Do Quails Need Nesting Boxes?
Quails need nesting boxes because they provide the birds with the comfort they need when laying. Although not all quails need nesting boxes, many egg-laying quails appreciate laying in them because it gives them a feeling of security and safety.
Wild female quails make their nests in hidden shrubs or grass or any discrete places they feel safe and comfortable when laying. Although domestic quail females don’t have the option to make their nests, using nesting boxes will help your quails get a comfortable and safe laying environment.
Why Should You Setup Nesting Boxes for Your Quails?
Female quails will lay even with or without nesting boxes around. However, nesting boxes are critical for egg-laying quails, especially for quail keepers keeping these birds specifically for eggs. Here is why you should consider setting up nesting boxes for your quails.
– Fewer Broken Eggs
Every quail keepers understand how frustrating it can be to check in the coop and find dozens of broken quail eggs. Dealing with broken quail eggs can be more frustrating when you keep quails for eggs because you will have few eggs on your countertop.
You can significantly reduce the number of broken eggs by setting up nesting boxes for your quails. Nesting boxes will give your quails a secure laying spot, which helps reduce their chances of breaking their eggs. Moreover, nesting boxes help keep the eggs away from other quails that are likely to break the delicate quail eggs.
– Nesting Boxes Make Egg Collection Pretty Easy
Female quails tend to lay their eggs everywhere when they lack a comfortable and secure place to lay. That makes it hard for quail keepers to collect the eggs.
With nesting boxes, your work will be easier since you will head straight to the nesting boxes and collect the eggs you find in the boxes.
– Clean Eggs
Like chickens, quails will lay almost anywhere if there are no nesting boxes in the coop. Some females can lay in dirty places full of dust and droppings, making the eggs dirty.
Cleaning dirty eggs can be tedious, considering how small quail eggs are. Cleaning also eliminates the delicate membrane on quail eggs, significantly reducing their shelf life and making their yolks vulnerable to bacteria.
Setting up nesting boxes can keep your quail eggs clean even if you don’t collect the eggs immediately.
– Nesting Boxes Encourage Egg Production
Nesting boxes make female quails feel safe and secure because the boxes provide the females with a secure and calm laying spot. Female quails that don’t have nesting boxes at their disposal usually act fidgety and anxious since they aren’t sure where to lay, which can be stressful to females.
It can impact their egg production capabilities since stress can negatively impact birds’ production, including quails. Providing your female quails with nesting boxes will spare them stress, ultimately encouraging egg production in the long run.
How to Setup Nesting Boxes for Quails?
Although you can buy some pre-made nesting boxes for your quails, you can save tons of money by setting up nesting boxes for your birds. Moreover, quail nesting boxes are relatively smaller than chicken nesting boxes.
Ideally, quail nesting boxes should be approximately 20 cm sq. Therefore, you can make several boxes for your quails within no time. Here is how to set up nesting boxes for your female quails.
- Get suitable material– You can make your nesting boxes from cardboard, wood or any suitable material that will provide the female quails with a secure and comfortable laying spot. Cardboard is one of the best and cheapest materials for your nesting boxes. It is easier to cut, besides being durable. Cut the cardboard and make durable nesting boxes that can accommodate your egg-laying quails.
- Place the nesting boxes at a calm spot– Ideally, the nesting boxes should be inside your quail coop in a safe and secure place. The nesting boxes should be between three and four feet off the ground. Keeping the boxes in this position will help protect your female quails from potential predators. However, the nesting boxes need to be slightly lower than your quails’ roosting spot. Placing the nesting boxes too high will encourage the quails to use the nesting boxes for roosting instead of laying. The nesting boxes should be at the coop’s safest and most secure side, preferably away from other quails that might distract the females while laying.
- Make the boxes comfortable for your quails– Quails appreciate comfort, especially when laying. Your quails won’t find the nesting boxes suitable for laying if the boxes aren’t comfortable for the birds. You can use nesting materials to make the nesting boxes comfortable for your quails. For instance, you can use materials such as straw, hay, corn husks and leaves to add comfort to the nesting boxes.
- Cover the nesting boxes– Quails appreciate cover while laying because it makes laying discrete for these birds. It’s thus essential to cover the nesting boxes. Covering the nesting boxes gives quails a more private and secure laying environment. You can cover your nesting boxes with cardboard or any material that makes a suitable cover for the boxes.
How Many Nesting Boxes Do You Need for Quails?
Quail females will take turns laying in the nesting boxes depending on the number of boxes the females have at their disposal. Therefore, ensure the females have sufficient boxes lest they fight over the nesting boxes.
One nesting box is enough to serve 2 to 4 quail hens. However, if you plan to get more females, it’s best to have additional nesting boxes.
Can Quails Lay Eggs Without Nesting Boxes?
Yes, domestic quails can lay eggs without nesting boxes. However, your quails will lay almost anywhere, including their feeding area, if they don’t have nesting boxes in their coop.
Nesting boxes aren’t mandatory for quails but provide the birds with a safe and secure laying environment. Nesting boxes also reduce cases of broken quail eggs. Furthermore, these boxes can keep the quails’ eggs clean.
Like other domestic birds, quails equally need nesting boxes. Anyone keeping quails should expect a decent number of quail eggs. They need to ensure their quails have a comfortable, safe and secure laying environment by making nesting boxes available to their birds.