One of the most commonly asked questions in reference to raising quail is snake related. Everybody wants to know how to protect quail from snakes.
Many times before I can even answer I’m told it isn’t possible.
Before we go any further I do want to add that I haven’t had any problems with snakes in any of our quail habitats I’ve implemented.
The Snake Facts
Some snakes facts are important to begin with before we talk about prevention. First, snakes are cold blooded they can’t produce their own body heat; this means snakes like warm temperatures.
If you live in a warm climate similar to Texas then you need to be aware that snakes could visit; by taking simple precautions you can protect your quail.
Snakes normally travel through tall grass to find their next resting place. They’re looking for places to hide, stay warm and find food.
I run into a snake about once a year and normally it’s during the spring and fall when temperatures fluctuate.
The Coturnix Quail
The coturnix coop is located in our largest pasture. This is also where at least one type of guard animal roams on a weekly basis. We rotate between the llama, emus and dogs; guard animals are a positive detour for snakes.
Our dogs are the most effective because they’re constantly roaming the farm looking for something or someone to run off.
Look inside this quail run; notice there isn’t an extreme amount of tall grass. This is because the main grass in this space is Bermuda; this blend grows slower and outward over traditional spring grass.
Inside the coop when the grass reaches a foot I normally cut an interior walk path with the mower. This allows a place for me to walk when it’s time to can change out food and water.
Keeping Snakes Out
The trick to keeping snakes out is making sure the grass is kept low on the outside of the coop. I mow a wide walk path right up to the coop walls.
Normally our animals keep this grass mowed but during the spring the grass grows fast so I fill in by mowing walk paths.
Another tip is to gather eggs on a daily basis.
If snakes are a huge concern you could also go with a smaller wire. I used chicken wire because I want bugs to jump inside for the quail to eat. If this isn’t something of interest then a smaller wire would be good snake prevention.
By keeping the grass low I haven’t experienced any snakes in the coturnix quail coop.
On the other side of our farm we have a Bobwhite quail sanctuary. When the spring grass is growing these quail are thrilled, can you see them peaking through?
Some of this grass has reached a foot high so in about another week I’ll be going inside creating interior walk paths.
I’ve marked off a undisturbed 16 x 24 square foot space so when I’m cutting they will travel to the end of the sanctuary. They spend most of their time in the far end because tall grass is calming to quail.
These houses are placed in the marked off area. I no longer walk, feed or water here, its’ my hope they will lay their eggs at this end and hatch naturally.
Keeping Snakes Out Here
Keeping snakes out in the bobwhite pasture is handled the same way as I do with the coturnix.
This coop is connected between a pasture and my garden so I mow another wide walk path around the exterior.
The farm animals take care of the rest.
This sanctuary is unique in that the guard animals can only interact with it from two sides. The other two side are connected to my garden area. Point being I’ve never had an issue here and my dogs rarely come in here because my garden is fenced off.
When the dogs are allowed in here, Dixie our coon hound rolls around attracting new scents and leaving hers behind. Occasionally she stops, looks at the sanctuary and just wishes she could taste one of those birds.
She does a lot of farm dreaming but overall an amazing guard dog.
Protecting quail from snakes is a matter of keeping the grass low around the home base, just like we do with our own homes.
A common sense approach and a few guard animals and these birds continue to live a happy life.