Buy the coop before the Quail arrive – I repeat – buy the coop before the quail arrive!
Ok, phew sorry, I just had to get that off my chest, as I see so many first timers get it the wrong way round and it causes chaos!
Right so let’s start again, so you’ve decided to get some Quail – AWESOME! These incredible birds have the best tasting eggs and are near enough hassle free to raise in any backyard. You’re going to have loads of fun, a fresh supply of eggs each day and if you have kids they will love having Quail. It’s a win-win!
Coop selection and housing is a very important factor and shouldn’t be overlooked. Whether you want to free range them, semi-free range them (and ill come on to exactly what that is and why we do it on our farm) or simply raise them in a coop and run, in this guide we will run the through the best Quail coops for each scenario.
Quail dont need any special treatment and can be thought of as being much like chickens, infact they are happy to be raised along with chickens in the same house.
Quail Coop & Run (+ tractor option)
If you don’t have the space to free range Quail that’s fine, we didn’t free range ours at first either. We still had happy Quail and loads of yummy eggs.
The best Quail coop and run/pen for this is the Eglu Cube with either the run that it is sold with; or if you can…
(as the more space you can afford Quail the happier they are)
…go with this Walk in Run/Enclosure.
If you want a Quail tractor look no further, this option is great for anyone who doesn’t want to fully free range but does want to move them to a fresh patch of grass every so often.
If this is describing you then look no further. I’ve had wooden tractor coops before and the same thing breaks off on each coop – the wheels.
Not much of a tractor without wheels, so I’d advise a tractor like this set-up here where it’s easy to lift the wheels and light enough to be moved by just one person.
Semi Free Range Quail House (& Enclosure Method)
This is the method that we currently do. We settled on this after a couple of attempts and are glad (for us) that we now have it spot on. Because we have the space we are able to have a much larger run.
But a word of warning – if you have serious predators near you that are out during the day, then i’d advise you get a coop run with an anti-dig skirt like this.
They are great as nothing can dig under and being tough galvanized steel nothing can rip through them either. However they still maintain that great look as they are powered coated.
These have the best coops and runs in the business from our experience for so many different reasons, security is just one.
Quail Coop for Fully Free Range
These amazing looking, incredibly well designed coops will last for years and your Quail will love them. It’s basically the same coop as above but without the requirement for the run or pen.
Your Quail will have somewhere to sleep and feel safe, plus somewhere to shelter from the rain but all the benefits of free range living!
Contrary to belief, Quail do like to roost slightly higher up. Bantam chickens are the same too. So id advise you do get a coop with the stand but you don’t have too.
You can actually get an automatic coop door with these coops – so just fit and forget and you’ll never have to worry about whether you have remembered to lock them in at night. Plus it saves you a job early in the morning too.
Why a Plastic Quail Coop is the Best Coop for Quail
If you’ve just turned your nose up at the thought of having a plastic Quail coop, well I have to be honest so did I at first. But now 6 years in, i’m a convert here’s why:
Cleaning Quail Coops
I talked about it elsewhere but it’s a HUGEEE point, cleaning plastic coops is a breeze. They are super simple to clean from top to toe. Infact you can pressure clean them and have them dry again under 5 minutes…beat that!
Now you wont need to pressure hose them down each week or month, for regular cleans you can just take a damp cloth and wipe them down. Try doing that with wood – impossible!
Quail are so much less messy than ducks – thank the heavens. Much similar to bantam chickens or partridge actually.
Quail Coop Longevity & Security
These two points kind of go hand in hand, as a well built plastic coop will outlast a wooden coop by 4:1. Meaning you’re getting 4X the bang for your buck anyway as plastic doesn’t rot.
But here’s the security point: as wood rots and gaps start to appear in corners predators will use this as points of entry. From squirrels to foxes pulling at wooden panels to bears ripping off whole sides. Even snakes and rats are an issue with small gaps, rats are double trouble as they spread disease amongst Quail flocks and eat their food from the feeder.
Simply put, with a plastic coop you have none of these issues.
Last point: If you ever get a mite or tick infestation, which does happen, atleast with a plastic Quail coop it’s MUCH easier to get rid of them. With a wooden coop they hide in the cracks and corners etc and it can take months to rid yourself of them.
It’s a real pain in the back side honestly which is why I now recommend you look into these coops here.
Should You Build a Backyard Quail Coop?
Great question and despite the fact we have been farming for 4 generations i’m not an expert on everything, but, I do feel qualified to answer this question as I have both built and bought coops.
So firstly, and i’m guessing if you are looking at building a Quail coop in the backyard you have the tools and know how.
If you do great, if you don’t jump onto Youtube.
But here’s the thing, before you scoot off and spend the weekend building a Quail coop, the treated lumber, yes you need specially treated timber for outdoor use (but animal friendly), is actually more expensive than just buying a coop…seriously!
Now you might think who cares, i’m doing this for the satisfaction of building something and atleast then, I know if it’s built right they will be safe. Good point and I would never stop anyone.
But if it comes down to time and money in your pocket then check out the Omlet Range of Coops. And if saving time and money doesn’t sell you on buying a coop then the cleaning 100% will!
How Much Coop Space do Quail Need? (& Enclosure Space)
OK, this is an important question, as it’s usually the biggest determinant of the type of coop anyone ends up buying.
Quail need 1sqft of space per bird. Now that’s a minimum, the more space you give them the happier they are and happier Quail lay better eggs.
I’m serious – think of it like this, do you do your best work in uncomfortable cramped conditions? Obviously not. Well Quail don’t either and I can quantify this, when we moved our Quail into a bigger coop and run we got more eggs.
So then my advice is, if you want to get 4 birds, look into coops for 6. Because remember you need space for feeders and drinkers. And the space they will take up won’t be included in the space (1sqft) that each bird needs i.e the drinker and feeder space is extra.
We have ran through the benefits of plastic, i.e cleaning, longevity, cost and security so i’m not going to detail that again but I do want to touch on some USP’s that these coops have versus others. First up ventilation.
Quail Coop Ventilation
Ventilation is number one of the list, because it’s the most important (after correct coop size) but the one point that everyone overlooks. Don’t over overlook ventilation. And yes you need ventilation even if you have cold winters like we do on our farm.
Let’s get something straight though, by ventilation we mean ventilation, not a draft. It needs to be well suited ventilation for the coop size and correctly positioned as you cant have Quail sat in a draft, it will make them sick. Quail get colds just like chickens.
The reason for ventilation is simple – air flow. But its probably not what you’re thinking so let me explain. Yes airflow in and out i.e warm air out in summer and in during winter but also the exchange of moisture.
Lets jump back to high school physics for a moment, remember moisture like heat and pressure flows from high to low. So in any coop vents play an important part to remove excessive build up of moisture in the coop which can be detrimental to Quail as they can suffer from heat stroke. The vents also remove build up of any ammonia which is not good for Quail and this is found in large quantities in their poop.
So to conclude ventilation, correctly positioned and adequate sized is vital for a number of reasons. The Omlet range of coops have the best ventilation for all seasons and climate.
A big point for me as we get cold winters and hot summers meaning I needed something that was going to be amazing in both.
The coops have double wall insulation, meaning they work like a thermos. So they will keep it warm in winter and cool in the summer.
Even when there is snow out we have never had a frozen egg and our birds are perfectly healthy and happy. Ok they get fed good stuff and I use apple cider vinegar too which helps but its mainly down to their living conditions.
Having double walled coop also just gives it a solid robust feel which I really like about the coop as Quail cant pick their own home, that was my job and I wanted to get it right. (it’s their job to lay me fresh eggs – which they do!)
Alternative Coops for Quail
Try Amazon, they have a better selection here than Tractor Supply.