Quail hutch

quail_rabbit_hutch We had an old rabbit hutch leftover from when I got rid of my rabbits so I decided to fill it with quails. I wanted to share how we converted the old rabbit hutch into a quail palace. Currently we have 6 quails as I sold one but I hope to pick up two more in a few weeks time. Here’s how we did it.

quail_rabbit_hutchWe removed all the metal and wooden components from around the sleeping quarters.

quail_rabbit_hutch We added bits of wood to the inside of the hutch to work as framing so that we could attach the plywood sheets to be the new linings of the sleeping/ nesting area.

quail_rabbit_hutchWe reused some of the plywood we had from around the house to line the inside of the quail hutch.

quail_rabbit_hutchOnce the inside linings were all in place we cut sheets of polystyrene to size (I got the polystyrene off freerecycle) to act as insulation to help keep the quails nice and warm and dry.

quail_rabbit_hutchWe made the rabbit door smaller so that it would only be big enough to let quails in and out of and hopefully keep the quails warmer. Seems silly to go to all the effort to insulate the hutch and not reduce the door size. So now they have a cute little door.

quail_rabbit_hutchOnce all the insides were insulated we added plywood and flashing to the outside of the sleeping box. So far the box seems to be dry and not letting any water in at all.

quail_rabbit_hutchWe reused the original lid from the old hutch but attached a piece of plywood to work as a base for the polystyrene to attach to. Mr Ecochick then made a box frame from bits of wood. We filled this in with more polystyrene then added another layer of plywood to contain the polystyrene. This “box” sits inside the nesting box so the lid is nice and snug and tight.

Mr Ecochick added flashing all around the lid so it sits tightly over the nesting compartment to keep all the rain out and hopefully keep the wind out too.

quail_rabbit_hutchSo here is our converted rabbit come quail hutch. Our hutch is on wheels so I can move it around the yard every day so the quails can have fresh grass every day.  Our chooks love it when I move the quail hutch and spend ages digging over and eating all the goodies leftover by the quails. Before I move the hutch I always check to make sure there are no stray eggs in the run that would get squashed.

quail_rabbit_hutch I place a piece of old plywood on top of the run to keep the rain and sun off the quails.

We had to add a brick to act as a ladder to allow the quails access to the sleeping area. Actually none of them sleep in there at the moment but since it’s summer this doesn’t matter. Come winter I think we’ll have to lock them into the sleeping area at night as quails aren’t very good at keeping warm.

My hutch is large and I think they have enough space to display some natural behavours. I think I might try grow some type of grasses to put in their run so they hide in it. Stay tuned for more quail tips and hints and food options. I love reusing items and making them all shinny and new and even better with a new purpose.


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12 thoughts on “Quail hutch

  1. Gemma Bergin
    January 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    It would be amazing to have a rain catcher off their little roof, so they could collect their own rain water, aahhhh dreams eh??

    1. January 18, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      That is such a cool idea. I have this planned for the chicken coop but so far it hasn’t happened. Must get onto that. Mx

  2. Joanna Sormunen
    January 19, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I am so looking forward having a big enough backyard to have my own chicken. It is such a help for the family economics and you will always know the chicken are well and the eggs are safe.

    1. January 21, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      For sure!!! I love having my big and my mini girls. You’ll love it too. So glad I took the plunge. Mx

  3. Jen Payne
    February 14, 2014 at 4:07 am

    Do you find moving the tractor around frequently causes egg production to slow? I had trouble with the birds going into a molt immediately after moving them in to their new home and now I am afraid to move them again! Thanks!

    1. February 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Hello, I move my run everyday and moving the girls hasn’t caused any reduction in egg production at all. I know other people find these birds stress easily but I haven’t found this to be the case. The birds I got came from a small wall hanging run to this large moving run and at the movement they are in a cool day run (I still need too do a post on) and I haven’t had any issues with them being moved so often between all these cages. What are you feeding them? Is their protein high enough? They need a minimum of 20% protein in their feed. Might be worth checking that. Good luck. Mx

      1. Jen Payne
        February 15, 2014 at 5:05 am

        Their food is at or above 24% protein all the time. I moved them from a garage brooder to the outdoor coop and had 2 weeks of molt. They are slowly getting back on track but I was nervous to move them again. thanks for the input!

  4. April 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Hi there – thanks for this blog. I am thinking about keeping quails for egg production here in central Auckland. Have you had any problems with them being harassed by cats because they are in a cage on the ground? I would love to keep them on grass but concerned about this if I do. Thanks

    1. April 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Tim, great question. I don’t have a problem with cats in my yard as I have large orpington chickens who do a relatively good job of keeping the cats away (though not always)! However as long as you use small squared wiring all the way around the cage – as you can see in the photos the hutch is constructed of small netting squares maybe a 1 cm by 1 cm? This way the cats cant get their pawns into the cage!
      Make sure you put larger netting on the bottom so the girls can eat the grass and scratch about and when you move the cage the girls don’t escape. Just be careful of their feet when you move the cage about. The might get harassed by cats but they wont be able to get in so I’d hope after a while the cats will give up? Also make sure the quail have a covered area (like my wooden sleeping box) that is warm and dry that the quail can hide in if there are cats.
      I keep a piece of plywood on top of the cage to keep the rain off. If cats are an issue I’d get a piece of plywood the whole length of the roof so the cats can’t sit on top of the cage and hassle the little ones.
      Good luck and enjoy your new pets! They are great fun. Please let me know how you go and feel free to email me anytime with questions. Mx PS I’ve checked out your blog and have signed up to get your posts by email keep up the great work.

      1. April 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

        Thanks Madeleine – I will sign up to get yours too – sounds like we are trying to achieve similar goals. We only have 350m2 here but it’s amazing what you can cram in! Cheers

        1. April 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm

          Wow 350 well done you!! You are very inspirational! You’re right it is amazing what you can do! I feel very lucky with my 810 section and I often complain it’s not big enough!! Though some days it’s too big (ie when I don’t want to look at all the mess! or all the work I really need to do!). Keep up the amaizng work and I look forward to shared adventures. Mx