Help! Winter Question

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Country Parson, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Country Parson

    Country Parson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2010
    Bellefontaine, OH
    2 hours ago I unexpectedly received 10 fully grown Coturnix quail. How Winter/cold hardy are these little fellas?

    Currently I put them in my old chick brooder (no heat lamp) on my backporch, which has glass windows. There is no wind, but it does get below freezing (the dog's water dish always freezes out there). However, even this is a temporary solution until I can get an outside pen built. I have a couple of out buildings, so I can build the pen in a wind-environment. But I really don't want to provide heat to animals unless it is absolutely necessary.

    Will Coturnix quail survive the cold of an Ohio winter?
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Coturnix should survive fine outdoors over the winter so long as they are fully feathered and adjusted to the temp. Lots of people in the northern US have them in wire cages outdoors and many with just some tarps as wind breaks. Personally I'd prefer to put them in a building where I don't have to worry about the weather or predators. Predators are a major issue with quail in outdoor cages and even if you predator proof the cage they can be scared to death by something climbing around and jumping at their cage. I lost a bunch to a feral cat because they bashed themselves to death on the sides of their cage trying to bolt from the cat who otherwise couldn't harm them.
  3. Country Parson

    Country Parson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2010
    Bellefontaine, OH
    I learned about the "weak constitutions" of Coturnix the hard way. I was offered as many of the little buggers as I wanted and I chose to take 12 of them. I put them in a small cardboard book box--and they all looked snug and cozy. The car ride home was about an hour, during which time they severely overheated and two died, and the rest were hyperventilating/panting and rather listless. They have seem to recover now, but it was a painful lesson. I'm used to more hardy poultry (chickens/geese/ducks), and have a large learning curve ahead of me.

    I feel like I just committed murder or something. Poor little things....[​IMG]
  4. Rainwolf

    Rainwolf De La Menagerie

    Aug 4, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    Coturnix can take cold.. they don't handle high stuffy heat well. [​IMG]

    In a Wind and weather free place they can handle temps down to 0F

    BUT they need to be acclimated! if you go from 70F to 0F your gonna freeze your hiney off If they do that they will go into shock and die.
    If your birds start at 70F then slowly go down to 0F then they are perfectly happy. (slowly as in a few weeks or more for that extreme difference)

    I learned about temp extremes when we had a sudden cold snap where the temp dropped from 60F to 30F then down to 10F in a matter of days.
    Lost 2 to cold shock but the rest are doing great. Had to heat lamp the most drastic temp changes but after the major swing were finished the birds left the heat lamp area and stayed away from it.
  5. joe125

    joe125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2010
    If sheltered from the wind, they are good down to 12 degs. F. Maybe even lower. I'm only field tested to 12 deg. F. Egg production is another story at those low temps..

    Single birds will freeze to death at that temp, but 2 or more should be fine down to the teens. Liquid water is a must at those temps, so you will have to swap out bottles when temps are in the teens.

    Coturnix are very cold hearty quail.

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