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Raising Quail for a year and a half, hatched my first brood! Some things I've learned that made it e

Discussion in 'Quail' started by redraindrop, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. redraindrop

    redraindrop Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2013
    Indiana
    When I first bought my quail I built wire bottom cages for them because those were the examples I saw online, and after the first year I thought I don't want to continue raising them because they cost to much to raise for eggs, wasting feed through the wire bottom, had one incident of club foot( the bird sat in our bathroom sink calmly for hours in warm water to soften it up and clean it off), and plastic waterers with the red bases were pooped in daily. Last summer I got fed up with the waterers and decided to try ball bearing/nipple waterers, the kind you put on rabbit cages and my life got easier, though it took time for them to get it, had to have both until then. Then we converted a structure that was built to cover a meat smoker by previous owners of our house into an aviary, half for the quail and the other half for the ducks. We use about 4-6 inches of sand as bedding, shovel out to use for garden fertilizer and replace as needed(duck side has had to have this done a couple of times, quail are good even after a couple of months), and because they are on the ground they go through less than half of the food they went through originally and seem much happier about the space. This winter finally became cold enough that the lixit water bottles started freezing solid, single digits, even with a lamp shade(95watt bulb). I wasn't sure how to fix this and still use the bottles but I had an epiphany, when I wanted to make sure our new chicks started off using this kind of bottle from the beginning and this is what I came up with, then applied the same principle in the aviary outside. [​IMG] On a larger scale this can be done with a small bucket. The bottles come with u shaped wires that allow them to hook to cages, they can hook to the rim of the bucket if the water bottles are positioned high enough to come out the top of the bucket a bit, or you could drill holes for the the wires to go through lower in the bucket, allowing you to put a lid on it and drill a hole and have a light bulb fixture enclosed on the inside as well. This water system can be positioned any where in their enclosure. At the moment I just went out and found a plastic plant container from a fruit tree and used that, putting the light directly on top of it with the bottles inside. Another thing I did was create what I would like to call a greenhouse box for the quail to go into and be warmer. I took a wide short box, something like about 6"H and 2'x2' cut a hole in the bottom and used a round piece of glass I had, bigger than the hole, duct taped it on the bottom, folded the box flaps inside so the floor of the box(when flipped over) would be open to the sand floor in the aviary, cut doorways for them, and I position a 250 watt infrared heat lamp as the only heat source in the aviary over the glass. I'm going to make a better version of this with wood and a hinged top at some point so I can just lift the lid and pick up eggs from inside instead of having to flip up the box. You could put straw in the bottom for extra clean bedding. They go in and out of this as they please to eat and drink, but have the option of being toasty warm in the winter. We've gotten consistently about three quarters the eggs we get in the summer all winter long. I'm a happy Coturnix Quail momma now :)
     
  2. ClintD

    ClintD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2010
    West TX
    Good job. I like your ideas.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. animalsrock123

    animalsrock123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2013
    Wow, you did an awesome job preparing your quail for the winter! My quail chicks aren't fully grown and outside yet, but I when they are I'll defiantly consider those ideas. Thanks for posting:)!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. redraindrop

    redraindrop Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2013
    Indiana
    I have now also decided to use sand as my brooder bedding. I cleaned out the non-slip shelf liner with paper towels underneath last night, thinking okay that's good for a couple days, but when I got up today they had made a mess with their water and food basically caking the floor of the brooder completely with it, covered themselves and it had dried to them. They looked horrible. So I put a couple of warm wet rags under the heat lamp so that they could lay on those and the humidity would loosen the caked food up, that has worked and they look much better this evening, some have started to dust bath in the sand already. A 50lb bag of play sand and all I'll have to do is scoop off the top layer when it gets too dirty.
     
  5. Chickety Charcoal

    Chickety Charcoal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2011
    Westchester County, NY
    Thanks, this helps a lot. I am considering starting up some quail, or maybe ducks, this Spring. I have been weighing all the options and maintenance required.
     
  6. redraindrop

    redraindrop Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2013
    Indiana
    Ducks are great, I'm very happy with raising ducks, they forage most of their food if allowed to free range which is best anyway because they can make a nasty mess quick in an enclosure. I let mine free range during the day and they go in at night, easier to collect eggs that way because I've had them just plop out eggs into their swimming pool when left out over night.
     

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