Cages for Button Quail

Cage Size:

  • The absolute minimum recommended ground space for a pair of quail is 12” X 12” (1 square foot).
  • Bigger is always better when it comes to housing.
  • Long short cages are ideal as the birds do not hit the tops with as much force when frightened as they would in a taller cage.
  • When frightened, button quail fly straight up forcefully. This can cause injury or death if the enclosure top is solid plastic, wood or wire.
  • Button quail are less likely to “boink” if they can see you coming towards them and if you talk to them quietly. Remember this is a startle/panic response, so if your birds do not have a reason to be fearful, they will be less likely to fly up.
  • Occasionally, there will be a bird or two that panic constantly. Panic is contagious so removing nervous or flighty birds will help keep the other birds calmer.
  • Helping the birds feel secure in their homes will lead to less “boinking”.
    1. Add fake plants to cages and a place or two for the birds to hide
    2. If using an aviary, live plants may be an option if non-toxic, low light plants are chosen
    3. Little houses, logs and cardboard tubes made for rodents and reptiles can also add a sense of security
    4. Whenever possible, place cages at eye level so the birds can see you coming. If the cage sides are not see-through, it would also be a good idea to modify the cage so that there is greater visability using clear acrylic panels or fine wire mesh.

“Boinking”

Cage Tops

  • To avoid injury and death, cage tops must have some give to them. Some ideas on things to use:
    1. Tule material used for wedding favors.
    2. Material designed to keep insects off of garden plants
    3. Plastic mesh that has a little more give to it than wire mesh would
    4. If you must use a cage with a solid wood, wire or plastic top, try to make sure the cage is 12” tall at most. If taller you may want to fasten some material or lawn mesh a few inches from the top so that the quail hit the material rather than the solid/wire top.
  • Zip ties or clothes pins work well to secure material or plastic mesh over the top of your button quail home
  • Cages SHOULD NOT have wire bottoms as these types of grates can easily break or injure a leg or hip.
  • I do not recommend keeping ADULT button quail in aquariums. The ventilation can be very poor which can lead to illness and in my observations, button quail do not feel comfortable in aquariums, perhaps because of the way the light reflects off of the glass. The only time I use aquariums is for brooding very young button quail with a heat lamp.

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Hobby breeder of the beautiful little button quail in North Central Florida

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