Those of you with OUTDOOR quail in their own pen/cage/run

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Heyruthie, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. Heyruthie

    Heyruthie Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2015
    Virginia, USA
    Can you talk to me? I'm talking about Coturnix quail that are kept completely outside in a pen, cage or enclosure that is not inside any type of additional non-quail structure, such as a garage, shed or barn. (Of course their pen can be fitted with a "quail house," or something like that.) But I have no type of outbuilding into which they could go, and so I need to create a space for them outside. I live in an area that freezes in the winter. I'm not so worried about egg production in winter, mostly just survival.

    I'm specifically interested in:

    -What climate do you live in--especially how cold does it get in the winter?
    -What type of enclosure/cage system do you have? (Pics are a bonus!)
    -Is there a daily routine required in winter? (Such as covering and uncovering with a tarp at night.)
    -Do you provide any type of additional heat for the quail in winter? If so, what kind? (And do you try to combine heating and light for egg production?)
    -At what age do you put the quail outside? Do they have to be full-grown adults? Can you describe that process going from the brooder to an outdoor enclosure?
    -How many quail do you have--is there a "critical mass" where they can provide their own heat by huddling?
    -How many winters have you kept the setup you have, and did you learn anything from previous mistakes?

    THANK YOU!!!
     
  2. jwalk2515

    jwalk2515 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2015
    first winter but will provide answers I've know and then others I've seen or heard
    move outside once fully feathered, 3-4 weeks.
    I am doing extra light with a solar rope light draped over cages
    In texas but and we freeze but not to any level that should endanger quail.
    mixture of rabbit hutch type and regular wire cages, I am draping tarps to protect from direct wind and rain
    moving from brooder to outside, I was setting up new cages for every hatch but then started having an overcrowding problem so I put in a cage and place inside the cage for them to get to know each other. it also seems that if I can create a big enough fuss for them such as adding new sand or dumping in a bunch of hay, that it causes a big quail party and by the time its over anyone I slipped in during the party is just accepted as part of the crowd.
    I have about 160 but again first winter, my biggest concern is keeping water available

    seen/heard answer below:
    no extra heat as it might actually keep them from developing proper protection
    huddling, they can provide team heat but will also huddle themselves to death in the middle
    add extra hay for them to huddle in
     
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  3. Heyruthie

    Heyruthie Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2015
    Virginia, USA
    Fantastic! About how much "freezing weather" do you actually get in your part of Texas? Thank you!
     
  4. jwalk2515

    jwalk2515 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2015
    getting down into the teens is unusual but freezing weather can be expected to last days/ weeks. Their natural habitat includes siberia and there is a very active canadian coturnix group on fb so I know they can take the cold. Several very good US and International quail groups on FB too.
     
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  5. Heyruthie

    Heyruthie Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2015
    Virginia, USA
    Oh, thank you for sharing about the Northern Climate groups. I will look for them on FB, or feel free to share a link to those, if you know the names. I only live in Virginia, so it's not nearly as cold as Canada or Siberia!
     
  6. Halloweengirl13

    Halloweengirl13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2013
    Valdosta Ga
    I live in south Ga and I have a suspended heat lamp in my quail pen for when it gets colder at night and I plan on adding more places for them to hide in away from the wind and I also have a couple hollow logs in there already.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Halloweengirl13

    Halloweengirl13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2013
    Valdosta Ga
    I do plan on putting a tarp over top of it at night when it gets colder. I already have plastic over half of it to keep it warmer and drier on the one side for when it rains to keep them from getting soaked.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Eggs on Toast

    Eggs on Toast Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2015
    I live in Western Australia and it gets really hot here in summer. During winter it usually drops to around 20 degrees Celsius. So it's fine to keep quail outside due to the warm conditions.

    I have a square 120cm x 120cm pen that a friend made. I place straw/hay inside and some natural items such as logs, stones, plants, etc.
    [​IMG]
    I put planks at the side to keep birds from pecking the quail at the sides and to keep the quail calm and safe. There's a hatch at the top to feed and grab the quails and a door at the side to collect eggs.
    [​IMG]
    I keep three adult coturnix quail in here with no heat source except for a big bundle of hay/straw which I'm not sure if it keeps them warm or not but they make nests with it.

    During winter I have to cover the cage with tarpaulin to keep it from getting wet. During summer they are kept under the shade of a tree so they don't get much light which means they don't give me much eggs (I don't eat quail eggs anyway).
     
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  9. Heyruthie

    Heyruthie Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2015
    Virginia, USA
    Thank you, Halloweengirl13! What a beautiful enclosure! I live in an area that gets quite a bit colder than your part of Georgia, so I'm going to have to brainstorm ways to keep them warm. I love your picture!
     
  10. Heyruthie

    Heyruthie Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2015
    Virginia, USA
    Thank you, Eggs on Toast! Your wintertime temperatures are the same as some of our night time SUMMER temps, LOL! So, I'll have to keep thinking, but I love your little "quail box!" Is it secured into the ground in some way? In my area, predators would either flip that, or dig under it.
     

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