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I am looking at keeping quail for eggs (not breeding for now) in my Carina backyard and just started out with my research. Is there anyone Quail gurus here I could pick your brains about cage design and the birds nature as far as a pet goes.

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I'm no quail guru, but from what I've seen, they appear to be tame, although males could be noisy at times.

They're ground dwellers, so a bird aviary probably wouldn't make a suitable cage.  Also need find feeds that are high in protein, higher than the standard layers feed for chooks.  That's all I know, you might want to check this poultry forum.

Thanks Florence. Yes a lovely lass at Capalaba Produce gave me some great info and can source the birds for me. I'm mainly wanting to see what recycled items I could repurpose into a cage for our corner of the world. Everything online refers to bringing them in for winter etc and don't really say much about snakes or rats joining the party. 

Valerie keeps Quail. She is having a garden visit at her place tomorrow if you want to catch up with her. I'll message you the address just in case you can come.

I previously kept quail, king quail and brown. (The chicks are so incredibly cute!) I found them to be a joy to watch... most of the time.

I found they could often turn surprisingly vicious towards one another (if you can imagine a quail being vicious). If one decides it doesn't like another, for whatever reason, it will keep after it until it's either dead or removed, no matter how much space and cover you provide.

Neighbourhood cats will also begin to congregate, unable to resist the way they move, especially when frightened. Rats also find them impossible to resist and will kill and eat them if they find a way into the enclosure.

I had mine in a variety of enclosures, even one as large as my lounge room, and found the results to be much the same.

You will have to figure out which ones get along with the others, remove the trouble makers, and make sure there is no way for hungry creatures to get to them. 

Sorry to be such a downer, that's just been my experience with them.

No thanks Jan - that's good info, exactly the 'real life' experience I am looking for. I guess you need really strong, small mesh to keep out beasties. I'm surprised that rats will even get them, so thanks for letting me know that.

Rats wiped out my entire flock before I could even figure out what was getting them and how they were getting in.

From experience, any enclosure should also be snake-proof, as well. I have had snakes turn up in aviaries and even narrow-wired bird cages and have no clue how they got in. (They weren't nearly as determined to get back out, apparently). Crows are also very good at getting into cages and will kill and eat small birds, so no sliding doors unless they are padlocked.

Mine stayed outside over Winter with no problems, but I don't recall ever having a frost here, either. So long as they are adult, fully feathered and have access to adequate shelter, they should be okay outdoors. Their feathers are very good insulation.

Depending on your surroundings, mice will be attracted to the feed, rats will be attracted to the feed and the birds, cats will come around for the rats, mice and birds, then the snakes will turn up for the rats, mice, birds and maybe even a cat. The crows will just take whatever they can get.

Oh My - and here I was trying to find a better alternative to chickens who need to free range (we have a schnauzer who is bred to catch small running creatures!). Maybe an indoor cage might be better.

I kept quails for  spell and even built an homemade incubator to incubate the quails. Japanese quails do not sit on the eggs and just drop them all over the place.

If you are going to eat the eggs you will need a high protein non medicated feed (such as turkey starter). The males can be quiet noisy and if you are going to just raise for eggs you don't need the males only the females.

Wi Wendy, I'm hoping to start quail later on in the year myself, and have very little knowledge to date. It's a pity I missed out on Valerie's garden visit to see some quail in action.
It was Gary Donaldson's microponics site which got me thinking of keeping quail. http://www.microponics.net.au/category/poultry/
At the moment, for free, you can subscribe to the 3rd edition of Gary's online urbanaquaponics manual which includes details for raising Japanese quail. I believe the fee is wavered until a forth edition is complete. Link to site below ...
http://www.urbanaquaponics.com.au

Hi Wendy most sights recommend you don't have the roof too  high as to prevent head injuries as they can spook quite easily.I had them a few years ago and they lived happily with my budgies in a small avairy and laid great.Unfortunately they have a short life oh and never have more than 1 male for every 6 hens as they can be quite brutal to one another.

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