How to Prepare a Quail Habitat

How to Prep a Quail Sanctuary

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How to prepare a habitat for quail can be a bit of a process.  It’s important not to overlook a few key things before the birds arrive because it’s much easier to set up a large sanctuary when it’s empty.

Before we dive in, I want to answer all those questions about when Bobwhite quail will arrive here at the grove?

The answer to that question has a lot more to do with our weather than anything else.  I’m hoping towards the beginning of June.

Preparing the ground

You might remember I used this space last summer to raise a few baby chickens?  It was a positive experience and the new sanctuary worked perfectly.  I was basically using those chicks to test the run.

My plan was to add quail shortly after that.  Then it started raining in September so I tabled the arrival of quail waiting for the ground to dry out.

Here we are in May and I’m still waiting for the ground to dry. Can you believe we’ve had rain almost every week since September?

To say I’m anxious for the arrival of quail would be an understatement, I decided instead of focusing on the weather, getting their habitat ready would be a better use of my time.

Clearing the Grass

Since the ground has been extremely wet, I made a clear decision against planting Spring grass seed.  Instead I allowed the grass transplanted last fall to get established.

This includes letting it grow, trim and repeat.

I started this towards the end of March and it’s paying off because the grass is already thicker.

I use my Sthl weed eater and in just a few minutes the grass is trimmed and the cuttings are left behind to work into the ground.  This has helped fill in low and thin areas, create a solid base and allows the grass to grow back healthier each week.

It takes about three weeks to see results and it’s possible if the rain slows down, I may still sprinkle in some seed.

To learn more about planting quail grass read here. 

Clearing an interior path

Making A Path and Nesting Boxes

After the last trim I decided to leave some tall grass behind; this will be expanded towards the back right and the front left.

The goal is to leave just a walk path in front of the raised beds where I have vegetables growing.

Offering tall grass is important, this helps the quail feel calm in their environment in addition to providing shelter and places to nest.

In this space I’ve also offered three shelter boxes; the quail will use them during all types of weather.  I’ve made mine via scrap wood back when we lived on the farm.

These boxes can also be raised off ground with landscaping timbers during wet or colder temperatures.

Food Dishes and Details

Also make sure to add necessary food dishes, these are moved around because quail are messy and many times if dishes are left in the same location, they will attract fire ants.

Additional details like adding logs or tree branches is also a good idea.  I’ve only incorporated a few small logs at the moment but I have some nice branches I plan to include once the ground is dry.

Bobwhite Quail use this debris to perch or hide and it’s nice to have natural elements in their sanctuary for them to explore.

Checking Exterior Wire

Checking the Exterior

The final step would be to check the exterior wire.  Inspect square footage by making sure wire is secure and no force of entry has occurred, then make any necessary corrections.

I want to bring attention to the peppermint border; it’s growing outside the sanctuary working like a charm.

This was incorporated last summer to detour rodents and so far, there hasn’t been a point of entry.  Learn more about mint borders here.

Planting a mint border around coops and garden areas is something I highly recommend because it does help detour rodents; dogs don’t like it either.

This sanctuary is also placed in a fenced area so make sure to check your fence line as this will help keep quail safe from predators.  Placing all types of quail housing in a fenced area is necessary.

Quail that live on the ground have a neat life, they’re allowed to use their instincts and thrive as God intended.  I love that!

This habitat is ready for quail, we just need some dry out time before welcoming a new flock at the grove.

Learn how to prepare a habitat for all quail. #QuailHabitat, #Quail, #Homestead

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6 comments

  1. Olivia says:

    How many quail is this habitat intended for? Trying to get an idea for a space. How long td quail tend to lay for? Looking into getting an African Egg eating snake for my son (I won’t do the rodent thing) and they eat quail eggs, it would be wonderful if we could supply the eggs ourself and eat what the snake doesn’t need. Snakes live a VERY long life so, getting an idea of how long we’d be supporting a food supply is definitely on my mind. (Have free ranging chickens and those eggs are much too big.)

    1. Carole says:

      Hello Olivia – you want to allow one square foot per quail you plan to raise. They’re seasonal layers from spring to fall – it’s based on hours of daylight and warmer temperatures. I have an article coming out next week that you may find helpful. Coturnix quail will be your best egg producers and quail have a lifespan between 3 and 4 years.

      Carole

  2. This is really well thought out. I love that you thought about the mint. Great idea.

    I worry though about the rain. I know in time we’ll be wishing for rain, but those few times a year when we have gully washers can make life miserable for animals. Would it help if you raised the soil level a little more?

    We’re building a raised platform for the goats. Even though there are plenty of high spaces, the shed can sometimes get muddy with all the rain and that’s where they like to rest.

    It might be a moot point though. LOL. We’re downsizing and selling all the Boers and two of the Nubians. If you know of anyone looking for goats, send them my way. They are in excellent shape and the does are in milk.

    1. Carole says:

      The rain can be a conern and we have raised the soil level. Thankfully this space doesn’t get puddles unless we have rain for hours on end lasting a couple days. That’s why I like to place those shelters off the ground during heavy rain using landscaping timbers and then fill with hay. Works great, they hide out and sometimes I’ll place them in a way that I can incorporate additional coverage using playwood to connect the shelters. Bobwhite quail are very resourceful, as long as their space has what they need they will figure it out. I think we forget that in the wild they figure it out. Don’t know anyone intersted in goats, we decided to table our plans for larger animals until we finish Quail Grove. We’ve had too many weather set backs and need to keep our focus centered.

  3. Patti says:

    You make it seem so easy. I found out a little while ago that my neighbor is raising chickens. I don’t hear them buy my husband says that he occasionally does. I’m hoping to get some fresh eggs from them eventually. That’s what neighbors are for, right? I don’t think we have room for quail but your articles always make me think, what if?

    1. Carole says:

      Quail are fun and I really miss having them around. They can be raised in small flocks, I started with a simple 4 x 8 frame then eventually well I just kept growing their environment.

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