As my chronicles of getting my first-ever quail continue, the little rabbit hutch I ordered was way too small for 10 quail, contrary to what the local breeder said. (See last post Here)
I ordered a much bigger on-the-ground rabbit pin, realizing (thank goodness) that the openings in the pen would be too big for quail. Luckily, I had purchased 1/2” hardware cloth for the bottom of the hutch, and could use the rest for putting around the new pin using something easy to attach it like zip ties.
The next day, I was glad to hear that my daughter, Tiffany, said she put the cage together. So it was time for me to do some measuring and cutting of the hardware. I read that it is better to attach it to the inside of the cage. I laid the cage on its side and got to work cutting and zip-tying the hardware cloth to the inside of the cage. Stop here for a second. Have you ever worked with hardware cloth? It’s just a bunch of metal wires weaved together. Those little ends are sharp! Now I understand the need for thick work gloves! In fact, as I was moving my hand around to maneuver the hardware cloth on the cage, I ran the corner of my thumbnail right into one!
Once I got over the initial torture of the thumbnail stabbing incident, I kept right on going. This is one of the first times I felt like a true homesteader! (I think I need to re-evaluate what really makes a person a homesteader. I doubt it’s about the pain!)
The zip ties held the hardware cloth to the pen very well. I was kind of surprised of how well it worked. I think it took at least 200 or more zip ties to finish, and that is only one full side, and halfway up the other sides. The top will usually have at least half of the pen covered on the top with a new tarp I bought, so they would have some shade and protection.
Then I jet sprayed an old wooden square pot I wasn’t using and laid it on it’s side near a covered corner, and piled hay in and on top of it for them.
I also had a spare cat box, so I scrubbed it out good and poured play sand in it, with a mix of some diatomaceous earth, so they would have a nice, roomy dust bath zone. (And may I say this is their favorite spot!)
I sprinkled in some pine shavings. I’m not sure why except I spent the money on it for the hutch, and why not? Then I put in their crumble and water stations, and it was time to move them over!
One-by-one, I picked up the wiggly quail and lowered them in from the top door of the pen. And I think the inside of my upper arm hit those blasted sharp-cut wires with every other bird I transferred. Lol.
Did I mention that I haven’t cut back the zip ties yet? Nope, they are all still there. Hey, it took me three days to do what someone else can do in a day! I’m a fighting fibro warrior, and won’t give up! It wore my body out but it was worth every day that I have to spend laying on the couch! Maybe I can get someone else to cut the 200+ zip ties back. Lol.
They are sooo happy there now! They hop up and down sometimes, like popcorn, flap their wings, play in the sand, and I think the two teenage boys are getting a little frisky!
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Oh, if you are interested in getting one of these pens, I looked up where I got it on Overstock, Item No. 62451, and they must not have it right now. But, here is another Outdoor Run with Mesh Cover. And if I saw this one first, I may have gotten this Outdoor Metal Pet Enclosure instead.
I’m guessing that the quail are 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 weeks old now. I keep asking the girls when they are going to start laying eggs, but they won’t answer me. I felt pretty sure that the hutch was way too small for them, so the first week here was stressful for them, which can delay egg laying. And they were just put in the new pen maybe two days ago. I’ve learned that moving them to a new environment at all can also be stressful. So maybe in a week? I hope so! I can’t wait to share my first ever quail eggs!
Now, git along, little dogey.