Setting up quail flight pen

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backwatercypress
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Setting up quail flight pen

Post by backwatercypress » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:38 pm

I am needing some advice for setting up a flight pen for adult quail that we will release over the season for hunting. I am looking at having it ready for next fall. I have 2 old hay barns on my property that I am looking into using. Both are solid construction and very big. The smallest is about 45 feet by 45 feet, the larger one is about 50 feet by 60 feet. I have found a lot of info for building new flight pens, but have found minimal info on converting barns into pens. What is the best way to feed and water without them getting used to humans? How much open space (chicken wire or other types of netting as opposed to solid walls) do you need? Does the roof need to be netting and not solid? Both of these have solid tin roofs. What about sealing up around the bottom where birds don't get out and pests stay out? I am not getting eggs or chicks, I will be getting adult birds. Any tips and info would be greatly appreciated!
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Marigold
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Re: Setting up quail flight pen

Post by Marigold » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:54 pm

Hi backwatercypress and welcome to the forum. It sounds as if you're not from the UK, as so far as I know, nobody breeds quails for hunting here, so probably we won't be much help to you. As you'll see from the other posts in this section, some members do breed quails but only as pets or for keeping in aviaries.
As you know, when startled quails tend to fly upwards and can hit themselves on a roof which is too low and solid. For this reason many aviaries use netting rather than a solid roof, but so long as you minimised disturbance within the pens and moved quietly i think solid roofs would be OK, you'd just have to try and see. I'm not sure how you'd go about catching them, though.
re sealing the bottom against rodents etc - the underfloor of my chicken run is lined with the same 1/2" galvanised mesh as the walls and is attached to the walls all round, making a mesh box. In 9 years I've had no problems with rats getting in although I think they try to tunnel underneath the floor.
backwatercypress
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Re: Setting up quail flight pen

Post by backwatercypress » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:04 pm

thanks for the info! I had thought about putting mesh around the bottom where the walls meet the ground, but had not thought about covering the whole floor with it, but I see how that would prevent rats from tunneling under the wire and being able to get through. My roofs are solid, but they are high, probably 15 feet at the sides and 20 feet at the peak.
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Marigold
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Re: Setting up quail flight pen

Post by Marigold » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:47 pm

I'd imagine that roofs as high as that would be OK but if you were unsure you could find room to stretch netting across below the peak?
Maybe give it a go without netting and have that as an idea if you were having serious problems?
Which country are you in?
backwatercypress
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Re: Setting up quail flight pen

Post by backwatercypress » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:50 pm

the netting across the top does sound like a good idea. I am in the US
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Marigold
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Re: Setting up quail flight pen

Post by Marigold » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:04 pm

How many will you aim to stock per sq.ft? I expect you know that there are battery-type farms for egg production that stock with less than 1 sq.ft per bird of ground space, but presumably you want yours to be able to move about and keep fit enough to fly when released. Do you plan to provide refuges for them to shelter in, similar to what they would find in the undergrowth when released? How old will they be when you get them? Will you only keep males, as a by-product from a breeder who mainly grows hens for eggs and then usually disposes of males for food? If so, will they fight when mature? If you get any hens, what will you do about collecting the eggs? Have you previous experience of keeping quail? I found mine to be quite a culture shock after having chickens for some years, they behave in quite different ways. If they're new to you, would it be best to start smaller and then work up to commercial numbers?

So many questions! Sorry! Truth to tell, BWC, the idea of actually hunting them may not be popular with many folk on here, we're a soft-hearted lot on the whole, with no relevant experience to your situation to offer really, but it's interesting to hear what you hope to achieve all the same.
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