Winterizing the Quail

Quail, like chickens, are extremely hardy and don’t need heat lamps during the winter.  Last year, our temps got down as low as 12 degrees, and I wrote a whole blog post on keeping chickens happy and healthy through the winter, including links to people keeping them in far colder climes than mine.  Please, people, I know you love your chooks, but don’t heat your coops!  You’re harming them, not benefiting them.  Proper ventilation is what chickens need, to keep them comfortable and frostbite free.

Anyway, this post is about the quail.  They didn’t mind the cold at all last winter, but this year, I decided to try something new.

I filled their coops with straw.  A thick, deep layer of straw.

I know they like to burrow under things, so I figured they would love this.  They did.  They started making little tunnels and holes immediately.

It made me think of hobbit holes, so I added even more straw…on top of their little houses.  From the front of the coop, you can’t see the houses at all.

But when you walk around the coop and look in the back…

….yup, there it is.  Do you see little Nefertari in there?  They are happy quail.

The only one who was a little concerned by this was the male.  Cinna lost all this girls, and couldn’t see them anywhere!  He started panicking and doing the alarm call, the girls answered from under the straw, and he finally located them and all  was content again.

This is a test.  I don’t know if it will work out once the weather turns wet and nasty again.  The straw may get icky, and I’ll have to scoop it out – leaving just what’s inside the shelter of the houses, like I normally do.  We’ll see.

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5 responses to “Winterizing the Quail

  1. I find this idea with the straw excellent. All they need in winter is water and food that is not deep frozen and now they can lay on and under some warm straw 🙂

  2. Hi!
    So if i have the quails in hamster cages under a roof with two sides covered with tarp and some straw in their cage, they should be ok for the winter? Our nights get down to 10* F here. What if i have two cages with only one male in each? Will they be ok?
    Thanks

    • I don’t normally get temps quite that cold, but My understanding is that as long as they have protection from damp and wind, the cold itself is not an issue. Make sure the straw is thick enough so they can burrow into it – the single males especially will appreciate that. A couple years ago, I did have a few days of 12 degree weather, and they were fine. I was suffering, but they didn’t really seem to notice!

      • Ok. They seem to be ok till now and seevived a week now. Hopefuly it eont get colder. Changing their water every morning is a challange as how it freezes, but they seem to be doing ok. I put a few heat lamps up to some of the cages to keep some of the waters unfrozen and it most likely at least keeps the temp up a few degrees higher in there. 🙂 thanks for your input!

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