Maintaining a flock of quails when winter is approaching can be daunting, particularly if this is your first winter as a quail farmer.
Can You Keep Quail Outside In Cold Weather? You can keep quails outside in cold weather, as they are hardy birds and can bear cold temperatures. A fully feathered quail can easily survive 14°F (-10°C) if kept outside. For comfort, you can cover up some parts of their enclosure to keep them safe.
Can I Keep Quails Outside In Cold Weather?
Keeping quails outside in cold weather as winter approaches is not as dangerous as people might think. Frankly put, quails are good survivors and can remain healthy in very cold weather.
When raising animals, whether as pets or to be harvested, you have to take a lot of factors into consideration for their comfort and survival.
While smaller birds tend to be more at risk of getting harmed by cold weather than larger birds, quails are a surprising exception. These birds can thrive in very cold temperatures and have been found to survive on nights that get as cold as -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-28.9 Celsius).
The tolerance to cold weather found in quails is especially remarkable because most birds will be very uncomfortable in weather below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius).
Once the weather starts getting cold, quails tend to huddle together, which helps them conserve heat.
To be safe, you can put some measures in place to ensure that your quails are not affected by the cold. Blocking out the sides of their enclosure from wind and providing them with an external heat source are both great ways, and they will be explored later in this article.
Also, the amount of tolerance that quails have to cold only develops when they are grown. Quails should not be exposed to cold weather until they are about five weeks old and fully feathered. If you hatch them in the winter, get them used gradually instead of moving them from a warm environment to freezing temperatures cold turkey.
You may be wondering: with so many varieties of quail, is there a single type that stands out among them as the best to resist cold weather?
When considering the difference in the quality of various quail breeds, the Coturnix quail stands out as the champion in every department. Not only is it very resistant to cold weather, but it is also the best type of quail to keep for eggs and meat.
How Can I Keep Quails Comfortable In Cold Weather?
You can keep quails comfortable in cold weather by shielding their enclosure from cold wind and placing a source of heat in their enclosure.
Even if quails can withstand cold weather without negative consequences, you should still try to make things as comfortable as possible for the birds. There are some steps you can take to improve the temperature in your quail’s enclosure, reducing the level of cold they face.
Shielding From Wind
The only thing worse than a cold day is a cold, windy day. When there is a lot of wind or breeze in areas where the temperature is low, the air movement will make the environment seem a lot colder than it is.
While your quails will likely be fine in regular cold weather, the presence of wind can increase how uncomfortable they feel. This makes it necessary for you to find a way to shield the quail’s enclosure from passing wind.
The simplest way to go about this is to cover up some sides of your quail’s enclosure. This is valid and necessary if the sides of your quail enclosure are made from wire netting, which is the recommended material for quail pens.
If the quail enclosure has a rectangular shape, you can cover up three sides of the enclosure with a material that wind cannot pass through. You should leave one of the sides open so that there will be enough ventilation for the birds.
The floor of your quail enclosure can also go a long way to determining how comfortable they will be during the winter. If the floor of the enclosure is natural ground, then you probably do not need to bother much.
However, if the floor is made of cement, it is another matter entirely. Cement tends to get very cold, meaning that your quail’s feet will be uncomfortable. That is why you need to put some bedding on the floor of the quail pen.
If you live in a part of the world where it gets extremely cold and goes well below freezing point, you should not keep the quails in a coop with a wire floor as it will give them frostbites, just like the cement floor might too.
The bedding can be made from various materials, but the most effective and common choice is wood shavings. The presence of wood shavings will prevent quails from directly touching the cold floor and conserve the warmth in the enclosure.
While quails can remain healthy and safe under freezing conditions, the state of their drinking water is another big challenge. Once the temperature drops below freezing point, you need to find a way to give them access to drinking water that isn’t frozen.
The best way to ensure that your quails have round-the-clock access to clean water that does not freeze is to use a heated poultry waterer (like this one on Amazon). This product has a simple design, and it can either be rechargeable or turned on when plugged into a power source.
There are several variations of heated waterers but their general function is to ensure that the water in your bird enclosure does not fall below freezing temperature and get frozen.
A general heat source in your quail pen is another great way to keep your quail feel comfortable. You can purchase a simple heat lamp, as there are many products made by manufacturers that are perfect for use with poultry.
As an alternative, you can purchase 100-watt light bulbs that will serve the purpose of providing heat to your quails. For effectiveness, you can place your heat source near or above your quails when they gather together in a huddle.
What Effect Does Cold Weather Have On Quails?
It is possible for winter to affect the number of eggs that quails produce. During winter, the duration of daylight reduces, and quails need around 14 hours of light to produce eggs.
Quails and other birds have hormones that cause them to lay eggs. These hormones are triggered when quails get exposed to at least 14 hours of light in a day.
The amount of daylight is low during the winter, which can affect egg production. However, you can substitute the lack of daylight by using an artificial source of light such as a light bulb, ensuring that egg production remains optimal.
Quails might eat more in the winter, as producing sufficient body heat requires extra energy.
Common sense and observance
When you have your own birds, it’s quite easy to get to know how they feel by observing them. Most likely, your quail be fine even in the lowest temperatures. If you live in a particularly cold climate, you can take some common-sense measures to give your birds some extra comfort.