cold weather

Discussion in 'Quail' started by rik and dick, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. rik and dick

    rik and dick Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 10, 2014
    Hi I have two cock quail, they are pets and love each other, surprisingly! This is their first UK winter. They live free on my largish terrace, which is netted at the top since a sparrow hawk took a fancy to them.
    My question is, they have two boxes, a wooden one with a dustbath in and another one with hay in. Both are under cover. The boys spend lots of time in these in the day. But when they roost at night they sit out in the cold with their feet on the cold terracotta tiles. If I encourage them into the boxes they come straight again. Why do they do this ? And will they die of cold in the winter? Thank you.
     
  2. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I have the exact same problem with my quail. They refuse to sleep in their nesting boxes. They'll play in it during the day and happily rest inside of it, but at night I'll find them all scattered across the cold ground, or maybe find one sleeping in there but everyone else on the floor. When I try picking them up and putting them into the hay, they'll just back out. Quail normally choose where they find is the warmest place to be, however, I don't think they realize how beneficial and warmer a box of hay is compared to soil... Or maybe they're just not cold. They aren't exactly the most intelligent of creatures (but I still love 'em).

    What type of quail do you have? Japanese/Coturnix or Bobwhite quail (examples) are better suited to colder conditions due to their wild heritage, but King/Chinese Button Quail aren't as good as coping because they're so small. A little frost in the morning won't really bother them, but a full-on snowstorm will freeze them to death if they're not properly prepared. Just try to keep them warm at night, away from the cold, or give them some place to cuddle up away from the cold. Its also important to keep away drafts as chilly drafts could kill them as well. Be careful with the water as that could freeze overnight if it gets really cold.

    What I suggest is either:
    - Locking them up in a draft-proof box for the night and letting them out in the morning. Like a mini-coop or something. They might learn that this is where they're supposed to sleep and quail love to hide as well, so a little place where they can run in and out of will make them happier.
    - Bring them inside in a cardboard box with hay at night and let them out when its warmer in the morning.
    - Make/buy an elevated cage for them to live in. Cover it at night with something that can insulate the cage.
    - Fence them off somewhere on the terrace and put newspaper on the floor (bit better than the terracotta tiles) and place something there which they can hide in.


    Just some ideas.

    You can also keep them warm in winter with a heat lamp if its really cold.
    Sorry for the long post. Its a habit of mine. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Sometimes you have to use your better judgement than theirs. Ha! Sometimes quail just don't know any better and will freeze to death because they don't think. I agree with September Quail. You need to block this are off, run them into their enclosure or remove the area they are trying to sleep on at night. My quail are the same way. I have trained them with one of those dog clickers to go into their coop at night on cold nights. I click that thing and they all head in. Sometimes they don't listen and all I have to do is show them the quail net, and it's like, "oh alright!...we will head inside!"

    But do what you have to do to make sure they are warm. Quail are not all that smart and will continue to sleep where ever they have survived the night before. So think for them. :)
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Oh, and welcome to BYC!! [​IMG]
     
  5. rik and dick

    rik and dick Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 10, 2014
    Thank you for that. I have tried shutting them in the wooden house before, the problem is that although they really seem to love one another and are never far apart, once they are trapped they start to fight.
    they also crow quite loudly so inside is out of the question if I want to keep my husband.
    the bit of the terrace they like to sleep is under the eaves so it is at least dry and sometimes they will sleep on the doormat !
    I will have to risk the fights if it gets very cold I think. can you tell me how cold is too cold ? below freezing ? they are coturnix .
    animals can be remarkably perverse can't they, I just watched my angel fish spend days defending and fanning their eggs, and then they ate their babies the moment they hatched !
    thanks for the replied
     
  6. jakesterz

    jakesterz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2014
    It doesn't get really cold here. We might get to low 20s once or twicve a year. If it's cold and windy, I'll cover them, but at what temperatures would anyone recommend I start covering my jumbo browns if it's just the chill?
     
  7. HumbleHen207

    HumbleHen207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I keep coturnix quail in sub-zero temperatures with not extra heat. They haven't had any problems so far other than occasional frostbite on the tips of their toes. I have found them to be a lot tougher than they look.
     
  8. rik and dick

    rik and dick Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 10, 2014
    Thank you, maybe i should worry less about it then. they look so frail don't they ?
     
  9. HumbleHen207

    HumbleHen207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They really do look frail, however I found them a lot tougher than they look. Where I live it frequently gets to -30 Fahrenheit, and they did just fine with no added heat.
     

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