How To Build An Aviary

I have received a few questions about my backyard quail pens.  I bought these on Craigslist and the story I was told is that the state of Illinois built them as part of a quail restoration project and when the project ended this guy picked up a whole load of them.  Cost me a whole $20. It is a great cage, there are six slots (I keep 1 male and 2 female in each section).   The cage came with a sheet metal feeding trough on the front and I added a PVC pipe waterer to the back.  The floor is angles so that the eggs roll forward and under the feeding trough for collection.

I placed them up on the fence post to get them off the ground and make it harder for varmints to climb.  Also added a thin plastic roof to protect from the rain and snow.  Finally after learning the hard way that something was attacking them at night (specifically when they stuck their heads out to feed) I added the additional layer of smaller wire covers.  If you look closely you can see the Christmas lights I have on each cage, this plus a timer allows me to simulate 12-14 hours of daylight that keeps the birds laying eggs earlier in the spring and later in the fall.   Lastly, I keep the ground below the cages covered with straw.  This makes it very easy once a week to rake up the mess and add it to my compost pile.

I have a couple of sheet metal brooders I picked up from Craigslist for $25 that I use for the first three weeks after hatching baby quail.  Side note, I plan to start saving eggs this next weekend to hatch out for summer grilling.

Finally I have an old two part rabbit hutch/cage I use as a grow out pen for those birds I plan to butcher.  I got it on Craigslist as well, but cant remember what I paid for it, maybe $40.

Backyard Quail Pens

Backyard Quail Pens

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