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Old 04-04-2007, 09:36 PM
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Default Cold weather and Quail?

With the cold nights coming in for the next few days, will my Texas A&M quail be alright outside? I have 17 of them in a 3 feet by 2 feet enclosure.

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Old 04-05-2007, 09:32 AM
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They should be alright if they are healthy, but it would probably be a good idea to cover them up. The winds we've been getting will be really hard on them if they are out in the open.
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:48 AM
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Will do, thanks for the info.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:01 PM
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When it gets below freezing Sat & Sun I'd put a single 100 watt bare light bulb in the pen with a covering. It'll keep the temps above freezing and they should be good to go.

From the looks of your cage you could put the light (any mechanics drop cord light will do) under the birds and let the heat rise.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:11 PM
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I was told by the breeder I bought them from to keep light on them for 16 hours to get them to lay eggs. Will putting a light over them or under them overnight mess up their cycle? Do you suggest maybe a red or black bulb?

thanks. any info would be great!
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:01 AM
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I was told by the breeder I bought them from to keep light on them for 16 hours to get them to lay eggs. Will putting a light over them or under them overnight mess up their cycle? Do you suggest maybe a red or black bulb?

thanks. any info would be great!
If you're worried about messing up the laying cycle then go with one of those inexpensive little space heaters you can buy from Wally World. Putting a white bulb on them will throw them off but only for one cycle. A colored bulb will not keep them from freezing. They don't generate enough heat unless you go with one of those heat lamp bulbs. Never used one of those before. The 100 watt bulb is the same principle you use for a well pump in the winter. It keeps the temps right above freezing. If you do decide to use a bulb I'd put it below them. You'll find them huddled above it in the morning so place it where they have the room to bunch up. Just make sure you cover the cage all the way to the ground. A little space heater gives more coverage. If you use a heater then make sure you place it on a good platform like a concrete stepping stone or something equally as stable and above the ground. Normally you wouldn't have to worry with all this but with the heat we've already had they may be not be ready for an artic blast again. Either way you go they'll be just fine.

Great looking bunch of birds. I've never raised white quail but I'm sure they have the same tendencies as bobwhites. Aggie birds eh? Go Dawgs!
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:30 AM
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Looking at the temps in the 20's the next two nights you will definitely either need a heater or to bring them inside. It looks like by tuesday it will have warmed back up.
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:35 AM
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If I put a bulb under the cage what if they poop on the bulb when its hot, will it bust the bulb?
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:30 PM
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If I put a bulb under the cage what if they poop on the bulb when its hot, will it bust the bulb?
Heh! That's why I mention the mechanics drop cord! We always used to put a small piece of plywood directly above the bulb. But that was only for the stand alone exposed pens. The bulk of our birds were in a coup and protected from the weather. We used an oil fired heater back then for the main coup.

Ruh-roh, I feel a story coming on! Ha!

We raised about 1000-1200 bobwhites when I was a kid. The Old Man was a foreman on a Cajun lumberjack crew. He was gone back in the bayous cutting swamp oaks, cypress, et al when we had a cold snap like this one coming up. I covered the exposed pens but lost about 200 birds. About half of what we had in the stand alones. The cold was about 10 degrees colder than we're looking at and it lasted a week instead of just a couple of days. When he got home he told me it was alright and not my fault but I'll never forget the look of disappointment on his face. Those birds were my responsibility when he was gone. I forgot to run the light string under the pens. I had the oil fired running OK in the coup but just flat forgot about the light string. I was 9 years old. Of course a lot of the birds weren't mature and they weren't hardy enough yet to handle that much cold after it being so hot but I'll never forget that as long as I live. Papa used to raise and train German Shorthairs for the fat cats in town and he used the birds for that purpose plus he sold a bunch to other trainers and sportsmen. He ran out of birds that season and it cost us a few bucks.

The Old Man used to raid wild bobwhite nests and incubate the eggs in some homemade incubators he built. Only man I knew that could raise stock from wild birds but then I was young, he was my hero, and I thought he could walk on water! You should've seen what he could do with a bee tree!
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Old 04-07-2007, 11:13 AM
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Great story, 1000+ birds to take care of... wow, i'm trying 17

I tried the idea of putting a bulb inside. I used a black light bulb that I used for my old snake for basting. Although it was warm, they didn't like it and all slept in a bundle on the other side of the cage. I will try a 100W light bulb tonight.

All 17 seem to be doing quite well eating and drinking as usual this morning.

By the way, all the quail (Male and Female) look the same, I was told from the breeder that there were 12 females, 3 males and 2 extra birds thrown in "in case" something happened. I was trying to get colony breeding set up with a ratio of 1 male to 4 females, but how do i make sure of their sex?
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Old 04-07-2007, 03:09 PM
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Don't worry if you want to hang a bulb above them. Just put it close enough that they can draw the heat. Underneath is better though.

Frankly I have absolutely no clue how to tell a male and female apart with those white quail. I'm sure there has to be some distinctive markings that will tell but I have no experience with them. Bobwhites are simple due to their color markings and the male having the black bands that show up even as chicks. I'll bet there is a difference in color on either the beak, eyes, or throat though. Your breeder should be able to tell you and when you find out post back. Got me curious now. Heh!

What are the advantages to A&M quail over Bobwhites? Growth? Breeding? Female to male ratio? I may have to do some reading. They are definitely interesting.
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Old 04-08-2007, 08:50 AM
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What are the advantages to A&M quail over Bobwhites? Growth? Breeding? Female to male ratio? I may have to do some reading. They are definitely interesting.
I did a little research before I got them. These are a Cortunix breed. They supposedly eat a few times more than bobwhites and are a heavier breed of white meat bird developed for dining and not so much for sport. The white color is like the mass produced white color of chickens or turkeys (easier plucked and hard to notice a stray feather) and start to breed at 6 Weeks if given proper lighting (breeders say 14-16 hours). As far as ratio, I have heard everything from 5 males to 6 females (no more than 25 in a cage) to 1 male to 4 females.

Interesting site about their development at Texas A&M.
http://agnews.tamu.edu/dailynews/sto...C/Mar0905a.htm

I guess the 100W light trick worked, All my birds are still alive after the deep chill of last night

No eggs yet. I just traded 12 of my texas A&M for 10 female brown Cortunix and bought 10 more females (I really like the brown birds once I saw them). I am going to try and breed the white males with the brown females. I now have a ratio of 1 male for every 4 females in my colony breeding cage. It'll still be about 2-3 weeks before any breeding can occur; the females I got were 4 weeks of age.
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