Quail garden bed setup (North Carolina)

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by Muraki, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. Muraki

    Muraki Member Premium Member

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    Currently setting up to house Quail outside in a 4' x 4' x 8' (ft). I have 2 of these framed out already and will be enclosing them in hardware cloth. The small 2'x 2' x 4' box attached will become a shelter that can be sealed during the winter months with a small entry into it for protection from the elements. I plan to pipe in water nipples and some cups to automate drinking water and do something to automate food. My plans is to keep blueberry bushes and other plants within the enclosure as this is acting as a raised garden bed at the same time. Built two enclosures to house a total of 10-12 quail inside one enclosure and to be rotated weekly between the two enclosures to give the soil and plants a rest.

    Will only keep 10-12 bird alive at all times any others raised will have their own setup to grow out before becoming dinner. Looking for ideas and suggestions to make life easier and less maintenance. Could also use suggestions of plants that "might" hold up long term in this situation. I do understand that these birds can do a number in a garden. I was also thinking of wiring in a fixture to add a heat lamp via extension cord during the colder months. This would include a heater in the water source to keep it from freezing. Not looking for egg production in the winter months as I do plan on giving the birds a break, and I will not have anywhere to grow the birds out this time of year.

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  2. cajun

    cajun Member Premium Member GOLD

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    That looks really nice.
     
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  3. Muraki

    Muraki Member Premium Member

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    About 8 days to hatch. Received 28 eggs and candled the majority of them 7 days in. Already know 4 won't hatch so I just moved them all to one side of the incubator for now. I have enclosed one of the frames in hardware cloth, just need to finish the shelter area. Will probably have all that complete in the next couple of weeks. Have not rushed on that project since I still have 5 weeks until it will be needed.
     
  4. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    Looks good, I like all the trees in the area. Looks like lots of potential to gardens to be establish all around :cheers:
     
  5. Skippyherron

    Skippyherron Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Looks great already!
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I love this sentiment and I do the same, unlike many commercial operations that practically lay their birds to death by making eggs all year.

    Your frame looks great! The quail will probably need a step-up or ramp to get into the housing on the end. I'm interested to see the internals such as drinker and feeder etc.
     
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  7. Muraki

    Muraki Member Premium Member

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    Thanks! I agree on not pushing the birds to do more than they really should. As for the ramp, I will be filling it in with 9.5" of soil and mulch. Should have the enclosures complete by end of next week, so I will get pictures out then with the plumbing on the watering setup and still thinking on a good feeding method.

    As for the birds, today is hatch day. 3 Hatched on Day 15, 2 survived, one got its head out of the shell and gave up. Before I went to bed I removed the 2 live birds into the brooder and fed the dead one to my turtle. Day 16 which is today, I currently have 12 birds running around the incubator.

    Hope the below makes sense.
    Total # of eggs purchased 25, received 28
    Total Fertile eggs 23
    So far hatched 15
    Total still alive 14
    Remaining eggs 8
     
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  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Good stuff!
     
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  9. Muraki

    Muraki Member Premium Member

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    Well managed to get a sudden jump on 12 extra quail on top of the 18 survivors I had from the 23 eggs. So I had to rush a quail bed to be full enclosed to house the 12 new birds. The other 18 are 8-10 days old, so still in the brooder and fattening up. Waiting on a few plumbing parts to plumb in a watering system for the garden beds. I'll take some pictures of the current setup in the morning, currently 12:01am EST. Currently using basic waterers and feeders in the meantime.
     
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  10. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Hahaha... I can relate to this! Nothing like an influx of unexpected quail to get a person moving... :)
     
  11. Muraki

    Muraki Member Premium Member

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    Okay. I really need to get some pictures posted to get more advice or recommendations if needed. But on another note. I have one Bird today I noticed acting funny. She cannot walk or stand on her own. She attempts to walk and will fall on her side or basically do a front roll and end up on her side. Currently separated her and managed to get her to drink about 2-4 cc's of water and eat all while handling/touching her. Not sure if she refused to switch over to the new food or just the sudden change to the feed container made her stop eating while in the enclosure, but I have a feeling she stopped eating entirely since her fecal matter comprised of almost all water and very little solids. Overall out of 18 birds in the enclosure, I am going thru 5-8lb's of food a week without anything spilling onto the ground. They have all learned to use the poultry nipples and cups as well from the looks of it.
     
  12. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Try grinding the feed up smaller and see if that makes a difference.

    It's good that you isolated the bird as it could have coccidiosis - is the faeces bloodied at all?
     
  13. Muraki

    Muraki Member Premium Member

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    No blood in the fecal and it now looks normal vs all water. She is eating and drinking still while being handled, but I have to hold her up and stop her from falling on her face while she eats and use a syringe to give her water. But still cannot stand or walk on her own. The other 17 birds are acting normal. The other 12 that I purchased at 3 weeks old are now 5-6 weeks old and again no issues. Read up on coccidiosis and non of the symptoms seem to match. I also felt all around the bird to see if she would react to anything painful, but there is no abnormal reactions. I'm considering on putting her down, as I am afraid she is more likely to become malnourished from not having the time to give her the extra care needed. Not sure if that would be wrong of me to do, but I can ensure the meat, even though not fully grown would not be wasted as I have a few other pets that would eat the meat regardless.
     
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  14. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I agree... It's sad but sometimes birds just don't make it for whatever reason and it's unlikely she will recover now if she hasn't improved over a few days. I've seen birds with those types of conditions before (it's probably an unlucky defect) and it's often the case that they have to be euthanised. The unpleasant side of breeding poultry :)
     
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