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Lighting for my Button Quail

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have been reading a lot of info on poultry lighting and the affects it has on growth, laying hatching and health. I found a couple of sites regarding poultry farming in Arkansas (and other places) which was interesting to me. It seems that research over a 2 year period or so that led lighting has taken a lead on poultry lighting and not wide spectrum (uva/uvb).

 The initial conversion cost was some what costly but was recovered fairly quickly. I also spoke to the University of Florida, Gainsville, FL about uva/uvb lighting for birds. I was told that there was no conclusive research (evidence) that indicated uva/uvb was the best lighting for birds. So I bought Cree Led bulbs, 5000 K daylight, 60 watt dimmable. They don't get hot, just warm to the touch.

 

They are happy and relaxed for being raised out doors. The woman I got them from raises them as a hobby. It took a couple of weeks for them to adjust but don't seem to be stressed.

 

 

 

The woman that that the quail were about 6 weeks old.

My first show at posting pics.  Dave

post #2 of 6

They look cute ^^

 

I have no doubt that UVA/UVB has positive effects, at least on some birds. But used wrong, it can have negative effects as well. I read some articles about it a while back, and wrote a summary for myself. I just re-read that summary and will post a few bullet points:

 

Birds are, unlike humans, able to see UVA light. This means that they might be able to see more colors than humans, if supplied with this light. Might not seem all that important, but for some species it seems to have an impact when it comes to breeding - perhaps their partners look more attractive in UV-light. Quail don't seem to have issues breeding in captivity though, so UVA is hardly necessary for them.

 

UVB on the other hand, enables the birds to produce vitamin D3. They need this vitamin, but it is possible to supply it through their feed, so strictly speaking they don't need UVB either. And it is very hard to get a bulb that is effective at producing UVB - the birds pretty much need to be within 4 inches of the bulb to get the UVB effect. And as it isn't recommended to place the bulbs closer to the birds than 1½ feet or so (if placed too close to the bird, it might cause feather picking and reduced immune response), they are very unlikely to get much UVB. Also, most bulbs hardly produce any UVB at all once they have been used for about 6 months.

 

UV light is hard on bacteria so it might make the cage more sanitary - but it also causes several vitamins(A, C and E) in the feed to break down very quickly.

 

The human eye is very sensitive to UV-light, but birds use vitamin A to filter it out. If the diet has too little vitamin A, the light might cause eye damage.

 

Wrongly balanced UV-lights (like those intended for reptiles) might cause tumors and cannibalism in birds. 

 

There were a few more points in the articles, but those were the major ones related to the actual UV light. My conclusion this far has been 'It might be nice to have, but unless you have a feather picking parrot or a pair of rare birds that just won't breed, don't bother - and don't expect it to supply your birds with D3'.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

DK,

 

Good statement you posted. Nice facts. I agree that birds have different requirements, raising them for hunting and food is different then  having them as pets. I would like them to lay and nest naturally. I just have to take it in steps. I am going to do without uv lighting.

 

We came to Florida 21 years ago because my job with the government brought me here, but in N. California I had an out door aviary with a variety of birds including button quail (my favorite), they hatched naturally which was really great. It was 12' w x 14 long x 10 " high.  

 

I just not sure of the actual age, they look like young birds but looks can be deceiving HUH.

 

I enjoyed reading your statement. Thanks for the information.

 

Dave

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

DK,

Forgot to mention, not sure exactly how old my quail are, just wondering how long I should set my timer for. I currently have it set from 7 AM until 8 PM. Don't want to over due it.

 

Dave

post #5 of 6

I have buttons on artificial light from 9 AM till 6 PM + what little light might get in through the windows where they live and they lay just fine and I've already had one hatching chicks this year. Unfortunately she only got 2, which she didn't seem to think was enough, so she continued brooding on her remaining 6 eggs, pretty much leaving the chicks to fend for themselves. The first one was dead before I knew it existed, the second one survived for a day or so, mainly because its dad came to its aid when it was crying too loud, but eventually I guess he left it for so long it stopped crying and apparently it couldn't keep up with him.. Anyway, the second hen in the same enclosure (about 4x7 feet I think, placed in an unheated building) went broody the very next day so within 10 days or so I might have baby bottons again. Or rather, my parents might, as the buttons live with them and I just moved to the opposite end of the country.. Hope she has a better hatch. I think the eggs from the first nest might have been exposed to freezing temps before the hen got broody and I suspect that's why only two hatched. The group (there are 3 females and one male) had about 25 chicks last year, all done the natural way, so they do know how to raise chicks :)

I kept 3 of their female chicks, those have been living in cages and where as two have been broody they both abandoned their nests within a week or so. I think the stress level was too high, having limited space, not very good hiding places and me reaching in to feed them every day (one even placed her nest between the feeder and the cage door..). But some people on this forum have had buttons raise their own chicks in cages, so it's not impossible.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

There are so many things that can cause stress in not only birds but other animals, especially rabbits. I grew up on a small farm in Southern California and as I remember our chickens would stop laying if the neighbors German Shepard came around barking and scratched against the cage. We finally fenced in the back yard. back then we had over 4 Acers, today, no room for people in Southern California. I am hoping that the will lay and hatch. I try to keep the temperature consistent at around 76. The AC however causes some variation. I hope you enjoyed the move and where you are now living. My wife and I are so happy that my job brought us to Florida from Northern California. Before we moved to northern California where he parents lived we lived in Temple City Calif. It so over crowded that you can't breath the smog. Thanks for your reply and your comment on artificial light. My cages are small but they seem happy.1 cage is 30x17x14 the other is about 28x14x14 but they seem happy?  Time will tell. Take care.

Dave 

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