Help Me Brainstorm

After spending the day reinforcing wire fencing around the chicken coop and rabbit hutch area, I need to think about more constructive things and not about the destruction that predators have caused lately.

So let’s brainstorm on quail and ‘shroom garden ideas!20121229-162840.jpg

Above is what I was envisioning to begin with, but now that we have decided to give quail a try, we need to find a good spot for them. The shiitake mushrooms will be grown on oak logs (that I already have) and will be set on low racks just to keep them off the ground. Shiitakes apparently are sensitive to soil cooties. Depending on the best location for the quail, I may toss out the large herb bed completely or make it another mushroom bed. I’ll show you what I mean…

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This photo was taken from the bottom of the driveway looking up at the street/beginning curve of the driveway. You can see the cob oven on the left, the bench at the far center, and the house stairs are on the right.

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Option 1: Use a very tight weave wire to fence in the area around the tree and about one foot around the back of the tree. Use aviary wire to secure the top to keep quail in and (hopefully) predators out. The main fence for the garden will be to the left and right so only the front will be exposed. The converted doghouse would be used as an insulated quail shelter from the elements. On the plus side, it would look adorable and be more of a “habitat”. The con would be that I would have to use twice as much wire as option 2.

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Option 2: Use a very tight weave wire to cover the front side of the underneath of the front stairs. Again, the insulated doghouse would provide shelter from the elements. Pro– we would use less wire and the quail would be slightly more hidden. Con– they would be right under the stairs and it would be much harder to clean.

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So which do you think is better? Either way you wouldn’t be able to see them from the street and the whole area will be well fenced. We will probably use the heavy gauge, tight weave rabbit wire for the quail enclosure no matter where it goes so it should be pretty secure.

Thoughts? Concerns? Better ideas? I have until March or April to figure it all out and get set up.

16 thoughts on “Help Me Brainstorm

  1. You’re talking to me, right? Jk…on first glance I like under the stairs a lot, but having just cleaned rabbit poop out of the laundry room and needing to mop it, I’m gonna say, do you want quail poop on the side of the house? Maybe if the roosts were under the stairs, you wouldn’t see the droppings. Then you risk getting mites in the wood. The cleaning issue would point me towards option 1. I hate cleaning.

  2. Hmmm…. interesting dilema! When we had quail they were pretty messy, but our poultry was kept in solid floor cages, maybe three foot by two feet, and we kept them on sawdust changed every few days to two weeks, depending on the bird. Hubby and FIL would put maybe 10 in a cage at the most and they were our messiest birds. (although I thought they were kind of over crowded, but when you’re out of cage space you’re out, until you sell a few!) So if smell is an issue (sooooo would be with my hubby too) I’d lean away from having them under the porch. But it’s hard to know how hard it’d be to get the other area mucked out too (or if you’d wanna smell bird smell while you’re cooking, lol!) Course it also depends on how many you are planning on keeping in either space as well. Just a few wouldn’t be bad probably, lol!
    Thinking back on the quail, do you have a good incubator or access to one? Our absolutely never set, it was so weird! Course we had a big sportsman cabinet incubator so it wasn’t an issue (except being way to easy to throw a few more “cow eggs” (that’s what they always called them cause they had the big spots all over!) in there with the others, but it might be if you’re trying to raise a lot to eat.

    • I’ve read that most quail don’t go broody like chickens so we will be purchasing an incubator. Have any to recommend? I was just going to find one with good reviews on amazon. We will have about 8-12 quail at a time (I’m sure I can figure out a good hatching schedule to keep eggs and meat going) and the tree space is about 8’x6′ (48 sq. ft.). It’s hard to really assess this spot in photos because the angles make everything look close together especially since the cob oven is covered for the rain, but there is actually about three feet between the tree and cob oven. Hopefully the wind rolls down the hill while we’re cooking! 😉

      • As for the smell and mess, it really is easier, if it practical for you, to quickly rake out the day’s droppings and throw in a small amount of new bedding each day. Easy, quick “composting” bins can be wired together using pallets to allow the bedding and droppings to moulder down into something for your garden.

      • We have a couple compost bins set up so dealing with manure is no problem. Saturdays are my “farm poop” days when I clean all the cages and habitats. I think raising the quail on the ground around the tree will be more attractive.

  3. You will want to circumvent flies early in the season to prevent them getting in your house (and just plain being annoying). I used a hanging sort of drowning trap, and that seemed to help us this year. Try to prevent the population from building early in the season to prevent an explosion later. Pitcher plants? I’ve thought about it but not done it.

  4. I like option #1. You’ll be able to see them from the house, and it’s a pretty site.
    Under the porch they will attract mice way to close to your home! Raccoons scare me!

  5. We have a big older model sportsman 1502 or something like that, 200+ chicken eggs. Burned out the element in it now and since we aren’t raising chickens much now except for layers we haven’t bothered fixing it yet, lol! It was an awesome one to use though, much better luck with it than the styrofoam ones. We purchased it used for like $400 about 15 years ago?

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