(Yet another) Beginner's questions:


10 Years
Jun 7, 2009
Beaver Co, PA
I've been lurking for a few weeks, so here's my first post here.

I've been thinking about/researching raising coturnix quail for awhile, and thankfully I found this place, which has managed to answer so many of my questions. But I had a few more still, so I thought I'd try to get more definitive answers (maybe please?)

I'd probably be looking at starting out with a fairly small backyard flock, like 30ish (or so I say now, we'll see how the number changes once I get started
I was thinking of building or modifying a rabbit hutch-style enclosure with 2 seperate segments, each with their own open and sheltered areas. (There's a local guy on craigslist with one I'm looking at, pending more info/pics on its specifications).

So, to the questions:

1. Our winters aren't terribly harsh. On average our lows are in the teens to twenties, though we do usually have at least one or two stretches where we might dip to the negatives. And snow-wise it's rarely excessive (at least compared to my college years experiece of western NY). How much protection would i need for them in the winter? From what I've read in the chicken forums, for them, dryness is far more important than the temp. So assuming the sheltered portion of the enclosure is ventilated, and the whole thing positioned out of harshest of the weather, would just say, tarping the enclosure in the worst of the cold/snow (like I've seen on Monarc's exhaustive (and excellent!) education-time post) work? How about water? Would I need something like a heated waterer? Should I have water and food both inside the sheltered area, as well as outside? (i'm sorry this is like 5 questions in one)

2. Related to the previous, should I therefore, plan my birds-to-enclosure ratio more on the sheltered part of the pen, since they might spend more time in there in the winter? Or will they spend significant time out in the open when its cold (say 25-30ish degrees), but calm/nice out?

3. I'd be raising primarily for eggs and meat, so, assuming I don't decide to increase my flock numbers, would it make more sense to allow there to be some breeding, to produce fertile eggs, or to just keep them segregated, and purchase more eggs as necessary? (secondary, if I were to breed, I assume I'd need to occasionally bring in new stock, to keep the genetics diverse enough)

4. What's the likelyhood, given a sheltered area, with bedding, the hens would end up laying in it? I've read comments to the fact that they do, and also that they simply lay wherever they are, regardless of the location. Any successes with something like a nesting box?

5. What's one thing you wish you had known, or thought to ask about, before raising quail?

Thanks in advance for anyone who takes the time to answer any questions.
Sorry if I'm a bit wordy. I tend to have problems producing sentences without a significant number of clauses and superfluous wording.

This seems like such an amazing community, and I hope to become more of a part of it. I'm excited to take the jump!!

But now I've got to go cheer on my other favorite birds (Penguins) to keep the dream alive.
Lol ok, Nikki, trying again...

Hi I'm Saddi, I live in a desert, the last time I saw snow it was in a videogame, and I said "look the designers forgot to color the ground".
If you ever need to know about misters or evaporative cooling, I can answer that.

Once you get an incubator set up, it's more effective to hatch your own, as the post office isn't always paying attention to the word "fragile" ("Fragilie? must be italian!).

I can't even get a chicken to lay in the designated spot, I'm no help there.
*stage whisper* when I said i couldn't add anything to answer his questions I meant it.

And yes hubby (and friends) laughed of days about the "uncolored ground", I also suggested the TV was going out, ot the playstation was on the fritz, I spent like 3 minutes trying to figure it out.
would you two quit chatting!

One thing I can add is my answer to question #5.

Texas A&M's are nuts! They freak out no matter what you do.

(I'll let you know next week when I eat them if it is worth it. (it's my first round at this quail thing too.

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