How Many Bobwhite Quail Per Square Foot?

The species of bird, age of the bird, the type of bird being produced, the quality of management, etc. all affect how much floor area is needed to create quality birds. The requirements for meat-type and flight birds will be covered individually in relation to bobwhite quail.

Despite being typically larger birds, meat-type bobwhite quail do not need as much floor space as other quail types. In other circumstances, the lack of room may be a benefit because increased movement and exercise are bad for quick weight gain. Greater movement and exercise are encouraged by extra floor space. The greater likelihood of cannibalism and pecking is the only drawback. Cannibalism risk can be lowered through dietary adjustments, reduced illumination, and debeaking.

Because the fineness of the feathers is not a top priority concern, meat-type bobwhite birds do not require additional floor space. Allow approximately 1 square foot of floor area for every 10 day-old chicks during the first two weeks of hatching. The minimum space requirements for birds are 0.25 square feet per bird for the first 4-6 weeks and 0.75 square feet per bird between weeks 6 and 12.

For the first two weeks, flight birds are given at least.1 square feet per bird, and then for each bird that is 4-6 weeks old, they are given.25 square feet. Each bird must be given at least 2 square feet in a flight pen before being released onto a shooting preserve. The additional room enables the growth of beautiful plumage.

The same space allotments as for meat-type birds are used to brood bobwhite quail until they are 12 weeks old. When they are 12 weeks old and placed in the breeder pens, they are given a minimum of 1 square foot per bird. No of the breed or sex, breeding enclosures for bobwhite quail should offer at least 2 square feet for each breeder bird.

The floor area allotments listed above apply to game birds raised during the mild and cool seasons of the year and without the presence of any unusual illness causes. if the temperature regularly rises above 90°F. The space allotments ought to be raised by 25%. By increasing, the flock experiences less cannibalism and heat exhaustion. Debeaking while raising the floor area available will significantly aid in reversing the vice if cannibalism develops into a problem.


Depending on the species of quail you’re raising. The Coturnix quail and other quail of the old world can survive on around 1 square foot per bird. For example, Bobwhite or Gambels from the New World require roughly 4 square feet per bird.

It is best to give them as much room as you can in either case. Quail become dissatisfied and cannibalistic when they are overcrowded.

Make sure to maintain the correct ratio of females to males if you are maintaining quail in colonies.

Quail coops or cages

You could decide to grow bobwhite quail in cages rather than actual coops due to their small size. Cages are the ideal choice if your space is already limited.

According to the general rule, each quail needs a space of one square foot. So you can keep up to five quails provided you can supply a 5 square foot coop or cage.

The majority of bobwhite quail thrive in smaller, more constrained areas. But it goes without saying that more room is preferable.

Breeder Conditions

Light, temperature, air quality, and space are the four main environmental elements that have an impact on breeders.

Breeding begins when light activates the breeder’s reproductive system. Quail start mating in the spring in their natural habitat as a result of the lengthening days. By using artificial lighting, you may put breeders into egg production whenever you want and keep it going all year long regardless of the length of the days.

There should be 17 hours of artificial lighting per day. It is useless to work more than 17 hours a day. If you use a 17-hour day length and allow your birds access to natural daylight, this will result in more hours of artificial light during short days and fewer hours during long days. One of the best light-control systems employs a time clock to turn on the lights in the morning and turn them off at night, as well as an electric eye to turn the lights on and off according to the hour the time clock is set to.

Five foot-candles should be the approximate light intensity. At 10-foot intervals, 60-watt incandescent lights can be used to achieve this. Never shorten or dim the light because doing so will cause egg production to slow down or stop entirely.

Some hens will start producing eggs in response to stimulatory light as early as 16 weeks of age, but the majority will start between 22 and 25 weeks. Within two to three weeks, the eggs should grow to a size that can be set. The first egg size is higher and there are fewer problems (particularly prolapsed oviducts or affected eggs) if the birds are older and larger when egg production starts. Young breeders’ eggs frequently do not hatch well, and the mortality rate of the chicks is higher. Hatchability tends to reduce at the end of the laying cycle, thus many producers stop their operations before serious decreases take place.

The breeders’ environment needs to be kept at a temperature between 50°F to 85°F for optimum egg production and feed efficiency. Higher temperatures decrease egg production, fertility, and hatchability whereas lower temperatures enhance feed consumption. A drop in productivity will also result from abrupt temperature fluctuations.

Enough ventilation must be provided to remove ammonia at all times, as well as heat and humidity in the summer and dust in the winter. Breeders shouldn’t experience draughts from ventilation, and the temperature shouldn’t shift quickly. Drop curtains should be supplied to keep out winter winds if quail are maintained in raised pens with wire floors and are exposed to the cold. Breeders should spend the winter in pens with 20 or more birds to aid with appropriate warmth.

For birds in individual or colony cages, half a square foot per bird is sufficient, whereas one square foot per bird should be permitted for birds in floor pens. Breeding birds need a minimum of one linear inch of feeder area and one-third of an inch of waterer space each.

Incubator cages

Create the structure for the meat quail cages using the same breeder cage design, except on a larger size. The recommended amount of cage space for birds varies depending on their age, ranging from 0.25 square feet for each bird under 6 weeks to 2 square feet for near-mature birds. From the time they are 12 weeks old until they are placed in the breeding pens, birds reared as breeding stock require a minimum of 1 square foot per bird. Determine the size of the brooder cages by estimating the number of birds in each brood or hatch.

For added support, insert cross members beneath the floor. Use metal rods that are secured in place between the 2 by 4 frame members. Due to the greater floor area and the heavier weight of several birds during the feeding process, these supports prevent the mesh flooring from sagging.

If the birds will be released on hunting preserves, create flight cages, cages large enough for young birds to learn to fly. At the corners of the fly cage, use eight-foot stakes that are buried two feet in the ground. At the top of the posts, install 2 by 4 inch boards around the perimeter. Stretch woven wire measuring 2 inches by 2 inches between the posts, going all the way around the pen’s perimeter. The same woven wire should be extended between the upper perimeter frame to serve as the flight cage’s roof. The size of this sort of cage, which is constructed outside without a floor and varies according to the number of birds,

  • To grow game birds like quail, you may need a permit in some states. Before starting any quail-raising operations, research the applicable local wildlife rules.
  • The University of Florida asserts that when birds are kept near to one another, disease can be an issue. Maintain the cage areas as spotless as you can while keeping an eye on the flock’s wellbeing.

How much room do quails need?

They don’t need a lot of room; it just depends on your numbers, according to Lhamon. In floor pens, the Penn State Cooperative Extension Handbook advises using one square foot per quail (chickens, by comparison, require about 4 square feet per bird). Given their territorial nature, quails will also require enough room at feeders and waterers (about 1 inch and 1/3 inch each, respectively).

Depending on what you intend to raise them for, the rearing conditions will also change. Birds produced for eggs and meat require more controlled temperatures and less light, whereas birds raised for hunting preserves need more room in their cages to extend their wings.

The requirement that quails be completely enclosed is the most crucial component of housing. Because you’ll want to keep them confined, housing “needs to be different,” according to Dunkley. Since these are flying birds, we wouldn’t classify them as domesticated; if they have a way out, they will take flight.

The use of chicken wire or some other livestock mesh that prevents animal egress when they hatch is the second component of that, says Lhamon. “Bobwhites hatch out looking like tiny bumblebees.”

How can a bobwhite quail habitat be created?

The type of crop grown, the size of the field, and the agronomic techniques used throughout the year all have an impact on quail numbers on farms. Additionally, whether quail thrive on your farm is frequently determined by the state of habitats in fencerows, ditchbanks, and other “idle regions”. In order to optimize that edge, it is crucial to keep the size and form of individual fields as small and erratic as feasible. Wheat, sunflowers, no-till corn, soybeans, grain sorghum (milo), and soybeans are preferred crops. Winter food supplies can also be obtained by leaving the outside rows unharvested. A 15 to 20 percent wooded cover, 20 to 30 percent grassland area, and 40 to 60 percent row crop with shrubby cover (acting as a covey headquarters area) available every 25 to 200 yards make up an ideal agricultural landscape for bobwhite quail.

Can you keep a group of bobwhite quail together?

Coveys, which are collections of bobwhites, often contain 10 to 15 birds. Theoretically, one covey of quail can live on about 15 acres of land, but studies have shown that quail populations flourish on huge areas of contiguous habitat.