The Quail Brooder
Oh boy, guys… I’m a little over my head. I thought I knew what I was doing in raising these quail, but now I have more questions than answers. I’ve been sifting through super old threads regarding the best brooder set-up for quail. I initially thought that my knowledge regarding raising chickens would easily cover quail care.
Well, okay, some things are the same. The quail chicks need to be in a container big enough to hold, in my case, 20 quail without overcrowding. The bottom is lined with some type of bedding. We’ve got straw bedding. I went ahead and purchased the same chick starter the farmer gave these chicks initially. I dragged my husband to the Tractor Supply to get a heat lamp, the chick starter and bedding, and some strangely on clearance waterers. I got super worried when purchasing these waterers that I was cutting a corner in raising these quail. Maybe I really did need to buy that $30 waterer?
Upon getting home, I did a quick Google search to see if quail needed more than just chick starter. So far, the threads indicate that the chick starter just needs to be ground up into a finer crumble. I suppose as is, the crumbles are too big for the little ones to eat. I put a splash of apple cider vinegar in their water to kill off algae and give the chicks a little boost. This is the same method Justin Rhodes uses to start his chicks off. According to Garden Up Green, ACV in quail water can:
- Improve feather growth
- Prevents fecal odors
- Expels parasitic worms
- Prevents water container algae
The benefits of ACV have been studied in boosting the health of poultry and currently, the results are mixed. Some studies indicate that ACV reduces the number of bacteria, such as salmonella, in poultry. Others indicate that there are no benefits. So far the one capful of ACV the chicks get is doing no harm. I also switch out the ACV/water mix with fresh water every now and then. I also gave the chicks an option of two different feeds for the first week: one-day soaked feed and dry feed. The chicks ate the soaked feed vigorously and paid very little attention to the bigger feeder with the dry crumble. Unfortunately, I lost track of the soaking and wasted a good amount of feed. Thoroughly discouraged, I decided to stick with dry feed so as to not forget and waste more feed.
So far the chicks are thriving. Outside of one sickly one that died the first day, the other chicks have grown so much. The tiniest one, nicknamed Smols, is holding up well against his twice as big bro Biggie. The chicks are lively and take off like feathered rocks to try and escape the brooder. One of them got enough air that it landed right at my feet. I quickly got some hardware cloth and covered the top so as to deter any more aspiring escape artists. The brooder is located in our bathroom behind a closed door to keep the warmth of the lamp in. While it is hot enough that the chicks can live outside, I haven’t built their hutch yet and I’m super worried they’ll be eaten up. They’re still so tiny. So, I just have to deal with a hot bathroom.
Are you raising quail? What were some problems you faced? Or successes? I would love to hear from you! As always, be kind and tender to one another.
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