Quail Ranch of Oklahoma
Specializing in Bobwhite Quail is What We Do!
Our Ranch raises all our Quail on wire floor pens. We feel that this is a healthy manner for them to live. It eliminates disease spread, and cleaning the pens is a snap. All we do is use the power sprayer and back that up with a steam cleaner between batches of Quail raised.
Flight pens come in all shapes and sizes. After much research and designing our own, this is what we came up with. It is clean and efficient and very low maintenance.
Steps to building Flight Pen:
Step 1: First we squared up everything and put 5 foot sections of 4 inch PVC in each hole we dug leaving approx. 2 ½ to 3 feet above ground brought up to a level line - we used the tractor with a digger/auger to make all the holes - this put the pipe in ground approx. 2 to 2 ½ feet.
Step 3: While putting the metal pipe in, I used a jig to mock where the floor boards would be, so that my pipe would not be in the way of where the board needed to actually sit. The metal pipe will be slightly off center if correct.
Step 5: After drying for a few days, then we slipped 1 ¼ inch sch. 40 PVC over the metal pipe; the two are a nice firm fit. We used a 20-foot section of the 1-¼ inch PVC per arch.
Step 7: Then we added the treated 2x4’s for the flooring- the flight area of the pen is 12 feet wide by 44 foot with a 4 x 12 foot area on the right end we covered and made our load out area. We put a walk through door on the left end using a couple of 4x4 posts and made the door out of PVC and netting.
The arches were bolted to each board.
Step 9: Then added the ½ inch by ½ inch welded wire for the floor. And also up the sides for the first 2 feet. Added the water system.
See Ranch Water System.
Step 11: Added a sand pan area for them to play and dust in. Also ran deck boards down the whole length of the cage to walk on when filling feeders.
Step 13: We added a 20-foot tarp for shade and rain shelter, put a mister underneath it to help cools things off in the summer, and to help aid in better feathering by misting the birds periodically, this helps to maintain their natural oil gland stimulation by preening after they are misted.
Also you can see on this day we had a few heat lamps hanging for the new arrivals, helped for a few days with stress. We also put up a sight barrier on the sides. At the door we added 3 steps from treated lumber to make it easier to get in and out of the pen when filling feeders.
Step 2: Then filled each with cement, and put a 4 foot section of metal 1 3/8 inch (this is top rail of chain link fencing) pipe in each PVC pipe. We drilled and added a metal pin in the bottom portion prior to putting in the cement, this will aid in the metal pipe never slipping or coming out. We only put 2 foot of the metal pipe in the cement leaving 2 foot above.
Step 4: We only put the metal pipe on the two outside walls of the flight cage. As you can see the metal pipe is 2 feet above the cement PVC pipe.
Step 6: Now you can see how it is coming together.
Step 8: Down the middle top of the arch we secured a 1-inch sch 40 PVC with bolts.
This gave added strength and helped keep 4 foot on center spacing.
Step 10: Also added a support of 1 inch sch 40 PVC down the sides, up at the 2 foot mark- this gave a great way the help in securing the side wire and the netting, we put it up with bolts to each arch pipe. Then added the netting, we used ½ inch mesh netting here. We purchase our netting from Cutler’s Supply. Link to actual netting here: Netting from Cutler's
This pen in pretty much snake proof using the smaller mesh netting plus the birds don’t get their head caught up in it.
Step 12: Then added the feeders and BIRDS. This size cage 12' x 44' will accommodate approx 400 to 450 grown quail.
Important Ranch Tip:
We raise our Flight Birds in isolation. This is key to keeping their natural wild instincts. We practice and recommend that filling feeders, checking waterers, or adding sand, should all be done in the late evening or better yet, in the dark using headlamps. Also, keep all other animals away from the flight pens including any dogs or cats.