You have brought home your adorable baby quail, and they are currently set up in their brooder under a heat lamp. But soon, and with quail that's very soon, they'll need a cage set up for them. Here are quail cage must-haves.
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Quail Cage Must-Haves
The general rule of thumb is 1 square foot of space per bird. Most people raise quail in battery cages and this works well for cleanliness and egg collection. I’m not a huge fan of those styles of cages. I keep my birds as pets that poop food and give them a cozy home and lifestyle.
Quail can be raised in pens on the ground as well cages built off the ground. It can be done as successfully as chickens with a coop and a yard. This type of “cage-free” housing allows the birds to live more naturally, take dust baths and graze on greens.
Don’t believe all the hype about them having no instinct to do that anymore.
While dust bathing may be entertaining anytime you see it, it is a critical routine for your quails, as it helps maintain their feathers clean and free of mites, lice, and other parasites. A dust bath is essentially the bird version of a shower; they become dirty to become clean, as weird as that may sound.
Dust baths, also known as dusting, dirt baths, or sand bathing, are an important element of a bird’s preening and plumage maintenance routine since they help keep feathers in good condition.
The dust that gets into the bird’s feathers absorbs excess oil, preventing them from getting oily or matted. Then the dust is removed from the body keeping the feathers clean and flexible for more efficient flying and insulation.
Excess dust from dust baths is also effective in exfoliating dry skin and other debris, and regular dusting may help suffocate or decrease lice, feather mites, and other parasites.
Use dirt, play sand, fine pine shavings, or a combo of two. I love watching my bird-dirt bathe, they look like they are having a fit, but cute fun fit.
Food & Water
This is simple, and a given, but I figure I had better mention it just in case. There are a number of different options for both feeders and waterers.
Shade/Protection from Weather in Quail Cages
You need to provide shelter from weather – rain or snow. Quail will just hunker down instead of moving out of bad weather like snow or rain. It's important to make sure you give them a place they want to hide in. Quail love to hide in things.
We use tree branches in the front of their cages to provide some natural protection from the weather, and more in the back that they can, and do, hide in.