Being Prepared For Winter When Raising Quail
When raising quail and keeping a flock during the winter months. Some preparations will have to be made. Obviously it is best to have some type of quail house that keeps out the cold winter drafts. As you know from brooding the quail chicks, cold drafts can be a major enemy to raising quail.
If a quail house is not available then you will have to shelter your quail from the elements in another manner. You could build a small boxed in enclosure, in the quail’s pen, with just a big enough opening for them to enter and exit. This would help in giving your quail a place to covey and avoid the winds somewhat.
You should have a minimum of 15 to 20 quail per pen to create a covey for warmth. Also if you are not raising your quail in some type of quail house and have them on wire off of the ground. You will definitely want to at least take a tarp and drop it completely around the coops from floor level to the ground. It will help prevent drafts from coming up through the bottom of the cage. This is very important. On real cold windy days, it would be a good idea to cover the entire cage. Just make sure to allow for some ventilation.
You can also put a small wattage light bulbs in the quails covey area. This can offer them some help with warmth. I prefer a colored bulb enclosed, so they can’t come in contact with it.
Another problem with raising quail in the winter months, is water icing up. You will have to keep an eye on this, to make sure your quail always have water available. Never add anything to the water just to keep it from freezing, the additive would probably kill your quail.
Hay is usually a great winter bedding for warmth but would have to be changed at least on a weekly basis. As you should know, the problem dropping build up can cause. Should not be much of a problem in the winter but why take chances with your quail.
In the wild they covey in very thick brush and grass to avoid the elements the closest you can come to creating that type of environment the better your quail will do.
You have probably raised your quail from eggs and have been observing them ever since. If you have, then you should have some type of idea from their actions, if there is a problem. The quail have a way of telling you when they are under stress and need some type of attention. Learning how to read them is all part of raising quail.
So when preparing your quail for the cold winter months, use a lot of common sense and observation.
Give the quail cover from drafts, rain and snow. Make sure they have drinkable water not ice and enough quail in the same pen to create a covey. Giving the quail a little help with a man made heat source would also help.