Transitioning from brooder inside to outside in WINTER

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Heyruthie, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. Heyruthie

    Heyruthie Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2015
    Virginia, USA
    My quail are now 6-8 weeks old they are still inside. No more brooder, but just inside cage, no heat, no lamp. I want to transition them outside. It's winter in my area, which means 50 F (10 C) outside in the day time and 30 F (0 C) at night. Can someone tell me how they would transition them outside during winter? Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
  2. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would suggest giving them some outside time each day, extending the time each day, and making very sure they don't get any breezes on them! They need to build up their feather coat and this will help.

    The other option is putting them out with a heat lamp starting at 70 degrees and dropping them by 10 degrees every 3rd day. That's what I did with my 4 week old chicks.
     
  3. Heyruthie

    Heyruthie Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2015
    Virginia, USA
    Thank you. These two options are really helpful. They seem like common-sense, but it really helps to know that I'm not on the wrong track!
     
  4. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, you were probably already thinking these things yourself. It's always helpful to hear from someone else who has done it. That's what makes BYC such a success! Members helping and encouraging each other!
     
  5. Invision

    Invision Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2014
    Washington, Kitsap County
    If you have an outside shed or non heated garage it helps also. But slowly backing off on a heat lamp works good, if you are good with wiring you can pick up a dimmer switch and an outlet box and wire in a socket to control the amps going to the light, works great for me, I can upload a picture later tonight if you want to see what i did.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Heyruthie

    Heyruthie Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2015
    Virginia, USA
    I would love to see any pictures! It's supposed to warm up in a few days, which gives me a nice window of opportunity to work with nature. Plus, my supplies for their new enclosure are in the mail!
     
  7. gardenisto

    gardenisto Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2015
    CA, WY
    Thought I would add to this. After reading these forums, I've come to realize I probably raise quail in one of the 'colder' areas of America.

    I moved coturnix into an outside enclosure this fall/winter. Our temperatures are down to -4f at night, very cold nights get down to around -25F. (havent seen this yet this season)

    Our daytime high has been 40's lately because a storm front moving in is bringing 'warm' air with it. More normally, the temps are in the teens or 20's during the day with consistent 15mph wind. If you are wondering what hell I currently live in its called WY. Its not all bad. Just for raising quail and gardening.

    With all of that said, to acclimatize my coturnix, I used an elevated 250 watt heat lamp. Reduced the bulb wattage over a period of 2 months, and eventually I eliminated it.

    I ultimately wired the coop so that three strategically placed bulbs close to the quail (inches away from head) turn on and supplement heat. These bulbs turn on with a thermostat, when temps go below 35F.

    Should we lose power, the coop is draft free, with a straw+sand+pine shaving bedding. It provides some ground insulation and warm temps. Allows hens to burrow down, even get broody on eggs.

    The coop is mostly solid walled with good ventilation. Its built onto a stock tank, so the 1st foot of wall from the ground is solid metal and totally draft free.

    A bulb in each covey is 25watts(edited to add: dark blue almost black), and a 3rd is in a common area near two 'separation' cages for isolating males. That one is more about some lighting than heat, and is only 15watts and white.

    During the summer the front swinging hutch style window/doors are only 1/4" hardware cloth. I placed mirror hangers on the doors and covered them 90% with plexiglass panels for late fall winter. Painted hardboard inserts also cover the extra ventilation we have and don't actually need in cold weather.

    Coturnix quail seem to be just fine. I often wonder how miserable they are and check on them, just to find they are all content in their micro-climate.

    So long as you provide a draft free environment, an area they can take shelter and collectively produce some heat in, and adjust them over a few weeks to a couple months. They should be fine in some of the worst weather. Even without additional heat.

    The more difficult task is keeping water unfrozen and readily available. That's worth a whole conversation in and of itself.

    I'll come back and add a photo, or link to my website with photos later if I get a chance, and its helpful to you. Try not to baby the guys, as cute as they are they are pretty hardy when matured.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  8. gardenisto

    gardenisto Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2015
    CA, WY
    Hit the publish button on a post I had on my website. Has two pictures of my small coop setup. Enough to get the idea about what I mentioned above.

    It houses 11 birds. 7 female, 4 male. Only 2 to 3 males are in the general population with females at any given time. Most of the time only one is allowed in.

    http://www.gardenisto.com/projects/quail-coop-revisions/
     
  9. Heyruthie

    Heyruthie Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2015
    Virginia, USA
    Your coop is so cool! I love it! It's really helping me to envision how things can work for me too--my temps are not nearly so cold here. Thank you for chiming in! I love it.
     
  10. gardenisto

    gardenisto Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2015
    CA, WY
    Heyruthie, Awesome. I'm glad I could help. :)
     

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