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Discussion in 'Quail' started by Clutch_Louis, Feb 6, 2018.
its been roughly a week and im wondering if they still need the lamp
Yes, they do. Week 1 they should be at 95-100 degrees (f). Reduce 5 degrees each week thereafter until 6 weeks/when they are fully feathered. Although, if you are someplace cold, you need to bring down the temperature until you're at the outdoor's average.
I feel bad now. I put them outside on week 2 1/2. of course we live in southern CA, and they still had a heating pad, but I would probably wait a bit if I was you. I put them out in their run when I was cleaning out their brooder, and they seemed to be enjoying it so much I just left them there.
I think decreasing the temperature by five degrees a week is a crossover from brooding chickens. It certainly works for quail, but the idea is to acclimate them from the ~100°f they hatch at to whatever their normal temperature is going to be. Whether you do that over six weeks or three weeks isn't critical under normal circumstances (and especially if you're in a warmer climate).
There may be value in doing it more gradually if they happen to catch a bug (the sickness kind) -- they may be in a better position to ward it off. And of course you won't know that until it's too late. But if you went more quickly and haven't already experienced a problem, all is well.
We hatched chicks in early Dec. They were brooded in a far corner of our climate controlled basement, with a heat lamp and a draft shield (large piece of cardboard) to deflect the draft created by the ceiling HVAC vents. They had the heat lamp for maybe 1.5-2 weeks. I moved to a heat plate for the next 1-2 weeks. Overall, the heat plate was not effective for them early on - they were clearly not warmed enough by it when still fluffy and it was adjusted to a very low height. Once they had a good growth of feathers, the heat plate worked very well. Once they were around 3.5 weeks, it was clear they did not need the heat very much so I took the heat plate away during the day (when light was on in the basement and they were running around and I could frequently check on them and their warmth status) and then put it back in for the next 3-4 nights at a higher height setting. It was clear that they had acclimated and no longer needed heat by 4 weeks, as they were well feathered by then. Good Luck.
I've been having good luck hatching and rearing quail chicks with serama bantam broody hens. Below is our latest hatch. 13 chicks. No incubators-no heat lamps.
I think it depends on the ambient temperatures. When I was younger and had less knowledge of how to raise baby chicks and quail in a brooder, they were just put outside to grow (eg, those baby chicks we get at Easter...they just do their thing and grow up while I didn't even realize what I could do better for them). Those springs and summers were nice and warm though.
But at least for coturnix quail, they should be fully feathered around 4-weeks old and look like miniature adults. From there, they just keep growing in size until they reach maturity around 6 weeks old. So as far as heating them to normal temperatures without extreme cold environment all around them, I think you're OK at around week 3-4 to remove heat lamps.
At least 3-4 weeks for courtunix
Bobwhite can go out at 2-4 weeks
Mine are all off by 3 weeks, but get lots of fluffy shavings and stay indoors at 70 degrees for another few weeks before I think about moving them to the garage or outside.