Wintering Quail in Coop (Canada) - Questions

Quailsong

Songster
6 Years
Apr 20, 2013
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158
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Hello all!

I've a few questions for you experienced quail keepers, esp ones living in colder climates. I'll be getting cot quail at my new house. First time quailing, although I kept chickens as a kid so I know the basics fairly well.

The winters in the area I'm moving to would get down to -30C. I will have them in a large insulated shed in separate cages per pair/packs. (The other half of the shed will be a greenhouse). I will have a heat lamp for them at the least, windows for extra light in winter, and lots of ventilation (although not enough to make drafts). I know quail are hardy, esp cots. But I want to make sure I got everything ready with this new set-up.

  1. What is the lowest safe temp they can take on before it's too much?
  2. Will one heat lamp work or will I need more?
  3. What about watering? I want to have 3-5 mini pens inside the coop (off the ground level) so regular nipple waterers or dishes might freeze solid.
  4. What extra things do you add at winter time? (ie, thicker bedding, blankets or whatnot over the cages?)

If you can answer even just one of these things (esp with pictures or links - I'm very visual based) it would help tremendously. Thank you very much for reading, and hopefully, replying!
 

laseterlass

Songster
8 Years
May 13, 2011
1,193
58
178
Anchorage Alaska
Mine were on deep litter in a fabric greenhouse in Anchorage Alaska last winter. I turned on a radiator if it fell below 0 F the water in the deep litter did not freeze solid till 10 degrees.
 

ylly

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 21, 2013
82
0
84
I keep my quails in a larger groups in breeders pens outside with know problem at all. Valley,s gambels bobs, etc.they are extremely hardy birds.
 

ylly

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 21, 2013
82
0
84
I use steel dog bowls for water once a day and knock the frozen water out and refill.
 

TwoCrows

🌻🐣🌻
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,951
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New Mexico, USA
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I know New Mexico does not send up any alarms for being a cold state, LOL, but let me tell you, up here at 7,000 feet, we see our share of minus zero temps. A couple years ago we had a wicked arctic front come down and stick around for 3 days. Our nighttime temps were in the -28 to -32 F degree range. Our day time highs never got above -15. I only had Bobwhites at the time, however everyone of them made it thru.

I keep my birds in an aviary which has an attached greenhouse where they can enter into a quite large rabbit hutch inside the greenhouse. I had to run three 250 watt brooder lamps, one on the water and two on the rabbit hutch itself. It brought the temp up about 10 degrees warmer than the outside air closest to the lamps. The lights ran 24 hours a day for 3 days. The birds never left their coop to go outside and stayed huddled in front of the brooder lamps all the time. But they did survive. We regularly see -10 on many winter nights as the norm.

As long as you provide a shelter that is completely wind free, has a solid floor with some sort of bedding to snuggle into, solid walls and ceiling to block all rain and snow, quail can survive sub zero temps. I do not add any heat unless it is below -10 and going to stay that way for sometime. Now, if you have young, old or sick quail, they may not survive these types of temps. Only well adjusted adults can take such brutal temperatures.
 
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Quailsong

Songster
6 Years
Apr 20, 2013
741
81
158
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Thanks everyone for the tips!

I'm sure I could do once a day visits to the coop in -30C weather, but not sure if I could manage two or more visits. My health is improving but I still can't take super cold weather yet. So letting the water dish freeze is something I do not want.

There will be a few different off-ground pens in the one coop room, so I'll need to figure out water for each. Aren't quail susceptible to drowning in big bowls? Has anyone tried an Under the Tank heater mats for reptiles? I'm considering it as I use it for my terrariums and it works quite well to keep the cold away. I'd imagine one could set one of those under a sheet of glass right under the water dish, or another area nearby if the birds want a hot spot.

TwoCrows, that sounds very similar to what I'll be having with my coop-greenhouse-run. It will be insulated throughout, w/ double pane windows and vents (still need to find good examples) but hoping to make it so that doesn't create a breeze. We can easily have -15 to -30C weather for 2-3 months so I've got to think super long term here. Making lists as I go!
 

TwoCrows

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BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,951
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New Mexico, USA
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You can buy heated poultry water bases. They turn on only when the temp gets below 32 degrees. I hear they work well. Also heated dog water dishes will work. You might even look into those heated rocks for reptiles. Just so you don't have to brave the -30 temp! It is brutal on the bones for sure. :)
 
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Quailsong

Songster
6 Years
Apr 20, 2013
741
81
158
.
You can buy heated poultry water bases. They turn on only when the temp gets below 32 degrees. I hear they work well. Also heated dog water dishes will work. You might even look into those heated rocks for reptiles. Just so you don't have to brave the -30 temp! It is brutal on the bones for sure. :)
Thank you very much! I'm taking a bunch of notes here. I'll definitely consider all my options.

And yeah braving the cold is going to be a big one for me. My health hasn't been too good in previous years, but I'm hoping quail-raising will improve that (more exercise + healthy eggs!)^^
 

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