The Continuing Quail Adventures (plus one frog)

I’m getting worried.  I”m afraid the squash are going to tear through into my coop and devour my quail.  Here is what’s been happening (again, pictures taken just a few days apart!)

It’s attempting to rip through the hardware cloth!

Even in the back, it’s squash gone wild.

And a day or two later:

Run, quail, run for your lives!

On top of the coop, it’s a jungle of plants.  Including the tomato that grew itself from seed.  It has flower buds now.

And I didn’t get a picture, but the White Soul Strawberries I grew from seed have flowers now too.  It looks like I might actually get a few berries this year!

I have also begun the landscaping around the quail coop.

The quail don’t care that the squash are attacking their coop.  They are happy in their squash jungle.  Look, here’s Peabody guarding one of the eggs laid.  Male quail will do that.  Also, I noticed he’s a good little guy to his hens.  I watched him find something tasty on the ground, then call one of the ladies over to eat it!  I’m glad I chose him to remain in the big coop with the girls.

In my last post, I talked about how he was being bullied by the other two males, so I was planning to remove those two bad boys and build them a smaller “bachelor coop” of their own.  I have that built, and the boys are in it.  They seem to be contented so far, so fingers crossed they continue to get along!

The bachelor coop is in a corner of my veggie garden, and I’m very proud of it.  I designed and built it all by myself.  There are two doors on the top that lift open.

The plan is to put  a couple of cabbages in there, so the quail have leaves to hide under, and I have a usable planting space.

Peabody is very happy to have them gone.  Next Spring, perhaps I’ll hatch some more eggs and give the two bad boys some females of their own.  I really like keeping quail; I love everything about them so far (except for the bullying.)  I love their sounds, and how the males stand on tip-toe to crow, and how easy and clean they are.  They are also settling and getting used to me being in their coop.  They are unafraid of me – I have to be really careful not to step on them because they don’t run away from my feet.  One of the ones that needed help hatching is particularly tame.  He’s one of the bachelor boys, and he’s so tame that last night he felt asleep in the palm of my hand while I was scratching his neck feathers.

I suppose I should introduce them all.  There is Peabody, the white Texas A&M.  His girls are two Italians, named Nefertiti and Nefertari (Titi and Tari.)  They are nearly twins – I can only tell them apart because Nefertari has a little white patch on her head.  Then there is Hatchepsut (Hattie) who is a Standard.

In the bachelor coop, I have a Standard male, Senusret (Cinna).  Then there is my sweet little male Imhotep, a Blonde.  It is *possible* Imhotep is actually a female.  The coloring seems to be more like a male, but he hasn’t crowed yet, which is odd.  Now that he’s in the bachelor coop, I guess I’ll know for sure if an egg appears!

And I promised you a frog.  I find quite a few little tree frogs in my garden, but this one is especially beautiful.  He looks like he’s been spray-painted with bright metallic gold!

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15 responses to “The Continuing Quail Adventures (plus one frog)

  1. I think I’ll stay away from the squash but the frog is just beautiful.

  2. It is a Triffid squash!!

  3. What made you decide to go with Egyptian names for the quail?

    I love both of the quail habitats you have made so far. They look very well done.

    • I went with an Egyptian theme because the alternate name for Coturnix quail is “pharaoh quail”. They were common in Ancient Egypt; in fact they have their own hieroglyph! So since I’ve always loved Egypt, it just seemed like the thing to do. 😉

      And thanks! I have plans for yet another quail pen; this one will be incorporated into my flower garden as a feature. I think I will have three colonies of a male and his females. All I need is more females!

  4. I wanted to tell you that reading about your success with raising quail on the ground in a natural environment has given me so much hope to do the same! I was wondering if you would be willing give me the approximate dimensions of both quail coops and any advice on things you would change or keep the same? Also, how do you clean them? Thank you! A new follower.

    • Thank you- I’m glad I’ve inspired you to attempt quail naturally! Your questions would make a great blog post, so I think I will answer most of them that way. I’ll have that up by this weekend. The dimensions for the smaller coop (which is definitely all the space you’d need for about four quail) is 6ft long, by 2ft wide, by 2ft tall. I really like the design of this one; it’s easy to care for, and the quail seem to like it. The new coop I’m building this spring for my third male will be based on this design, though I’m making a few tweaks as I want to to be more decorative. The larger coop is WAY more coop that I actually need for quail. I actually made it with the idea of possibly using it for other types of birds someday. It’s ridiculously tall for quail that only use the bottom twelve inches or so! It’s about 8ft long, by 3ft wide, by 5ft tall.

  5. Hi, I love reading your blog. I have been wanting to raise some quail on the ground for some time now. I have some questions about your coops. How do you clean them? One of your coops is on cynder blocks and others are directly on the dirt ground. Which do you like better and what is the purpose of the one being on the cynder blocks?

    • Thanks! The only purpose of the cinder blocks was to raise the coop to more of an eye level/viewing height. Easier to sit and watch the antics of the quail inside. On top of the cinder blocks, I still put a raised bed of dirt, so the quail can dig and dust bathe normally. Other than the height, all my coops are the same, as far as cleaning, etc. Every few months, I take a trowel to the dirt inside, helping the quail to turn over the soil, so that poop gets buried to continue composting, and the “clean” dirt is up on top. Sometimes I put a little straw or shavings in there, to add to the compost, and give them nesting materials. I don’t take anything out of the quail coops, unless I want a little of the compost they’ve been making for my garden.

  6. Mollie Culpepper

    what type of plants to you have inside the run for them?

    • None, for the coturnix quail. They destroyed or ate everything I tried to put in there for them. So I just have branches and logs and other hiding holes, and give them greens from the garden to eat. I have baby Bobwhite quail right now, and I’ve planted their coop with ferns and hosta. I’m hoping the bobwhites will less destructive with their furnishings…but it’s too soon to tell.

  7. Awesome coop! When I get a bigger place I’m gonna try growing on top of my quail cage

  8. I just love your setup. I see these posts are a few years old, do you still have the quail?

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