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More on Brooding

Learn more about brooding game birds

Instructions for building a small brooder



Brooding Gamebirds



Perhaps one of the most important stages of a chicks development, and one of the most overlooked elements, is the brooding of the new born quail.

When chicks are removed from the incubator they must be have an area which is warm and dry.  This area is regarded as a 'Brooder'.  A brooder should have an area that is heated to 100 degrees to allow chicks to stay warm. The brooder must also provide a source of water and food.

Floor Brooders:  A common method of brooding quail is with a floor brooder. 
GQF Battery Style BrooderThis is typically only used with large numbers of quail.  When using this method an area of the floor is sectioned off using 18" border to confine the chicks. As the young quail grow, the border area can be expanded to allow the chicks to move about the entire room freely.  One major disadvantage to Floor Brooders is the danger of a DRAFT.  Special caution should be used to eliminate the opportunity of a draft in your brooder area.  Drafts will cause chicks to chill - making them sick - often causing death.

Box Type Brooders:  The most common type of brooder used for raising quail chicks are Box Type Brooders.  These brooders can be made of plywood, sturdy sheet metal or even an aquarium.  A source of heat can be provided by a heat lamp or custom heating element with a thermostat.  Box Type Brooders are much more effective at controlling heat and are much easier to keep clean.  When considering a material for the bottom of the brooder,  ensure that only material is used that will allow adequate traction for the young quail to walk on.  DO NOT use materials that are slippery, such as, newspaper.

Earnest Dickey Brooder(15323 bytes)Food and Water:  Commercial feeds are available from local farm feed stores. When preparing feed for young quail - it is important to grind the feed to a smooth, fine texture. This will allow the quail to consume the feed without choking on large pieces.

Temperature:  As the young quail develop and grow - it is necessary to reduce the temperature in the brooder each week.  A rule of thumb is to reduce the temperature 5 degrees each week.  Coturnix quail mature at 6 weeks, so temperature can be reduced faster than for Bobwhite quail.


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