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How to Build a Quail Callback Cage

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • 1- to 1 1/2-inch galvanized steel wire

  • 2-by-4 treated lumber for framing

  • Set square

  • Tape measure

  • Galvanized nails or screws

  • Screwdriver or nail gun

  • Quail recall funnel

  • Perches

  • Water fountain

  • Feeder

  • Hinges

  • Door latches

Training gun dogs with quail can be expensive if you have to replace the quail each time. The best way of overcoming this is to build a quail recall cage. When you allow the quail to fly out of the cage, keep one or two in the cage. They will recall the others, who re-enter the cage via a specially designed one-way funnel. Predators can be a problem as these cages are usually located out where you hunt or train your gun dogs, but overall a quail recall cage can save you money.

Draw a plan of the cage. Figure out the dimensions that will suit you best. A permanent cage can be as large as 8-by-12 feet, although cages 4-by-6 or 4-by-8 feet will work. If you are building a portable cage with the idea of moving it around, make sure it is not too big or too heavy to to lift, and that it will fit into the back of your truck. Consider making two compartments to enable separation of the quail when necessary to prevent males and females from pairing or to simplify the process of leaving one or two in the cage each time.

Measure and saw the 2-by-4 lumber for the framing. Screw it together with galvanized screws. Make the bottom and the top frames first and then stretch the wire over them and nail it to the frame. Join the two frames with the upright lumber and add the wire. Screw 2-by-4 planks standing on end to the underside of the cage to make "skids." This will raise the wire mesh floor off the ground and facilitate cleanup.

Use particle board or plywood to make the back and sides. Cut it to size and nail or screw it onto the frame to provide shelter for the quail. Make a door big enough for you to enter the cage, and construct a trap door at the bottom for releasing the quail so you don't have to handle the birds every time you release them.

Install the quail return funnel, This is a wire funnel that allows the quail to enter the cage, but they cannot exit through it. Build perches high up in the cage, and attach water fountains and feeders. Dirt can get into the waterers and feeders on the ground and it is often easier to keep the raised hanging types clean.

Keep the quail in the cage for eight weeks before allowing them to exit. Always leave one or two in the cage to call the others back. Test a few of them at first without the dogs to see if they will come back.