When hot and humid temperatures arrive, shade is what the quail seek. Life outdoors early in the morning and late evening seems to be a more enjoyable time as they swarm the sanctuary.
Keeping cool is provided by using the shelter boxes. I love these and they’re easy to build. Mine are a basic style; you could do something fancier but after finding out they also enjoy sitting on top of the boxes it made sense to stay basic.
It’s important to move the boxes every 2 or 4 days so they’re always on new grass.
This time of year I change their water twice a day. When temperatures reach 85 plus I like to keep the water feeders in a shaded area. This is difficult because there are no nearby trees or shrubs.
A few weeks ago I built this open shelter for the purpose of water container shade; notice there is a feed dish underneath. Rain is headed our way and this open shelter also helps keep their food dry unless we get a major drench.
From Emu Shelter to Water Shade
This shelter was built quickly for the baby emus, they out grew it so I decided why not move it to the quail sanctuary.
Both of these structures need painting; I don’t normally leave things unfinished, I guess the rain has made me a little lazy. These shelters were made from reclaimed wood as we don’t let much go to waste around here.
You could freeze water and add it to their containers to help keep cool. I tend to remind myself that nobody in the wild freezes their water so providing shade is an adequate response.
Remember my goal is to raise these birds naturally, letting them use their instincts so I can release some back to nature. I realize my approach is a little different but the results are really fantastic.
This Bobwhite flock is moving towards the other end of the sanctuary, they’re seeking tall grass. The grass helps keep them cool during the day in conjunction with using the shelter boxes.
They’re about 8 and half weeks and larger than the Coturnix were at this age. They will be full grown in another 6 – 8 weeks. At that point we’ll thin out the males and enjoy a nice meal.
My Favorite Breed?
After observing these birds for the last eight weeks I’ve finally decided the Bobwhites are my favorite. This is because they’re active and their activity is stimulating.
The Coturnix are also fun just a little too domestic for my style. When I raised them on the ground they did amazing and really proved to be an awesome quail with great instincts.
Please understand, Bobwhite quail are more difficult to raise than the Coturnix. For this reason beginners should really begin their experience with the Coturnix because they’re hardier and you have the opportunity to learn as much as you can before stepping up.
Don’t forget I started with 103 Bobwhite chicks and when they went outside I was down to 75. It was frustrating because I’ve never experienced such a large life depart with any bird I’ve ever raised.
Keeping quail cool is just something we do here in the south to provide a happy flock.