Quail In the Kitchen

Photo: bloggingquail.blogspot.com
So far I love having the quail in the house, the only glitch so far has been trying to keep food and water in their containers rather than on the floor. For some reason when quail eat and drink they will shake their heads once it is in their mouths. This makes me wonder if they are really meant to only eat bugs. Shaking is what my chickens do if they have a fighting insect...so are the quail trying to do the same with their grain? The mess part is addressed with boxes filled with a few scoops of kitty litter under the cage, so that isn't a problem. In the beginning it was a BIG problem. The house started to get humid and stinky from all of the water being thrown around and the newspaper under the cage was soggy within a few hours after changing them.

The bird nipples I have seen sound like a good solution to the water wasting. The chicken ones attach to a five-gallon bucket, but since I have tiny quail in a rabbit hutch that won't work. This spring I might change over to the bucket for the chickens since I think it also might help keep ducklings alive (no bucket of water to climb into and then drown). The nipples themselves can be purchased separately but I can't figure out how to make them available to the birds inside the cages so we will have to wait on that.

On YouTube I have seen people raise meal worms for their poultry and I wonder if that wouldn't be a great thing to
do for juvenile quail before they are old enough and hardy enough to be outdoors. It seems very straighforward but because I have so much wool in my house for spinning I wonder if I would be starting a self-destructive project. You know how you always find mealy worms in old clothes? I don't wanna find my new, perfect wool with bugs in it just when I have a project due. But maybe when I have the KickStarter incentives finished I could mess around with that.

My favorite cage setup is this rabbit hutch. When I first bought it the purpose was meat rabbits but it is too small for our rabbits and I don't like the exposed wood that can harbor bacteria for kindling moms. They always want to poop where they shouldn't! Poop built up in the sheltered area and I switched to all-wire cages for the bunnies. But for broody hens or to quarantine? Perfect.
I use it for everything because it is so light, small, and has lasted for almost 7 years now. I set my broody hens in it to keep chicks safe from cats when they first hatch out and when it warms up enough I will put my quail in it so that they have somewhere to go when it is windy and cold. I LOVE THIS HUTCH! The bigger hutches require my husband to be here to help me move them or are so big that a small bird may get lost. I paid $175 for mine at PetSmart but on Amazon they are a lot cheaper and have free shipping, so I linked the picture if you want to check it out.

The near-goal is to put the quail in the greenhouse where it will be warmer and they can peck for bugs. They scratch like chickens but seem to be floor-dwellers rather than flyers so if I do my raised beds I don't think they will get into the new plants (by raised I mean my hotbed, which is about 3.5 feet tall).  I have seen some amazing aviaries for wild birds that fit well into a backyard garden but I have doubts about my ability to really keep the cats out and be able to find the quail eggs in a wild environment. Guess it should give me some fun brainstorming in the future!


  1. Actually, the mealworms people feed to poultry, and the worms that eat fibers are 2 different kinds of insects. I've raised mealworms for my pets for years, they turn into black ground beetles eventually, where the worms that eat fibers turn into moths. I've never even had a lid on my mealworm colonies, they have never tried to escape for me. Hope this helps!