I’ve been getting some questions lately on how I build my Johnny Houses for keeping Quail. So, I figured I would post some pics of one, as I recently made an addition. This house is a 4×4 house. It is nice because you can drag it around and move it. I have had to make some modifications along the way and would actually had done things a little differently but, you really never know till you have done it.
What would I do different? I would make it bigger! I have plans for an 8×8 and even larger. I would make it bigger because I love having them around and more is always better. The problem with bigger is cleaning. I would really think out a bigger design more carefully because I like too keep them clean. With this 4×4 house it has a ½ wood ½ hardware cloth floor. I would actually change that to more of a ¾ hardware cloth ¼ wood floor. With the wood just under the feeders. The reason? Droppings! Cleaning the wooden floor is a pain. I also would and currently am coming up with a tray that goes under the wire mesh between the skids. Why? I like taking the droppings and adding them too the compost pile. It is also really easy to clean and you do not need to move the house as often.
This house has a drag chain you can move and pull from either side. I had too add an attachment to one side as the original design did not call for it. I also would have cut both sides of the skids at an angle to prevent it from digging in when dragging it.
I recently added the open extension. This gives the birds some open ground to cover. If you release birds. I also find they are more willing to recall back through the funnel if it is attached to the open area. The birds love scratching in the dirt and grass for preening their feathers and it makes them a lot happier and healthier. The rain washes most the dropping in this area away. This addition also reduces the amount of cleaning required in the house. The house and addition gives me a total of 40 sqft. I like to keep about once bird per sqft max. Currently this house has hen to cock ratio that is unbalanced at 3 hens and 5 cock’s. This fall I will balance it out at a 5 hen to 1 cock ration and keep between 25-30 birds in it. I had eggs this year at an amazing rate, I could not believe it. It really surprised me.
For feeders I use the LessMess system from Quality Wildlife they have the best feeders hands down of any that I have ever seen. They are supper low management and really help to keep the house clean.
I really love having the birds around. I enjoy the calling early in the morning, during the day and at night. It really is a great sound to hear when sitting on the porch or out in the yard.