Quail have long been favoured among game-bird enthusiasts. The different breeds are grown privately and commercially for their eggs and for their meat. The eggs are highly nutritious and so is their meat. Most species' eggs hatch at an exceptionally high rate, making them easy to raise and very marketable. Building quail crates, pens, coops and even houses for larger operations is necessary for proper care and management of quail. You can save money and get the kind of housing structure to meet your particular needs by building your own.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Tape measure
- 2 x 4 lumber
- 14 x 8 sheet of half-inch plywood
- 1/4-inch coated rabbit wire
- Screw gun
- Wood screws
Determine the number of quail you want to raise and build the crate to house that number. Use the industry recommended space requirement of one-half square foot per bird for birds in individual or colony cages to calculate how big the crate should be.
Sketch out the cage you wish to build and assign it the desired dimensions. Start by drawing a simple rectangle on a piece of paper. Divide the rectangle by drawing a line across it, from one side to the other, at about one third of the length. Designate this one third as the covered end.
Add some details to the crate drawing by adding legs to it. Build an elevated cage for better bird health. Quail raised on the ground or solid cage surfaces will eat their own droppings, which will cause disease and death.
Draw in the feed and water locations at opposite corners on the long end of the cage/crate, opposite the covered end. Separate the feed and water into opposite corners to prevent water getting into the feed and visa versa. Design the unit with cleanliness in mind to retain bird health.
Frame out the cage on a work bench or flat surface. Use 2 x 4's cut to size. Lay down two four- or five-foot long corner legs flat on the table. Lay the piece that will be one of the bottom sides on top of the two end pieces at 9 inches from the top, at right angles to them.
Connect the frame with galvanised wood screws. Repeat for the other side. You now have the bottom sides attached to the legs. Attach the ends at the same point to form a rectangle with legs.
Screw on the top of the frame, attaching the other two sides and ends flush with the tops of the four corners. Wrap the entire crate/cage above the legs with quarter inch, vinyl coated rabbit wire. Use staples to attach it tightly and securely. You now have a 9-inch high cage/crate growing area, on four or five-foot high legs, wrapped in rabbit wire.
Cut half-inch plywood to size and cover the one third area of the crate/cage marked off earlier. Screw it to the frame with screws on the sides, top and end, leaving the bottom as is. Cut the wire cage and install access doors at the feed and water end, and for the covered end as well.
Tips and warnings
- Build with the expectation of quail numbers increasing.
- Clean cages/crates/coops daily and monitor the birds for signs of sickness. If you plan to raise quail outside, the preferred most natural way, start them in summer so they will have time to get acclimated. Do not remove them from a warm house or garage in the middle of winter.
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