Unlimited Quail Cage Possibilities
Choosing or building a quail cage usually does not present much of a problem. One obviously needs to know something about raising quail, and have some idea about what kind of housing arrangement would be best. A quail cage can be one that is to be used for housing chicks, for housing quail pairs, or a cage similar in size to a rabbit hutch or coop, which could house a fairly large number of the birds.
Before purchasing or building a quail cage it might be a good idea to first check the zoning laws where you live, and also check with the appropriate state game or fish and wildlife department to see if a permit of any kind is needed. In most states and provinces in North America, quail are regarded as wildlife and not domestic animals, which could complicate matters as far as raising them in your backyard is concerned. So, before you buy or build your quail hotel, check the regulations.
The Need For A Quail Cage - Whether quail make good pets or not is an open question. They cannot really be allowed to run free, since they might fly away or in any event could be at the mercy of predators, including your own dog or cat, or your neighbor's. Given a decent amount of room, it's not inhumane to keep them in a quail cage of one kind or another. Most people who raise quail, raise them either for their meat or their eggs. Although it can take a number of quail to feed a family of four in one sitting, they are as delicious as any game bird, and their eggs are as well, despite their rather small size.
While you may be told that you can raise up to a half dozen quail in a quail cage having a one square foot floor. This may be true for young chicks, but most would prefer to give the birds quite a bit more room than that. Still, quail do not require a lot of room. What they require is food, water, and clean conditions. A wire mesh floor with the mesh large enough to allow droppings to pass through is essential for hygienic reasons, and although this should be quite effective, the cage will still need to be cleaned from time to time.
If one is raising several quail for pleasure and for viewing rather than for eating, a larger quail cage may be in order so the birds can be viewed in more of a natural setting.
Cleanliness And Space Are All-Important - Another reason for a wire mesh floor, irrespective of how many quail you are keeping, and for whatever reason you are raising them, is that quail will eat their own feces which often can make them quite ill and even kill the birds. Cleanliness is all important, and a sliding pan under the floor is always a good idea unless one wants to deal with a gradual accumulation of droppings. For the sides and top, one inch square mesh will usually suffice, although a smaller mesh might be advisable when very young chicks are to be kept in a cage. If a quail, young or old, can fit through an opening, it will certainly try it out. For young chicks, an outer layer of screening two or three inches high along the base of the cage should keep the little critters where they belong.
Don't Forget A Dust Bath - Any quail cage needs a door of course, not for the quail but for the owner who has to place dishes of food and water in the cage. Another accessory for a quail age would be a dust bath. A one square foot cage wouldn't accommodate dishes of any meaningful size, and certainly not a dust bath. A recommended cage size for one or two pair of quail would be 2 feet wide, 4 feet long, and about a foot and a half high. Then, you'll have 8 square feet of space to work with and the quail will have some room to move about.