I love having quails they are so much fun. So cute all their little noises and watching them dust bathe. We made a quail run so that the quails would be safe from predators as quail have lost their natural instincts and so can’t truly be free ranged. I am happy with the size of my quail run and the quails do seem very happy however I felt bad that the chickens were completely free ranged and my quails are caged.
So I decided to make a more natural enclosure for them. We modified one of our raised beds cages so that the quails could range around in there. When we first moved the quails into this run two of the little whites escaped through the chicken wire. We were just in time to save them from a hungry cat (was a close one!) which is why you can’t free range quails. So to protect the quails and keep them in we stapled some (free) netting all over the cage and wrapped it over the top of the cage as quails can fly higher than you think! If I did this from scratch I would make the cage with small chicken wire so no need for the cloth and I would make a lid that could be opened and closed like the top of a rabbit hutch.
To keep the top closed, keep the quails in and predators out I used an old roof rack netting. This also makes it easy to get into the quails to feed them, pick them up and collect eggs.
I love watching the quails run around their Jurassic park. The bed is full of kale and spinach (well not anymore). The kale acts as a forest for the quails to play in and be protected from the elements. The quails seem really happy in there as they are often singing (love the little noises they make! so cute) though it does appear that egg production is a little less than it was in the main run but I have sold two quail including my male so that may also have affected the others.
I have reused a large tin a girlfriend gave me as a nesting/ safe place for the birds. In the beginning the girls used to lay their eggs in the tin which made it very easy to collect but since then they have taken to making nests and laying their eggs in there.
The girls tend to lay their eggs in one nest and so this does make collection easy.Though sometimes they make another nest and it might be a day or so before we find the eggs. We once found a nest with nine eggs in it. We did think it was odd we got no eggs that day!
Most people find that quails drop their eggs wherever but I really haven’t found this to be the case not in my quail hutch or in this new enclosure. So I figure that if you provide a larger space and more natural environment the girls will make nests I also wonder if this means they might sit on eggs? One day I hope to test this theory I have to get another male first.
I love watching my mini girls (as appose to my big girls; the chooks) run around this park they really look like mini moa in a Jurassic park. I do still bring the girls fresh greens most days as they have eaten all the spinach in the cage. I also provide fresh water, quail food and calcium for the girls.
I still have the other run too and use it if we’re away or when it’s really wet or cold. I feel so much better that my girls have all this space and natural environment. I’d love to make a small quail (chicken) tractor as I think they would do a great job of cleaning up weeds but shouldn’t do too much damage to the garden. So watch this space.
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