Quail Space

Quail can be raised in very small spaces, but only if you are raising them just for meat or eggs - you can do this in a small room, garage, or even on a balcony. If you are raising them for hunting - for your own property, or to sell for stocking gamebird farms, then you will need more space.

You can breed and grow quail in fairly small cages. They can be built in racks, so a large number will fit into a small footprint. In this environment, the quail will be comfortable, and it does not constitute mistreatment. They can be humanely raised, even in this situation. Using racks or stacking cage assemblies lets you raise them in a space that is about 3 ft wide by about 2 ft deep, and that space can accommodate quite a few quail!

We found bird breeding cages cheaply on Amazon. Double breeding cages are acceptable for quail pairs (with the divider in place - they provide the same space per pair as a quail rack divided pen provides), and they run $50 or less each, with the option of stacking them to save space.

We also found a really nice larger breeding cage (search for it using that term), which has square frame pieces, is very sturdy metal construction (even the drop trays are REALLY sturdy metal), with a kind of chunky look to it. It is a double cage, each side is 18"X18"X18", and it sits on a wheeled rack, making it easy to move around. The larger cage is more suitable for quad or quint housing, and we can open it by removing the divider in between if we want to have a larger colony group. This setup ran about $150, and has the option of purchasing another double cage to attach to the top of the current cage, for about $135, so it is expandable long term.

If you are raising them for hunting, you will need pens instead of cages. Grow-out pens are smaller pens with brush and vegetation (but sufficient height so the quail do not injure themselves), which allow the quail to behave like quail. The adult birds do better in Flight pens, with sufficient ceiling height and length to permit them to fly without injury (this means higher than 6 ft). Many sources recommend that if you are raising quail for hunting, that you do so without interacting on a daily basis with the quail - do as much of the care as possible without them seeing you, so they do not get used to people. Their flight responses are better if they do not come in daily contact with people.

Quail do ok in confinement, though they may exhibit more picking behaviors, hurting one another, if they are too crowded, not fed well, or not cared for well. They will still do this even in ideal conditions, but it tends to lessen with better conditions.

If you are breeding some types of Quail, you need one cage for each pair. Other types will work well with trios, or even quads (one male, the rest female) in a single cage. Hens that are laying infertile eggs, or colony groups for production of fertile eggs (with about 1 male to every 5-6 females) may be kept in larger cages, with a higher concentration of birds per cage. They can be kept in fairly close confinement, but do better if they have more room. If they are picking at each other, fighting over food, or showing other signs of conflict, then reducing the numbers in each cage can help to temper the behavior.

They'll need to be sheltered and under a lighting control program in winter if you want eggs in the winter. Otherwise they will be ok outdoors through winter conditions in pretty much any climate, though you'll want to give them a means of sheltering themselves - at least a box in their cage to shelter behind.

What you can DO with quail, depends a lot on your available space. So determine your purposes, and your available space, and see if they align. If they don't, you'll need to either adjust your goals, or acquire more space.

 

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