Building the Outdoor Quail Coop

Our baby quail chicks soon outgrew their bathroom tub setup.  We had to think of another option and I was eager to get them out of the house.  I settled on keeping them in the garage since it was still too cold for them to be outside and they were still in need of a heat lamp.  I purchased a rabbit hutch for about $80 from Amazon in order to contain them in the garage.  It worked beautifully!

Here’s the hutch we purchased

It came in pieces but was easy to assemble however, it did require the use of a drill for me.

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The finished mini coop!

This small coop was more than enough space for our 6 quail, but as with all chicks, you never know what you’re going to get and unfortunately we got 4 males…  Our dreams of fresh eggs were foiled!  So naturally we had to purchase more quail.  As we were thinking of adding to our flock we wanted to create a larger, walk in space for the quail.  One we could easily clean and collect eggs in.

The Outdoor Quail Coop

We built our outdoor coop in one day using only hand tools..  Boy was that a mistake.  Our saw was from the dollar store in town and was very inefficient.  We could have moved a lot faster with power tools!  We used 2×4’s primarily and dug into the ground a bit to deter predators.  We used chicken wire to cover the outside of the coop.

The first night the quail slept in the coop we had 7, no kidding, 7 neighborhood cats in our backyard…  We quickly realized that the bottom layer would need to be reinforced because quail heads and cat paws can fit through chicken wire.  After returning from the local Dickey Bub with some plastic fencing the coop was predator proof!

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The finished coop!

The quail lived happily in this setup for a few weeks and then I decided that I wanted to provide a more natural environment for them.  As quail are ground dwelling birds, they did not use the hutch much anymore and it was cumbersome for me to clean the area with it in there.  I removed the hutch and replaced it with a small ground shelter made of plywood and 2×4’s.  To my surprise the quail rarely seek shelter and can often be found sleeping in the middle of the coop on the ground!

I decided to maximize my vertical space by trellising plants along the coop.  The front planter holds some of my herbs.  These provide a dual purpose of masking the smell of the quail and deterring pests such as mice and mosquitoes.  The planter on the right side holds cucumbers.

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Revised version of the coop with predator proofing and natural foliage.

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