Build A Quail Hutch With Little Or No Money [Video Tutorial]

As soon as I brought quail home, I had to figure out how to build a quail hutch for them to live in.

 

At the time, our quail were too young to go outside, so they lived in our bathroom in plastic containers while they grew out their feathers.

 

Which gave us a few weeks to sort out how to build a quail hutch.

 

(If you’re interested in raising quail, I can help! Grab my 10 tip cheat sheet here.)

 

 

We could have bought one on Amazon, I’m sure, but I like to use materials on the homestead, and thanks to a large barn fire on our property, we have plenty of materials to scavenge.

 

READ NEXT: RAISING QUAIL IS PERFECT FOR EVERY HOMESTEAD

 

When it came to our quail hutch design, we knew a couple of things: the quail would live outside and we did not want it to be too tall.

 

Quail are easily frightened, and they can shoot straight up when scared, which means if they gain enough momentum, they can easily snap their necks.

 

So, I wasn’t looking to build a large coop, especially since quail don’t roost (they rest on the ground).

 

Since the quail would live outside, we knew the hutch had to be sturdy and have wind breaks to protect the birds from the wind and rain.

 

For this quail hutch, we used tin for the roof and the back, since we had plenty of it. You can buy roofing tin, or substitute another material.

 

When it comes to how to build a quail hutch, I recommend using 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch hardware cloth for at least the bottom of the coop.

 

Figuring out how to build a quail hutch with little or no money is easy. We were able to build our quail coop with only spending a few dollars and repurposing some old materials around the homestead.

 

Since quail don’t roost, they lay on the ground to rest or lay their quail eggs. The wire floor lets their manure pass right through to the ground; otherwise, you will have to clean their cage frequently.

 

Quail are about as clean as chickens, and their manure can easily lead to dirty eggs. 

 

You can place a container below the quail hutch to grab their droppings, which you can then compost into a rich fertilizer.

 

In the winter, I do add straw to their coop near the door so they have some place warm to sit and to reduce drafts. Our quail also live in a greenhouse during the winter so they aren’t too cold.

 

Quail and chickens shouldn’t be kept together, and actually have different housing needs. 

 

So, if you plan to keep quail, you’ll need to figure out how to build a quail coop.

 

To build our quail hutch, we used:

 

(2) 4x4x8 heat-treated wood posts, each cut in half

(1) 9-foot corrugated tin roofing (top)

(1) 8-foot corrugated tin roofing (back)

(6) 1x4x8 heat treated wood planks

25 feet ½”-inch hardware cloth

Roofing nails (for the tin)

2” wood screws (for the wood)

Heavy-duty staples (to affix the hardware cloth to the wood)

 

This hutch can house up to 16 quail.

 

You can use wood pallets, but make sure they’re safe for you to turn into a quail hutch.

 

READ NEXT: HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR PALLETS ARE SAFE FOR DIY PROJECTS

 

Designing Your Quail Hutch

When designing your quail coop, there’s some rules of thumb to keep in mind.

 

First, plan on 1 square foot of space for each quail, so keep this in mind as you build your quail hutch. Ours is able to house 12 quail, and we currently have 9 in there.

 

You will also need a roof and some sort of wind break or way for your birds to get out of the elements.

 

Your hutch will also need a door to insert food and water or to remove a quail in need of care, and some way to clean it out if it becomes dirty enough inside (this is less of an issue with a hardware cloth floor).

 

The frame was created by first cutting the 8-foot 4×4 posts in half to create the legs. That way 4 legs that were 4 feet tall.

 

Here’s the deal:

 

When it come to wood, I’ve learned that it’s sometimes cheaper to buy a longer piece and cut it myself.

 

If you’re concerned your poultry might try to eat the wood (chickens might, quail typically don’t), then make sure you’re buying untreated or heat treated wood.

 

We then sawed two of the 1×4 planks into 7 pieces, so each piece measured 2 feet long.

 

Three pieces were meant to support the bottom of the quail hutch, and the remaining 4 became part of the short sides of the hutch.

 

The left over 1×4 planks that we had not cut yet became the long sides of the frame (where we attached hardware cloth).

 

To build the frame, we screwed each 1×4 plank to their proper place with 2-inch wood screw, then stapled the hardware cloth over the frame on the bottom and sides of the quail hutch. 

 

In some areas, to give the hardware cloth even more strength, we secured it with nails, then bent the nails into the wood so they formed an even more secure staple (you can buy large staples, but we knew the nails would work and we already had them on hand.)

 

We also made sure to staple the hardware cloth to the three support beams as well to provide a firm resting place for our quail.

 

We then created the roof and windbreak using 9-foot pieces of corrugated tin roofing. Again, we used tin because it’s durable and we already had it on hand.

 

We made sure to let the tin overhand a couple of inches to prevent too much rain water from getting into the coop.

 

When it come to the top of the quail hutch, we found that the roofing nails went through the tin easier and were less expensive than other nails.

 

Corrugated PVC roofing works for the roof as well, and you can find it fairly cheap at any big box store. 

 

If your quail will be kept in a garage or shed, or perhaps in your basement, you might choose to use hardware cloth on the top of your quail hutch. 

 

READ NEXT: HOW TO GET STARTED HOMESTEADING WITH THESE HACKS

 

Our door was simple, and we simply cut a square hole in the hardware cloth in the middle of the coop, and secured the opening with a roofing nail latch. 

 

Figuring out how to build a quail hutch with little or no money is easy. We were able to build our quail coop with only spending a few dollars and repurposing some old materials around the homestead.

 

It was simple to do and is effective. This door works for us, although you might choose to do something more formal.

 

All of our quail are kept in the same hutch because we have a good male to female ratio. If you plan to breed quails, and want to keep the males and females in smaller flocks, you can easily create separate compartments in this hutch by adding hardware cloth between the floor and roof.

 

You will have to add more doors as well so you can add in the extra feeders and waterers.

 

All told, we only spent about $50 learning how to build a quail hutch and about 2 hours of our time assembling a nice, serviceable home for our quail.

 

 

I’d like to hear from you!

Do you think you’d like to learn how to build a quail hutch? How would you design it? Email me at [email protected] or comment below!

build a quail hutch

Raising Quail Is For Every Homestead [Video Tutorial]

Raising quail is a great way for even urban homesteaders to have fresh, sustainable eggs.

 

Many cities and towns have banned chickens, but don’t specifically outlaw quail, creating an opportunity for you to start raising quail for their eggs.

 

Although their eggs are smaller than chicken eggs, they’re just as tasty, and can still be used in cooking. Quail eggs are even considered a delicacy in some cultures.

 

 

On our homestead, we keep Coturnix quail, which originated in Japan where they are prized for both their meat and their eggs.

 

After a particularly difficult winter which brought an upper respiratory infection that killed half our chickens, we decided raising quail might be a smart idea.

 

The Coturnix quail are quiet, pleasant birds that are in some ways easier to keep than chickens, requiring much less feed and space.

 

Learning how to start quail farming was natural for us, since quail can eat game bird feed and eat and drink out of the same type of feeders and waterers as chickens.

 

In this basic quail farming guide, I’ll show you how to prepare your homestead and how raising quail has some advantages over chickens and other poultry.

 

What are some advantages of raising quail?

 

Quail are quiet creatures

Quail roosters don’t crow. Instead, they make a quiet chirping noise that is barely audible but quite pleasant.

 

If you decide raising quail is perfect for your homestead, your neighbors might not even know, especially if you keep the birds,  in a greenhouse or outdoor shed.

Raising quail for sustainable eggs and meat is easy. If you live in an urban area that outlaws chickens, quail are a good alternative. Here's how to start quail farming. From FrugalChicken

 

Quail don’t free range

Quail fly much better than chickens, and they are not as domesticated.

 

In my experience, you don’t want to let them free range because you will probably lose one or all of your flock of quail that you’re raising. 

 

And I can tell you from my experience raising quail that a loose one blends into it’s surroundings very, very well.

 

I’ve never had a quail I was raising go on the lam for very long, so I cannot say if they come home to their hutch at night, but I don’t recommend trying if you value your flock.

 

As far as poultry go, quail aren’t the sharpest tool in the box.

 

So, no free ranging means no angry neighbors, and I don’t need to explain the advantages there.

 

Quail don’t require much room

Since they are much smaller than other poultry, they do not take much space, time, or resources.

 

In a hutch or coop, you should provide 1 square foot per bird, which means they require much less space than chickens, which need between 4 and 10 square feet per bird in a coop.

 

Raising quail for sustainable eggs and meat is easy. If you live in an urban area that outlaws chickens, quail are a good alternative. Here's how to start quail farming. From FrugalChicken

 

When it comes to raising quail in a coop or hutch, in my opinion, they’re better off in a hutch. Quail can be skittish and spook easily.

 

I’ve had quail shoot straight up when frightened, and if they get too much momentum, they can easily break their necks.

 

We raise our quail in a hutch that is 18 inches in height; since quail are ground dwellers and don’t roost like chickens, they’re happy in something that small.

 

When you build a hutch for raising quail, you’ll want to use hardware cloth on the bottom.

 

Since quail don’t roost, they lay on the ground; if you don’t want your quail covered in poop, hardware cloth is best. The poop will drop to the ground, and you can compost it to use in your garden.

 

Our quail hutch is 2′ wide by 8′ long, so it’s perfect for the 12 quail we keep init.

 

The hutch is made of wood, and we used hardware cloth on the sides and bottom. The roof is made of spare tin we had laying around (after my husband burnt our barn down. I’m still not over it).

 

The poop drops through the hardware cloth bottom, and the chickens like to scratch through it to help it compost.

 

Coturnix quail mature and start laying at 6-8 weeks of age

And the hens lay every day, just like chickens.

 

Because they mature so quickly, they have a distinct advantage over chickens. Instead of waiting 4, 5, or 6 months before you get eggs or even know if you have a hen or rooster, you will know in as little as 6 weeks.

 

It’s easy to tell the difference between male and female Coturnix quail. The males have a “blush” on their chest, and their feathers are very tan. Their chests feathers are smooth.

 

Female quail have rougher feathers, and lack the “blush” that males have.

 

In the quail video above, you can see how to sex quail and know the differences between males and females.

 

You’ll start getting quail eggs at around 6 weeks of age, although in the winter, like other poultry, you will need to provide supplementary light. 

 

Quail eggs are much smaller than chicken eggs, and when cooking, you’ll want to use 3 quail eggs for every 1 chicken egg.

 

Breeding quails is as easy as hatching chicken eggs

You can incubate quail eggs just like other eggs (and hatch them together, actually).

 

Unlike chicken eggs, however, quail eggs only take 17 days incubate (although you can expect hatching a little before and after).

 

Raising quail for sustainable eggs and meat is easy. If you live in an urban area that outlaws chickens, quail are a good alternative. Here's how to start quail farming. From FrugalChicken

Newborn quail are very, very tiny, and very skittish. They’re about the size of a quarter, and make newborn chickens look like giants.

 

They are easily frightened, and will take flying leaps.

 

My first experience hatching and raising quail was crazy – the only one that hatched decided to take a flying leap out of the incubator and 4 feet down onto a hardwood floor. 

 

Luckily, the quail lived, but now I only remove quail if the incubator is on the floor.

 

Quail are hardy and rarely catch poultry diseases

Although it’s certainly possible your quail can catch some diseases from your other poultry, they generally are hardier.

 

If their hutch is kept clean and warm, and they’re not crowded, you’ll likely have few health issues raising quail.

 

That being said, it’s best to coop the quail your raising away from your chicken coop. A garage or outdoor shed will suffice. I know many people who also raise quail in their basements. 

 

Introducing new quail to an existing flock

One thing to look out for as you’re raising quail are pecking order disputes. Quail can be nastier than chickens, and particularly the roosters are upset by new comers.

 

If you need to introduce a new quail into an existing flock, separate it using hardware cloth so it can see the other birds, but they cannot touch. They will sort out their pecking order through the hardware cloth, and hopefully integrate peacefully after.

 

Raising quail is easy, and a great alternative if your town won’t allow chickens. 

 

Raising quail for sustainable eggs and meat is easy. If you live in an urban area that outlaws chickens, quail are a good alternative. Here's how to start quail farming. From FrugalChicken

 

I’d like to hear from you!

Are you thinking of raising quail? Would they work for your homestead? Email me at [email protected] or comment below!