Winter is coming - questions!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by EmilieD, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. EmilieD

    EmilieD Hatching

    Jun 3, 2014
    Thank you for all your help with my earlier questions on this forum.

    I live in Northern Illinois and I am starting to think about winter. I currently have three female Coturnix quail living in a rabbit hutch outside. It has a tray underneath and three exterior walls, with an interior divider such that one third has four walls and a wood floor and two thirds has wire floor and a wire front. It is against a six foot solid fence and faces east; the prevailing wind comes from the west.

    Please give me some advice:
    1) Are three birds sufficient for the winter? Do they need more birds to huddle together?
    2) What is the best way to keep water from freezing outside?
    3) Should I winter-proof the rabbit hutch in any way?
    4) Should I put a curtain of some sort in the "doorway" between the little room and the wire section of the hutch to block the wind?
    5) Can they suffocate in a deep snow? If there is a bad snow should I plan on being up all night to shovel them out?

    Thanks for you help as always!
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    You will want to consider using bedding to cover all wire. Cold wire can give them frost bite. Grass hay works really well as they can snuggle down deep into it. Feet must be kept warm. Quail lose heat out the feet and can get frostbite easily. So warm feet mean warmer birds. I would cover the entire thing with a tarp at night to keep out ripping winds and snow. Wind is a killer. Sucks the heat right out of the birds. So do your best to enclose the front side at night. Doesn't have to be air tight, but you want to slow the air movement down around them. So any covering will do. I wouldn't bother trying to keep water from freezing at night, but during the day you can use heated water fonts specially for poultry or heated bases. I use heated dog water dishes and cut the sides completely off and leave the base with the electrical components, and then put a quart or gallon waterer on top of the base and water never freezes. A handful of birds can stay warm, but I wouldn't let too much snow build up around them. if it is deep enough, it could cut off their oxygen.
  3. sniper338

    sniper338 Songster

    Dec 15, 2013
    San Antonio, Texas
    I donno how cold it gets... but they are fine with snow on the grpund cold... like 25 snd up... you can just add a heat lamp in there for them and theyd be ok too... you just dont want wind blowing through the cage much... you can throw a little plywood hut together for them to go inside in the cage too... and everything two crows said... im in texas so it only gets down to 30 at the coldest for a few days and thats it... they are fine with that.. chicks on the other hand cant do that...

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