I might start it. Still considering it because my lease doesn't allow pets, however I think if I talk to my landlord then birds in cages should be fine (usually the no pet clause in USA is referring to cats and dogs). My other option is to potentially set it up at a friend's house, who is also interested in it for cuteness and pet factor but not as much for eggs. I have looked around and can find chicks or young adult coturnix for sale within an hour's drive. I'll see how I feel about it after the holidays. I am very tempted because I do have the perfect spot above a large bathroom cabinet for a 3 sqft cage that is in view of natural light from a window and is still out of the way of everything (it is currently occupied by a large cardboard box).
ertyu wrote: ↑
Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:14 am
@wb, what are your plans for dealing with the smell?
Good question, from what I've read on various forums about quail raising indoors, the quail actually don't smell at all if you take the correct steps. The keys are to use a mesh bottom cage so their poop can fall below to a tray that is easily cleanable and use a water cup system to ensure that the birds can't splash water anywhere. Like other poultry, their poop is high in ammonia, however because it is dry it only generates a smell if it gets wet. See here for an example cage setup, although I would not stock quail to that level of density and would go with a different feeder system that doesn't require daily refilling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOhGn2Y ... e=youtu.be
The emergency measures if smell becomes an issue for some reason is to use something like PDZ
(not sure the equivalent in other countries) or baking soda. I also have an exhaust fan in my bathroom. The plan Z if everything falls apart would be to move it to my friend's garage. I would like to attempt it in my apartment first though as an experiment.
Noise is not an issue because I am only going to keep females, who don't really make any audible noise. Most noise is created by males and from mating. Maybe eventually I'd build up to a full-cycle system, but for now I'm just going to try to buy juvenile or young adult females so I don't have to deal with incubation or a brooder.
The bigger issue would be dust and feathers getting everywhere indoors, but I theorize I could mitigate that by draping the cage in a mosquito net or some other kind of very fine mesh that allows airflow but forces dust and feathers to just fall through the bottom of the cage to the poop tray. Bathroom surfaces are also just easier to clean in the event they get a little dusty, and I spend much less time in my bathroom (maybe an hour a day?) than my living area.
I’ll admit, this idea seems kind of crazy and is well outside of social norms. As an INTJ, generally that isn’t really a consideration for me, but I’d say this is a next level beyond worm composting, growing microgreens at home, or even harvesting my urine for fertilizer. Then again, it probably earns cool street cred points in urban permaculture/homestead hipster circles, of which I am not a part of (if they even exist) in my town.
Edit: Also I’m still not quite sure what to do with all the poop. I think the best option for me would be to bokashi it in a 5 gallon bucket to reduce ammonia/nitrogen content enough so I can bury it in the backyard or near some garden beds. A conventional compost pile isn’t really feasible in my current situation and even if it was, the pile would probably have some smell after rain.