New Quail Coop

Here is the latest and FINAL quail coop.

This one is my rotating garden bed scheme.  The first year, it will be here, on top of a unused raised bed.  In the fall, after the quail have had time to dig, eat bugs, and fertilize the bed, I’ll switch the coop to another bed that has been growing vegetables.  The quail will get to eat whatever is left of the veggies, and get to work fixing up this new bed for the following year.  I think it’s quite a brilliant idea, so hopefully it works out like I think it will.  I do know that since I had to move quail around, I took the opportunity to take out a couple of barrows full of great compost from the quail coops currently in use!

So now Cinna and his two girls are in the new rotating coop, and Peabody and his wife are in the display coop.  Loki and wives are still in the large green roof coop, but after I build the new greenhouse, they’ll be moving inside there, to help with pest control, and next year, I’ll be hatching out some Serama chickens for the large green roof coop.  After that, everyone should be set for the long term!

Here are a few pics of inside the new coop:

And now, with quail:

Cinna and his girls are happy with their new home.  I had barely put them in it, before they were all having a dust bath together in the corner.

This one has two doors on top.  One over the run, and one over the nest box area on the left.  I still need to put the rubber roofing on the nest box roof.

The chickens weren’t very pleased with the process of building the coop.  First I made the raised bed, and filled it with dirt that they would have loved to dig around in themselves.  They couldn’t quite grasp the necessity of building a coop over the top!  They think I do far too much building of fences as it is!

But they did enjoy seeing the quail move in.  I’ve noticed before that they like to watch the quail.  It’s pretty cute when quail and chicken are standing looking at each other face to face through the wire!

The weather here has been so warm.  We’ve had several days with 60 degree temps, and even the night temps are usually in the high 30s or early 40s.  I’ve decided to risk getting the garden started early, because I just have a feeling that Spring is actually coming early this year, and we’re not going to go back into winter.  Nothing too crazy though!  I started some lettuce, kale, peas, and argula.

You cannot believe how lovely it is to see little bits of green growing again!  Unless, of course, you garden yourself.  🙂

The weather has been making it nice for getting things done outside.  I have a long list (as always) of Things That Need to Get Done:  greenhouse, duck coop, trellises, various gates and fences, and rain barrels.  Plus I’ll be putting in more fruit trees, but I’ll post about that later.

After a day’s work in the garden, it’s good to be able to come in and collapse on the couch!

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5 responses to “New Quail Coop

  1. Hi, I love your blog! We’re looking into having quails and I love your idea of keeping them on top of a raised bed. How do you deal with the bedding in this case? Do you still change it? Do you mix it all up with the soil? How often does it need cleaning? And also, do you deworm your quails? Sorry for all the questions, confused new gardener/quail enthusiast here 😀 Most people just seem to throw their quails on a wire flooring, but we would love to give them a chance to forage and dig. Your quails look very happy! Maria

    • Hi Maria! This is the first year I’m doing the raised bed/quail coop rotation, so I’m not sure myself how it will work out. In my other coops, I clean them by using a hand trowel to dig the used shavings and poop down into the soil, where it composts down into really nice soil. This Spring, I dug some of this compost/soil out of one of my coops and put in a garden bed, and it was really nice. If you have an active quail in your coop, they’ll do all the digging-under for you, and you don’t need to do anything but add a little shaving in on top now and then! The Standards seems to be particularly good diggers – my Blondes and Italians aren’t quite so big into the digging. I haven’t done any cleaning myself to their coop since I put them in it about four months ago, and it still doesn’t need anything done. The only thing I do is give them food and water! They are super easy to care for. I haven’t done any de-worming, because they don’t show any signs of having any parasites. My chickens are foraging through the same general area, and I had them tested for worms, and they came up clean, so unless I start noticing signs of ill health, I’m not going to worry about it. I’m glad you’re considering keeping quail more naturally – after watching them dig and dust-bathe and chase bugs, I can’t imagine ever keeping mine on wire. Any more questions you have, just ask! I’m happy to answer, if I can.

  2. Alisa, hello! Thank you for your very helpful blog! You have a beautiful farm! 🙂 I am a quail owner newbie. I’ve had 6 quail for about, well, 6 months now! I got them last Spring and they laid well for me all summer. I had them in a cage that I made from an old “salad table” that I never used. So it was plenty big, and I used pine shavings as bedding instead of putting them on wire. That just seems painful. Long story short I had to take apart this cage and they are now in a smaller temporary cage in my garage, while I build something new. I also recently incubated a couple dozen of their eggs and we have lots of quail babies! They are SO cute. I have been doing lots of research on quail cages looking for ideas. I’d like to make them something that would be as close to their natural habitat as possible. I want them to be happy and clean and I would definitely like to avoid the smell of their poop! It’s awful. One of the problems I had in the old cage is when it rains a lot, the bedding would get damp. So I definitely want them to be dry when we have a lot of rain. How do you handle rain and wetness? Also if you put them directly on the dirt, what about predators digging under the soil and into the cage to get them? Thanks so much!!!

    • Hi Abby,

      Aren’t quail just the cutest little birds? I’m glad you’re looking at ways to keep them more naturally. To keep them dry, I just have a roof over their cage. Some water does get in – it rains sideways here on occasion – but enough of their cage stays dry that it isn’t a problem for me. I don’t use hay, as that would mold and be unhealthy with even a little dampness. Shavings, like you are using is best. Sometime straw, in the winter, so they have a place to burrow into it they get cold. For predators, I dig down about five inches or so, and put down a layer of hardware cloth underneath the dirt. That way, nothing can dig into the cage. For the smell of the poop – I just keep adding more shaving and digging the poopy top layer down into the dirt so it can compost instead of just laying there being stinky. It works well; I took out a couple buckets of really nice compost for my garden out of my quail cage last spring! One thing, if you’re on facebook, you might like to join the Natural Quail Keeping group. It’s a lot of like-minded people, and you can get good tips and advice there! https://www.facebook.com/groups/914934035223734/

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