Japanese Coturnix quail have been bred for small, intense spaces and productivity. Most quail keeping operations are designed to be as small as possible with maximum convenience for the owner. It’s not abusing the birds to have four or five to a square foot, but it’s certainly not what I would prefer. We believe in providing our birds with room to roam!
Problem is, even once the quail have grown large enough to get up to the coop, they naturally gather together on the ground (again, those natural instincts have been encouraged by breeding). To encourage them to explore all the real estate available to them, I use their feed a la Hansel and Gretel, leaving them a trail of food leading up to the coop.
Once they learn to associate good things (food) with that big scary box in the sky, it’s not so scary anymore, and they gradually begin to use all of the space. Quail still want to gather together as one big flock, but at least now they have learned they have some new hangout spots!