The next addition for the new quail sanctuary includes raised beds. This time my goals is to garden and raise quail together in an 8 ft. by 24 ft habitat. The corner and side posts have settled two feet underground despite all the recent rain activity.
I’m happy to report the chosen location is perfect because there’s no standing puddles which means my observations were spot on. For more information on choosing a quail destination read here.
Let’s dive in and see what kind of materials I used and why.
Materials for Raised Beds
If you’re combining quail and gardening use wood, this is the most natural material for their environment.
In the wild quail travel mostly by foot, they have delicate feet so by establishing a complimentary atmosphere to nature they can live where their instincts are encouraged. It’s incredible to watch and if you ever plan to release native quail it just makes sense and most birds have amazing instincts.
For these raise beds I used eight ft. pine 2 x 10’s; the ends were leftover 2 x 4’s at 18 inches each. This is a very basic build and I’ve attached links below to many DIY raised beds I’ve already made.
I could have easily used 2 x 10’s for the ends at 2 ft. each but these 2 x 4’s were left over from a previous project so I grabbed them and improvised.
- 2 x 8 raised bed build
- 2 x 4 raised beds for $10
- Easy Reach – Neat beds make at any height
- Reclaimed Beds
- Building a Raised Bed
Arranging the Beds
Once the raised beds are built figure out where they will end up; this was pretty easy because I’ve been thinking about it for months. Add the beds to the wall of the sanctuary because they can work as double duty when it comes time to incorporate wall guards.
Wall guards are boards attached to the base of the sanctuary to keep baby quail from escaping.
This set up is pretty simple, later I’ll include a very narrow walk path for bringing in food, water and checking on the gardens. The rest of the space will grow native grass. Learn more about native grass here.
Shelter and Passage way
This area is my favorite because when I have additional sanctuaries it will allow moving the quail from one destination to the next without coaxing. Let me explain, wire frame tunnels will combine the sanctuaries and the gap between the beds will have a mini door. This space will also have a roof and work like the a shelter.
Shelters offer a place to cool down from the heat, get out of the rain and sometimes nest. Learn more about shelter boxes here.
When it’s time to move the quail, open the door and because quail are curious they will walk through on their own into the new habitat. I will also be able to go into that second sanctuary and call them over, because they know me they’ll come running thinking I have food.
To give you an idea how many quail can live in 8 ft. x 24 ft. each bird requires 1 square foot. Which means there is room for 192 quail; most people would load this pen to the max but that isn’t my plan. I’ll only be raising a flock no greater than 50 because it’s less difficult to maintain and keep clean.
My goal is to raise healthy quail naturally where they can thrive. Each step I’m taking comes through everything I learned at our farm, I honestly spent hours observing their behavior and it was amazing to witness their attention to detail.
By incorporating quail to the garden, they can remove bugs and fertilize without damaging what we grow. This set up makes sense and it will be interesting as it unfolds because what to plant is the biggest challenge. Some of my previous quail loved broccoli and others could care less about it.
Raised beds will be the best option because they can be watered with buckets, I don’t recommend an irrigation system and I’ll cover that later. The goal is to maintain moisture in these beds and create a schedule that compliments rainfall. I know that sounds like a lot but it really isn’t…
In the next step we’ll be adding the framework which is exciting because we’re just getting closer to being finished.
Words cannot express how excited I am about this project, it’s thrilling to combine my two favorite activities. Excitement could actually be an understatement.