Where to Keep Quail?
If we want to keep Japanese quails for eggs on a small scale we have pretty much 3 options as to where to keep them. The first two options are maybe fancier but these will produce the least amount of eggs for your family. We won’t discuss them in detail but we’ll mention them anyway.
1. Quail keeping in an aviary – As Aviaries are for flying birds this option is ideal if you already have an aviary in place and you keep some flying birds. As I’ve mentioned above the egg production in an aviary will be very low, your biggest profit of your quail will be the fact that they’ll collect the mess that your flying birds produce by throwing feed out their feeders at high level so this way you save on feed costs and keep the bottom of your aviary cleaner for longer. The disadvantage is that you will have to walk into the aviary at least a couple of times a day to collect the quail eggs and that will disturb and stress out your birds in there. Apart from that you’ll have to make sure to provide your quail a draught and wet free area at ground level where they can hide from the elements (I’m thinking UK weather here) otherwise your quail will just die on you.
|2. Quail keeping in a pen – your second option is to keep your Japanese quail in a pen. An easy solution if you have a barn or a large shed. All you have to do is to wrap the area round with welded wire mesh to make it safe from various pests and of course to prevent your birds from flying away. The cleaning is a piece of cake, you just add some wood shavings every now and again and their manure will turn into dry dust/crumbs which is enough to clean out once a month or even less often. Your birds will feel good but again, the egg production will be poor.|
3. Quail keeping in cages – This is the one you want to go for if you want to see eggs on your table. Making a quail cage will require the most input from your end but if you have basic diy skills you’ll get through it in no time. Your quail will not mind living in cages as long as you don’t squash them in there like herrings in a tin. On a 4’ x 2’ floor area you can keep around 12 Japanese or Jumbo Japanese quail and they will feel just fine.
The picture here shows you an example how a quail cage should roughly look like. I built this heavy duty cage in 2011 and this is actually my mark 5.
|I went through 4 previous designs throughout the years, they all worked fine but this has proven to be the most practical one. I’ve been making these cages from a single tier through 2, 3, 4, and all the way to a 5 tier tower block design. Initially I’ve had a design drawing with dimensions but after a while I’ve just made them from the top of my head I didn’t need the paperwork anymore. The result was that the drawing got lost and now I cannot remember the details anymore as I haven’t built one for over a year. However, I’ve found my old materials list for the 5 tier quail cage on my computer so I’ll share it with you below:|
|WBP Plywood 9mm 8' x 4' sheet||3|
|WBP Plywood 12mm 8' x 4' sheet||1,25|
|Welded Wire Mesh 19g (8' x 4' piece of a roll)||1|
|Welded Wire Mesh 10g (8'x 4' sheet)||1|
|Timber 4" x 2" x 4.8m treated||2|
|Timber batten 2" x 1" x 3.6m treated||6|
|P-clips galvanized with rubber inserts||20|
|Fixings – Timber screws 80mm, 50mm, 30mm, 12mm||250 app.|
|Wood stain – Cuprinol fence care||2 L|
I personally never try to save on the quality of the materials and even though these quail cages are for internal use, I’ve purchased treated timber and WBP Plywood sheet materials to build them to make them last as long as possible.
As I’ve mentioned above I can’t remember exactly how to build this heavy duty cage anymore but I’ll show you my last lightweight single tier quail cage design which is suitable to keep up to 12 Japanese or Jumbo Japanese quail.
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