So dumb me, I did not consider how hot it was a few weeks ago and kept my quail chicks inside the entire time. While it was great to learn how to prepare and care for a brooder, it was such a relief to read that due to the outside temperature in my area, it was hot enough for my quail to live outside. The only hitch was that we hadn’t built their hutch yet. Digging through our backyard shed, I found some leftover wood scraps from building our raised garden bed. I built the base by myself and Alex later helped me wrap cattle panels and poultry wire around the entire thing.
We decided, in order to keep our excitable dog from flushing the quail and causing absolute chaos, to use a kennel wire foldable fence that we purchased from Craigslist a few years back. We set this around the hutch and the dog has ignored it ever since. Fitted with ACV/water, their chick starter, a hay box and dust pan, our quail seem content in their new environment. The chicks snuggle up on the cold stone bases at the corners of the hutch during the day, hunker down in the hay at night, and dust themselves so much I’ve had to refill the pan several times. It actually rained on Sunday and I was so glad to have planned ahead and covered the top of the hutch with some recycled tarp. I hope to use the hutch later as a tractor or even a tiny transplant nursery after selling/dispatching our grown-up quail.
Our hutch has already undergone improvements. We raised it on stone blocks, reinforced some sagging wire in the middle with another board of wood, and had to shift the sand and hay trays around so they wouldn’t be flooded during the rain. While the tarp keeps the quail relatively dry, there are some spots that drip. It’s good that our quail are smart enough to move out of the wetness and seek the comfort of dry hay.
As always, be kind and tender to one another.