Sometimes you just inexplicably want something. For me, its quail. They are small, easy to care for and will not need as much land as chickens. They seem to be easier to protect from dogs, raccoons, possums, owls and hawks – all of which we have come across in the backyard. They will provide tiny eggs, but most importantly they will help me enter the world of caring for livestock, which is completely new to me with the exception of feeding cattle during a snowstorm some 15 years ago.
After some research we came up with a basic plan that we started to trouble shoot and adapt. We finally settled on a plan thanks to the YouTube videos of Slightly Rednecked. He has a lot of good homesteading information in addition to quail. Check out his YouTube page here.
Basic design elements:
- 2/3 has wire and is open, 1/3 is closed for them to hide or roost in.
- The entire bottom will be 1/4″ landscape fabric wire.
- Will sit roughly 36″ off the ground so its easier to clean, and harder for predators to get to.
- The open side and the roost side will both have doors that open from the front.
- Sand boxes in the roost side, feed and water in the open side.
- Lights will be added to both sides for heat if needed.
There is talk of putting a rack under the open section where we can slide flats of grass, etc so the quail can peck and forage a little. This is still being designed. If anyone out there has a quail coop and want to share their experiences we would love to hear from you!
Our local vo-tech center will be building the coop for the cost of materials. They often take on projects like this so the students gain experience building different things. You should look into it if you have access to one. We have bought dog houses from them before, and now they are building a coop and a generator shed for us. The coop should be done by mid-December. I cant wait to post a photo of the completed coop and quail!