Quail Rearing Cage Design
Cage rearing is often chosen in urban or periurban areas, as it requires little space. The cages are often made with several floors. However, this method is not recommended as it does not allow the cage to be properly aired and causes the birds to be stressed. It is therefore better to leave some room between the cages to ensure better air circulation, and not to have more than three floors.
The cages must be well ventilated and installed in buildings protecting the quail from sun, rain and wind.
The cages can be made of white wood and chicken wire or chicken wire alone. If wood is used, it is better to attach the planks so that they can be replaced individually if they are damaged or deteriorate.
It must be remembered that quail produce large quantities of excrement that will impregnate the wood. It will be difficult to maintain a good level of hygiene needed to avoid disease. A chicken wire cage is easier to clean and disinfect.
The bottom of the cage can be made of wood and covered with 5 cm of wood shavings, or 1.5 cm wire mesh. The floor must be horizontal to fatten up of the birds, but with a slight 5° slope for laying hens, to make it easier to collect the eggs. For quail chicks, it is necessary to cover the 7 mm wire mesh with paper for the first week at least, as their feet are too small and they could seriously hurt themselves. Later, the mesh wire should have spaces of no more than 7 mm until the birds are fully grown, when 1.5 cm mesh can be used.
Cages can be built to the following measurements: 1 m long x 0.5 m wide x 0.5 m high, or 2 m x 0.5 m x 0.5 m. The second option allows the quail to run. For cages 2 m long, plan movable parts that can be separated into two compartments so that they can be used for smaller groups of breeders if necessary.
The 1 m x 0.5 m x 0.5 m cages can accommodate a group of breeders consisting of one male and five females. If the male is too active, it can be separated from the females by dividing the cage with removable planks that can be withdrawn from time to time. Alternatively, they can house up to 40 laying quail or 80 for brooding for up to 4 weeks. However, to ensure rearing that is suitable for the species it would be best for this space to house no more than 20 adults.
The feeders and drink troughs can be placed inside the cage, or attached to the outside for added cleanliness and to save space. Equipment for raising quail chicks can be used such as in 4.3.
Arrange individual access to the feeders and water to prevent the birds from hurting themselves. Feeding time always causes a lot of pushing and shoving.
It is a good idea to add a small sand bath (about 30 cm x 35 cm). This will improve cohabitation by making the quail less aggressive. In addition, it is excellent protection against mites and other external parasites, and the ingestion of sand is good for the digestive system. The sand bath and the nesting box can be attached to the outside of the cage.
If the cages are used without wire mesh on the floor, nesting boxes can be placed inside. Although some quail will nest anywhere in the cage, which means comprehensive checking will be necessary, this solution will make it easier to collect the eggs.
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