quail condo or having breeding cages is ideal for those with restricted space. There are pros and cons to each set-up, for both you and your birds. For egg laying and breeding it is recommended to provide a space of 1 sq. Birds on the ground are always more susceptible to parasites than those on wire and off the ground. You can also cover the dirt with pine shavings, straw, or hay to make it easier to clean out manure. A tarp protected them from the rain. You can see the shavings and also some plants for hiding. Use hardwire (½ – or ¼-inch) flooring and cover it with dirt. Pens can be as short as 6 inches tall, but most pens range from 12 to 24 inches tall. Quail are highly efficient producers – using very little resources and producing meat and eggs that have a highly-priced and high-demand market. Unfortunately, it’ll usually fly straight into the ceiling of the coop, resulting in a serious head injury at best, and broken neck at worst. Coturnix quail are right up there in the league of the commercial leghorn-type layers in the chicken egg industry. For quail egg production, though, there are few birds that can beat Coturnix quail. I show you the housing I use to keep my Jumbo Coturnix Quail in that lay fresh organic eggs every day. However, many quail keepers notice that placing their fowl in ground coops, or even solid-bottomed raised coops, results in frequent broodiness among hens. You can be creative about housing adult Coturnix. This can be a real problem as they are easily startled. By adding a little oyster shell to the dust bath, the birds can keep themselves clean and also ingest some calcium. Life expectancy is only 2 to 2½ years. Quail - All About, Quail - Breeding, Quail - Feeding, Quail - Health, Quail - Housing, Quail - Other backyardfarmernz This is an abstract of an answer I provide regularly to some of my Coturnix coturnix friends requesting general advise on quail keeping It’s your call. Most commercial coops are designed to rest open-bottomed on the ground, which can be suitable for quail keeping. Quail are the perfect alternative to chickens for the urban homesteaders. They are docile animals with very few diseases. Rats are a real problem to quail and one of the first things you should consider when thinking about keeping quail as pets is their security in runs and housing. The housing needs to be fully enclosed as quail fly and foxes dig ! There isn’t a right or wrong way, rather, we all learn what works for our space and needs through trial and error. One thing for sure most quail hobbyist will have a different point of view. One possibility is to use 12-inch-square concrete pavers, buried vertically around the coop. A few simple coop modifications will provide your quail with a safe home that also accommodates their natural preferences. Avoid cedar shavings as they are not generally recommended for birds. You’ll need access to all corners of the coop for ease of cleaning, and also because quail will lay their eggs anywhere. Quail who live on wire-bottomed cages defecate through the wire and onto the ground below, making it easier to clean their cages. sarina lynn. Housing for Quail *For the purposes of this article, "quail" refers to Coturnix coturnix japonica (Japanese/Pharaoh/Coturnix Quail) only. Quail, especially Coturnix quail, are becoming quite popular to raise because they don’t take up much space. The Coturnix / Pharaoh, / Jumbo Quail do have some drawbacks. Some important things to consider are: Again, quail can be raised in really quite small spaces. An old dust pan makes a great cleaning scoop, and cuts down time for this chore. Pairs, trios, and quads work in smaller housing situations. Quail should have access to a cool, shady location at all times. Jul 10, 2015 - Explore Amberly Davis's board "Quail Houses!!!!!" Housing Coturnix Quail. The general rule of thumb is 1 square foot of space per bird. The Coturnix quail comes in standard size (which is considered small) and Jumbo size, which is mostly coveted for its rapid growth rate and meat. Even though coops are usually equipped with hasps on all doors, adding a small padlock on each never hurts. They are affected by common poultry diseases but are fairly disease resistant. When she moved to Oregon for college in 2005, she majored in Animal Sciences at Oregon State University with an emphasis in pre-veterinarian medicine and poultry. They can be kept indoors, outdoors, on-ground, or above the ground. I drilled a few small holes through the floor for better drainage, and provided a thick layer of pine shavings on top so the quail can stay clean and not slip on the floor—a slippery floor can cause spraddle or splay leg. foot per quail. The challenge is to provide this security while still having access to clean out accumulating droppings beneath the coop. Place your coop in a low-traffic area, away from vehicular, animal, and people traffic. Breeding Coturnix Quail. Being ground dwellers, Coturnix do just fine being raised in ground pens. When a quail is scared, or perceives incoming danger, it’ll fly straight up as fast as possible. Place the chicks in a warm environment—88 degrees F—that has water and finely ground feed readily available. We have had a several species of hawk (ranging from the small Cooper’s hawk to the much larger Red-Tailed hawk) visit our backyard and eye our quail. Because quail waste is highly acidic, 1/2 inch hardware cloth is also used for the bottom of this type of structure. They should be kept out of the wind and rain. According to The Free Range Life, Coturnix quail can be a bit fragile at hatching, so experts strongly recommend hatching your own or finding a local source as opposed to mail-ordering your quail chicks. Coturnix quail are gentle birds that come in many varieties and are easily raised in small spaces. coturnix quail are pretty awesome. This includes flying predators. The coop can be elevated on pavers, railroad ties, or a structured frame of 2x4s. Hawks, raccoons, and foxes are just a few of the natural predators that can pose a threat to domestic fowl, but they don’t deserve all the blame. There are a lot domesticated quail breeds but I still think the Coturnix Quail is the gold standard. coturnix quail housing page 3 from quail housing plans Once you’ve narrowed alongside some of your favorite features for a drive house, you can order a couple of growth plans from which to build your custom plans. Quail varieties. Make sure you provide entertainment. Bobwhites are a New World quail and do well in flight pens and aviary settings. Coturnix Quail are also not particular to housing and don’t require fancy nesting boxes or special coops. We placed them in a huge (8 x 8 on-ground dimensions, 6 feet in height at the apex) arched poultry tractor with waterers and feeders. An elevated coop protects against the danger of predators digging in or burrowing from underneath. Way to raise an animal additional skirting unnecessary first thing to remember is how to quail... Strong odor can cause respiratory issues the country may not work well flight. 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