Quail Coop Ideas: Learn How to Build Coops For Quail

learn how to build a quail coop


Quail are becoming a popular species to raise on a homestead, and building coops for quail to thrive in couldn’t be any easier. After doing a little research, I quickly discovered that while quail does have some needs that require a specific habitat, creating a coop for quail can be done with little to no experience.

Because I was determined to give my new feathered friends the best home possible, I looked through hundreds of layouts and talked to friends who already had quail to come up with a design that best suited my bank account and my lifestyle.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

When I decided to raise quail, it was important to me to build a quail coop that would accommodate their needs while fitting into my existing homestead. I looked at a lot of coops for quail before choosing one, weighing the pros and cons of each before I found the perfect design and building process.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Why Are Coops For Quail A Good Idea?

Why Are Coops For Quail A Good Idea
Coops for quail are a good idea primarily because, unlike some homestead animals that do well free-ranging, quails aren’t one of them. They are small and susceptible to many predators, including snakes, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes.

And because they have no defense mechanisms of their own against hungry invaders, I’ve found that quails really need a protected habitat.

Also, when raising quail in a controlled environment, you can provide everything they need for a happy, healthy life. By giving your quail a roomy but protected space, you can give them unlimited access to the things they need, from food and water to the dust baths that are an important part of grooming, leading to fewer parasites and diseases.

quail coop design

The Most Important Features Of A Quail Coop

The Most Important Features Of A Quail Coop

I don’t just want my quail to survive, I want them to thrive! Whether it’s raising baby quail or keeping adult quail for eggs, it’s important to keep your quail in a clean, safe, and humane space. These are some of the most important things to consider when you’re deciding how to build a coop for quail.

Build Quail Coops To Be Safe And Sound

Building a cage for quail should take their safety into account before all else, so sturdy materials are a must.

A cage for quail can be similar to other fowl coops, but there are some very important distinctions. For example, I had no idea that quail won’t use a ramp, so there’s no point in building a double-decker quail coop.

A Cage For Quail Needs Adequate Space

I was surprised to learn how much space quail need. The minimum is 1 square foot per bird, not counting the area for feeders, waterers, and nesting boxes.

Quail don’t roost on elevated surfaces, preferring to cluster on the ground even when sleeping, so you don’t have to add a roosting bar. But this means they’ll need ample floor space.

Quail Enclosure Ideas Must Include Proper Ventilation

Airflow through the quail coop helps with odors and minimizes the spread of diseases. Air can easily flow through the sides and bottom of most quail coop styles, so ventilation isn’t usually an issue.

You’ll Want Easy Access To Your Backyard Quail Coop

I wanted to be able to easily reach the quail, eggs, feeders, and waterers for cleaning so these chores weren’t a daily hassle. Deciding ahead of time how I would handle these tasks narrowed down the type of quail coop I wanted.

Quail Coop Design Ideas

Quail Coop Design Ideas

Your quail coop design should be unique to your homestead needs. I chose an elevated coop with a hardware cloth floor that I could place directly over my compost pile so I wouldn’t have to move manure to the compost manually.

As long as the quails’ basic needs are met, you can design a one-of-a-kind coop that is perfect for your situation.

quail in screened hutch coop

Stacked Quail Coops

Since quail don’t mind being caged all the time, so long as they have plenty of space, you can easily stack quail coops to raise them on a homestead that’s one acre or smaller.

You can stack several quail coops from the ground up or add legs and stack fewer quail coops so you can still reach them.

quail coops stacked up
vertically stacked quail coops

Wire Quail Coops

If you forgo a wood cage for wire panels, you will cut your construction time exponentially. Wire cages just need to be fastened together with zip ties or wire clamps, and they are ready to use.

You can purchase panels as short as three feet, which are perfect for these small birds. For a small quail coop, you could even use hardware cloth for the side panels.

quail in a wired coop
quail coops made of wire

I ultimately decided to build mine out of wood because I prefer the appearance of a wood quail coop, and I enjoy woodworking, so I didn’t have to learn a new skill or buy any equipment.

Ground Quail Coops

If it’s important to you to let your quail forage, ground quail coops are a great option. They offer extra space for quail to run around and can add diversity to their naturally omnivorous diet as they scratch up bugs, worms, and weed seeds.

From a ground quail coop, you can easily let quail out into a safely fenced area or a run that still provides protection from predators while allowing them to stretch their little legs.

Almost any quail coop can be converted to a ground coop design by removing the legs.

ground based quail coops
quail coops on the ground

Tractor Quail Coops

A quail tractor is another way to provide foraging opportunities for your quail, and it can help control pest problems around your home since quail will readily consume adult and larvae beetles, ants, roaches, bees, and wasps.

A mobile quail coop can easily be moved into a shed if the weather is bad, or you can situate it to give your birds more or less sunlight. Any DIY backyard quail coop can be turned into a tractor-style with the addition of wheels and handles, so if you change your mind later, it’s easy to modify the quail coop design you initially chose.

Hutch Quail Coops

Hutches are some of the most common coops for quail because they are up off the ground, which provides protection for the birds and can be more accessible for people of all ages, including those with mobility or health limitations.

I ultimately went with a hutch style because it’s easy for me to work with, and when my nephews want to collect eggs and interact with the quail, it’s easily accessible for them, too. Hutch quail coops can be stacked or stand-alone, depending on the size of your flock.

hutch coop for quail
hutch quail coop
quail chicks in hutch coop

How To Build A Coop For Quail

How To Build A Quail Coop

The details of construction will vary, of course, depending on the type of DIY backyard quail coop you choose, but the basic process is the same. You’ll need to construct the main cage and add a door and roof — everything else is optional.

baby quail in nesting boxThe steps I’ve provided below take you through the process of building a hutch style coop like the one in this video. You can adjust the quail cage size to accommodate the number of birds you’ll have, so I’ve left out specific dimensions so you can feel free to fill in the blanks based on your own space and needs.

Remember that each quail needs at least one square foot of space — and that’s the bare minimum. I recommend building your quail coop larger than you think you’ll need to give your quail a little more room.

Materials For Building A Quail Coop

If you’re lucky, you may already have everything it takes to build a simple cage for quails. If not, here’s all you’ll need to buy:

Quail Coop Materials

  • Wood
  • Wood screws
  • ¼-inch hardware cloth
  • Wire snips
  • Heavy duty staple gun
  • Roofing material
wood to build a quail coop

1 Build The Top Of The Frame

Starting with 2×4 or 4×4 corner posts that are as tall as you want your quail coop to be, attach 2x4s on the outside of each to form the top of the cage.

A helpful tip is to build the quail coop upside down, so those first 2x4s you attach will be sitting on the ground with the legs pointing up. This helps with leveling the boards and balancing the coop.

quail coop top frame and legs

2 Complete The Bottom Of The Frame

Drop down at least 12 inches from the top of the frame and repeat the same steps as above to form the base of the quail coop. Now there should be 2x4s surrounding the corner posts on all sides for the top and bottom of the cage area.
quail coop bottom frame

3 Brace The Bottom Of The Frame

Cut two or three strips from a 2×2 for the floor braces. Fasten the strips perpendicular to and between the long sides of the bottom of the frame.

You can add braces to the top for extra stability if you choose.

quail coop bottom frame bracing

4 Build And Frame The Door

To make a simple door, form a square frame with 2x2s that will fit snugly between the upper and lower 2x4s of the cage. Attach hinges to the door (I recommend one that swings outward).

Finally, cut two braces and fasten them to the frame on one of the long sides at the exact width of the door. This should form a square that the door will fit inside.

quail coop door

5 Paint Or Stain The Quail Coop

Flip the quail coop over so that it stands on its legs. Paint or stain the coop and give it lots of time to dry before moving your quail in, so the fumes aren’t overwhelming or harmful to the little birds.
quail coop stain

6 Cut Hardware Cloth And Attach It

Cut pieces of hardware cloth that are larger than the bottom, sides, and door openings so you can staple it to the frame. Install the bottom piece on top of the braces. All other hardware cloth can be attached to the outside of the frame.
quail coop hardware cloth

7 Add A Roof To Coops For Quail

A DIY backyard quail coop isn’t complete without a roof, as this will be the only shelter for your birds. A roof only has to keep the coop dry and protected from direct sunlight. It can be a sheet of PVC roofing, aluminum, or pressure-treated wood.
quail coop roof

8 Attach The Door To The Frame

Screw the free side of the hinges to the braces. At this stage, you have a coop for quail that is totally enclosed and ready to use.
quail coop door hardware

9 Finish With Hardware And Accessories

The finishing touches for your quail coop include a door handle and latch, feeder and waterer, and nesting boxes if you plan to use them.
quail coop nesting box

FAQs When Building A Coop For Quail

FAQs When Building A Coop For Quail

My minimalistic lifestyle is centered around making things easier, not harder. So when I add something new to my own homestead, I think about how to incorporate it without making more work for myself. Here are a few questions that will get you pointed in the right direction.

What Makes A Quail Coop Work For You?

A few things that were important to me were having a quail coop that was easy to reach, making cleaning simple, and seamlessly fitting it into my existing homestead.

To accommodate my own comfort, I elevated the quail coop and kept it small. Rather than having to clean it out, I used hardware cloth for the floor and placed it above my compost pile, so minimal cleaning is required.

How Will You Feed and Water Your Quail?

Feeders and waterers can easily be attached to the side of the structure or just sit on the floor of the quail coop. So long as you can reach them easily for cleaning and changing out food and water, the location or type is up to your personal choice.

What’s The Best Quail Coop Location?

I’ve seen coops for quail that were attached to a greenhouse for stability and added protection. Another option I really like is a quail coop that sits within the homesteader’s garden. The garden benefits from the manure, and the quails have all the bugs they can eat!

You’ll need to think about whether you have enough flat area or if you’ll be building on a slope, and where your quail will get the sunlight they need.

How Long Will It Take To Build A Coop For Quail?

Following the steps above, it shouldn’t take more than a day or two to complete a simple yet safe coop for quail. If you have advanced homesteading skills, you could even complete this project in a few hours.

Is It Expensive To Build A Quail Coop?

Using materials you have on hand, you could spend less than $50 buying the hardware for a DIY backyard quail coop. Add in the lumber, too, and it will cost around $100 total.

By comparison, quail coop kits average about $200 pre-assembly, so building your own quail coop is an economical choice. You can also save money by repurposing items, such as a feeder made from a food storage container.

A DIY quail coop is a great project if you’re just beginning to homestead and are ready to add some feathered friends to your backyard.

It’s easy and rewarding, especially when you see your quail enjoying their custom-built enclosure. There’s no time like the present to build your own!

build a quail coop

Your Turn!

  • Which type of coop for quail would work best on your homestead?
  • What personal considerations will you take into account before building a DIY quail coop?

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