Raising Quail without electricity

Discussion in 'Quail' started by JenniferDuBay, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. JenniferDuBay

    JenniferDuBay Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2016
    Hello, I've been thinking about raising quail for a while now, and I finally have the significant other's permission to do so- however, she doesn't want the brooder in the house. (Honestly, neither do I.) So I have to come up with a way to have heat without electricity, as where it would go doesn't have access. I'm in the middle of florida, with January and February temps hitting 30 degrees occasionally. There is a restriction on only having 50 quail at a time, without paying 50 dollars a year, so I would need to continuously raise them. Getting enough light for egg laying doesn't seem like an issue- I could use some cheap solar powered lights in each cage, but the brooder eludes me.
     
  2. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's tough, permission but with a condition that makes it impossible.
    If you're raising chicks you do need power for a heat light. I use a regular 60w house bulb in my brooder lamp bout 6" off the floor for my outside chicks, keeps 50-75 warm easily and doesn't use much electricity. If you can't use an extension cord a small solar panel should work.
     
  3. JenniferDuBay

    JenniferDuBay Out Of The Brooder

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    a 60w bulb would be incredibly inefficient with solar panels- you'd need several hundred pound batteries to keep it on all day and night. I've seen there are 14 radiant heaters- but that involves getting (not cheap) solar panels, and batteries. Plus, I'm not (read: I've never done it) very good at wiring and electricity.

    I was thinking- and I hate to try it, only to fail- that maybe I could get a metal barrel, paint it black, and fill it with water, and then put it on legs, similar to the ohio state brooder
     
  4. trevj

    trevj Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2013
    Long ago, folks used kerosene incubators and brooders for this sort of thing. We still have a couple sitting around here on the farm. They also rebuilt burned down buildings when the stuff got knocked over. So, there is a solution, but not without risks. might check with the usual sources for off grid and old-timey living and farm stuff, Lehman's, etc. to see if they have stock or sources. Other than that it's antique shops and blind luck.
    If a fella were half-way handy with a soldering iron, one could graft in some thermocouples into the chimney and use the very small amount of power to run a circulation fan, rather than using the incubator as a still air. There are clockwork mechanisms out there that should be able to deal with auto turning, if you really wished to. Or use a battery operated timer along the lines of a garden hose timer, to trip the mechanism, or operate the turner.

    Solar is an expensive joke of a power source for this sort of use. You would be better off buying your food, than spending the money you would need to, on battery banks and panels, in order to produce a reliable amount of heat. Heat is a pure resistive load, and makes fr a heavy draw on the batteries.

    Cheers
    Trev
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  5. JenniferDuBay

    JenniferDuBay Out Of The Brooder

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    That was my conclusion as well. And I'm not going to do burning of any kind in this project- it's going to be a fair ways from the house, and I can't even imagine the nightmare of a fire out there. Do you have any thoughts on my idea of passive water heating? I've read of using boiling water in jars from the turn of the century, but they mentioned needing to go out there to refill the water 2-3 times a night.
     
  6. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How about a broody hen? :D no electricity needed... Constant heat source!

    I've never done it before but have seen videos and it's adorable :p
     
  7. trevj

    trevj Out Of The Brooder

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    That would like as not, be the most reasonable substitute for trying to set yourself up with getting a quail to sit on it's own eggs.

    Some of the breeds are pretty solid at going broody at the drop of a golf ball :), so it is a definite possibility. Then it becomes a problem of managing the broody hens so that they do not spend so much time on the nest that they starve themselves to death. As well as managing them so you pretty much always have one available. But, you said the objective WAS to have quail, not chickens, right?

    Realistically, the answer is to find a way to run power from the house to the location that you will be running the brooder. Extension cords are pretty cheap.

    As I see it, pretty much any other method is like as not, going to turn into slow speed torture or drudgery. Having dealt with lambing for a couple years, I can attest that being up every couple hours for a week or three at a time, gets very old, very fast, and anything that can be set up to run unattended is better!

    I recall having seen a website that was selling a game bird brooder/cage unit that was intended to be used to transition pheasant chicks to life outdoors. Pretty sure it used a propane red-eye type catalytic heater. may be the only reasonable option as far as a reliable heat source that does not need constant monitoring or attention goes.



    Cheers
    Trev
     
  8. JenniferDuBay

    JenniferDuBay Out Of The Brooder

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    "She swallowed the spider to catch the fly..." LOL. I'll look into it. I have some very young banties of unknown breed, and a silkie. I bet I could corral one of them into sitting duty when they get old enough.
     
  9. JenniferDuBay

    JenniferDuBay Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, good news, the lady friend has agreed to allow me to brood in the house. We talked about it, and she said if I could limit it to the spare room (where she doesn't have to see them) she will let me do it. She's just afraid she's going to get attached to them and it will end up being (another [​IMG]) pet. How long do you think they'll need to be under lights if the average lows are about 60 degrees?
     
  10. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh that's so great :D

    I think at about 4 weeks or so they truly do look like mini adults exact their heads are a little fuzzy still lol.

    I think after their head feathers fully develop they should be able to handle the cold almost as well as an adult, but keeping in mind they need to be draft free (like a 3 sided cage with one side open with hardware cloth or something predator proof) and be protected from the rain or you may get some sick/dead quail if it's cold and rains hard enough and at the very least gross bedding :p

    But this is just my opinion, I don't have much experience putting young quail outside in the elements just yet - I have adults in my aviary that i will make into a greenhouse with plastic with one side open for the winter weather here in Canada hehe.

    I read they survive similar conditions in Alaskan greenhouses (probably all closed up?) but haven't tested it hence why I'm breeding bigger birds for cold hardiness :p

    *edit* Also the brooder temp goes down by about 5 degrees every week, starting at 95 degrees for the first week.

    So, in your second week 90 degrees, third is 85, fourth is 80, and so on. It truly depends on how your birds act though - I give them a hot spot and cooler areas.

    If I see the majority sprawled out under the heat lamp with their legs in that "paint me like one of your French girls" pose, I know they're very toasty and I can turn the light down a bit. Which is why I like the dimmable red heat lamp :p no lowering/raising.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016

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