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Outdoor Brooding

Discussion in 'Quail' started by HunterH, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. HunterH

    HunterH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2015
    Hey guys, I'm finishing my pen soon and need some advice. The birds I can get are ~2 weeks old, they'll be closer to 3 weeks by the time I get them. My pen is 2x2x8' with a 2x2x2 box on the end for some shelter. My question is if I give them a red brooding heat lamp will they be ok? The weather is high 50s F in the day and right around 32F (freezing) at night.
    I have an injured cat inside right now and don't really have the room for birds indoors...
     
  2. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my opinion and you will get a lot of different opinions, putting them outside is not in their best interest. Normally chickens cannot go outside until they are fully feathered. At 2-3 weeks, they cannot withstand temperatures in the 50's. I would find some space in the house, where the outside wind does not get in and place them there until they are ready. In my experience the older and stronger they are the better chances they have. Their little bodies, cannot produce heat enough to keep them even inside the house at 50's. Outside the wind will just rob the little heat they can produce and they will die. Unless you have like a barn or a shed that they can be protected from the wind, then that may work with a heating lamp. Good luck!
     
  3. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can brood outside, its where most of my chicks grow up. You can't however allow any drafts in the brooder so using your cage isn't going to work. My brooders are fully enclosed plywood boxes with adjustable ventilation and I have no problems but I am in complete control of airflow through the brooder.

    Until they are 4 weeks old, not only will they not generate sufficient body heat, they won't have the feathers to hold it in.

    The easiest brooders are the xtra large rubbermaid tubs. Cut most of the center of the lid out and replace it with chicken wire. Sit the lamp on the wire put the food on one side of the tub the water on the other. Make sure the floor temp isn't above 105 and the brooder itself is close to whatever weekly temp you are on.

    Coturnix brood at 95* F for the first seven days. Lower the temp by 5 degrees every seventh day. On the fourth week or the beginning of the 5th you'll notice they have completed their first molt and have all their feathers (you shouldn't see anymore yellow feathers on their faces). At that time you can turn the lights off in the middle of the day and not turn them back on.
     
  4. HunterH

    HunterH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2015
    Thanks a ton, I was wondering about the temperatures I needed to keep. I'm going to keep them indoors in a room where it stays in the 60s, with a heat lamp. Don't really want to pay for a 250 watt bulb, what would you recommend for a steady 60 degree indoor room? Will a 75-90 watt bulb keep them warm enough? I guess I'll have to just get a thermometer in there and check it.
     
  5. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use a dimmer switches and wire them into the heat lamp fixture. Inside a 90w bulb with a dimmer should be more than enough. Even a 150w will cook chicks to death easier than not so mostly I stick with 60s and 90s in small brooders. What happens with the bigger bulb is that the floor temp under it will end up 120*+ and if a chick stops under that for a minute or two he's a goner.
     
  6. stephstuckman

    stephstuckman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2014
    So I have a question. I live in Colorado so it's pretty cold still. We didn't get much snow this year and it looks like we won't. The temps are in the 40s and 50s during the day and the teens and 20s at night. I would like to hatch out some chicks asap. If I grow them to 4 weeks in the house can I just put them outside or is that too much of a temp shock? I need to hatch a new rooster and I havr people wanting to buy birds. Quail are not common here, I even had someone ask... what is a quail egg, when I sold some extra eggs for eating, lol. I do have power near the coop outside so I could suppliment with heat for a bit if I had to, but I prefer not too. This last summer was hot so the chicks went to unheated coops outside at 2 1/2 weeks and did great. It was just too warm in the house and I didn't need the heat lamp after 2 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  7. Invision

    Invision Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2014
    Washington, Kitsap County
    Just have to think about how birds in the wild breed... They are not laying eggs right now because it's cold, so placing chicks outside is cause for concern without supplemented heat... Also has to be draft free as stated above, birds aren't suppose to hatch out this time of year... just keep that in mind when you want to place them outside.
     
  8. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Be careful anytime you have temperature transitions beyond 5-10 degrees, they do shock easy. Not only do they not generate sufficient body heat until 4-5 weeks old they don't have the proper feathering to keep their heat in. At four weeks what I'd do is move the brooder outside mid morning or so and slowly adjust the heat lamp down every half hour or something, until you get close to the outside temp and then just kill the light.

    Cover whatever cage you are putting them in with plastic sheeting (leave a couple vents opposite each other up high, so it cross ventilates for fresh air) so that no draft can reach them.

    Other than weaning them off the heat light at this age it's best to never use a heat source on grown quail. They will only grow down feathers appropriate to the weather they have to endure so providing them with a heat lamp long term is actually dangerous. If they don't grow enough down bc of a heat source, they'll die the first time the power to the heat source fails.
     
  9. stephstuckman

    stephstuckman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2014
    Thanks for the reply. I'm still deciding if I want to deal with the extra work of hatching early. I have to keep them in my extra bathroom and they get stinky after a while. I wish I had a shed or something with power to brood them outside in. I never use a heat lamp on my other birds. They did fine when we had temps around -10 farenheit at night and 20s during the day for a couple weeks. I even got 2 or 3 eggs a day from a couple ambitious hens.
     

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