What Does A Quail Coop Need?
Quail are robust birds that do not mind low temperatures, but prefer a dry climate. Cohabitation with other poultry species is difficult and there is a significant risk of the quail being killed by chickens. Chicken wire used to create a quail pen must have smaller mesh than that generally used for chickens and must cover the top of the pen. Finally, for biosecurity reasons (disease prevention), a combination of species is not recommended.
Wild quail run, jump up to 20-30 cm and scratch the earth to find insects, but they only fly during migration periods or to escape predators. In this case, the quail can fly a few metres and make big leaps. This ability to fly requires particular care in a farming situation, as they can hit their heads against the cage and injure or even kill themselves. This can be avoided by restricting the height of the cages to approximately 25 cm or using bird houses with a height of at least 2 m.
However, the first solution, which does not allow breeding in line with the species, should be avoided, and the use of cages 40 to 50 cm high is preferable. This means that the quail cannot build up enough momentum to seriously hurt themselves against the top, but it does allow them to perform small jumps which are natural to them. If necessary, you can attach a polystyrene sheet inside the top of the cage. Cages and bird houses 60 to 150 cm high are the most dangerous and should therefore
Bearing in mind the aggression between males, it is preferable to have just one male with three to five females in each bird house. This also avoids the male tiring the females. If there are too many quail there is a risk of fighting, even between females.
Quail have periods of aggression that manifest themselves in the form of violent attacks with the beak pecking the head of the other birds in the cage, especially at night. They may have a bloody head in the morning. To avoid this, action must be taken as soon as signs of violence are observed by isolating the aggressive individuals (this applies to both sexes). Isolate the bird for 1 or 2 days at most, then return it to the cage. This simple precaution is often enough to calm the bird’s aggressiveness.
To avoid water and food soiling the bedding, drinking troughs and feeders should not be placed on the ground, but at a height of 10 cm, for example on bricks. Alternatively, they may be attached to the outside of the cage.
Quail rearing can be conducted in cages (with bedding or on a mesh base) or on the floor (with or without bedding).
Quail can be reared directly on the floor in an upgraded housing (at least 2 m high, with good ventilation and a large solid door to facilitate cleaning and prevent theft), made of banco (a type of adobe) or cement, and covered with straw or corrugated iron depending on the farmer’s resources and the availability of materials. They can be reared with or without bedding (5-10 cm of wood shavings, moss or sawdust).
A housing measuring 2 m x 1 m x 2 m can hold 160 birds for brooding for up to 4 weeks, or 80 adults (preferably by dividing the building in two).
However it is better to reduce these numbers by half.
For reproduction, divide the housing henhouse into two compartments and breed two groups with one male and five females in each compartment.
If you have a large floor area, split the site into areas allowing six birds/m2, i.e. one male and five females, ensuring you have enough room to move about with work tools. It is possible to construct a building with several bird houses measuring 2 m x 1 m x 2 m. In this case, a 4 m x 8 m room can contain eight bird houses.
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