An Introduction to Product Reviews

“Oh shit, he’s gonna push products on us now….LOL”.  No.  If you’ve seen my posts, I really haven’t “pushed” anything.  If I have a product link in a post to Amazon, yeah it’s an affiliate link.  And you don’t pay any more for it if you decide to click and buy this item than you would if you found it yourself, so why not?  Every penny helps support the birds.

I will not post a product review of ANYTHING that I have not tried and used myself.  If I try something that is garbage, I’ll share that too.

And a lot of this won’t even be quail related, but my guess is that anyone raising quail for meat and eggs will understand.

If you are like me, you are prepared for sudden losses of power, communication, food distribution, etc. – like from a hurricane, an ice storm, a tornado, an earthquake, a forest fire, etc.  We all live in areas that are vulnerable to some sort of short term (and maybe long term) disturbances that can make life difficult or at least uncomfortable.

If you are not prepared for these things, you should be.  I’m not talking about building an underground bunker that can withstand an EMP blowing up the entire power grid of the United States, a global pandemic killing 90% of the population or storing 20 years worth of MREs.  That crap is for the “Doomsday Prepper” bullshit reality shows on TV.  What garbage!

Look.  I live at high elevation in the mountains and have had 7 foot snowstorms that socked me into my house for 7 days with no chance of getting anywhere on foot or by vehicle and -50 (50 below zero  F) spells that last for days.  It’s September right now and I have been going crazy building my firewood stack so I am SURE that we have enough wood to get through the winter comfortably.  And by “comfortably” I mean that we have more than we need, just in case.

Does that mean that I’m a “crazy prepper”?  I think not.  It means that I am a responsible husband and father that wants to ensure that his family is safe and comfortable.

Being prepared for other things just in case of an emergency is vital as well.

Anyway, I’m rambling.  I just thought that I’d show you guys some things that I am using around our place to make our lives easier and some “just in case” products.  Some quail stuff too.

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Winter Lighting for Your Quail

It’s late September as I write this.  As winter approaches, daylight gets shorter and shorter every day.  If you want your coturnix quail to continue laying eggs reliably throughout the winter, you will have to provide them some supplemental lighting.

This isn’t complicated, though some think that it is.  I simply string some white LED Christmas lights around the quail cages and set them on a timer so they come on a little before sunset.  The timer is set so the quail get a total of 16 hours of light a day.  That’s it.

For example:  If sunrise it at 7:00AM and sunset is at 8:00PM, that’s 13 hours of daylight.  So set your timer to give the birds an extra 3 hours of light: have it come on at 7:30PM (just before sunset) and go off at 11:00PM.  Roughly adjust the timer over the weeks and months as sunrise/sunset changes.  It doesn’t have to be exact or to the minute.  “About” 16 hours a day will be fine.

I have read some folks that claim that a certain light spectrum is necessary to keep the quail healthy and producing quality eggs – I don’t think so.  Not for the small homesteader anyway.  My birds give me awesome quality eggs all year and I use cheap LED Christmas lights that I bought at Walmart.  And my birds seem as happy as can be.

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Heat for Quail in the Winter Months?

It’s mid-September here in Colorado and Evan K., a subscriber of my YouTube channel, recently asked:  “How cold does it get where you live? Have you had any problems with the watering system freezing?”

Excellent question!  I live at 9,000 feet elevation in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado – it gets REALLY COLD up here in the winter.  I’ve been up here for 16+ years and the coldest I’ve seen it was about 50 below zero (F).  It doesn’t get that cold very often but below zero temps are common in the dead of winter.

So how do I keep the quail water system from freezing – and the eggs too?  It’s pretty simple.

I use a “Thermo Cube“.
thermo-cube

It’s simply an outlet that turns power on at 35F and turns power off at 45F.  I plug a small space heater into the Thermo Cube and turn it on HIGH.  When the air temperature gets down to 35F the Thermo Cube turns the heater on.  When the air temperature gets up to 45F the Thermo Cube shuts it down.  Simple and efficient.

This keeps the temperature of my quail house (a 10′ x 12′ insulated shed) about a balmy 40 degrees F all the time and prevents the freezing of their entire watering system and their eggs.

The Thermo Cube is only $11 at Amazon with free shipping with Prime, so it really will pay for itself by cutting down on energy usage in no time.

Without the Thermo Cube regulating the temperature of the quail house the eggs might freeze before I get home from work, so I really like this little unit.

One other note.  Coturnix quail do not need to be “warm” to lay eggs or survive in a healthy way.  Different varieties of quail survive in the wild in cold climates all over the earth and do just fine.  If you want them to produce eggs all year, it’s not heat that you should be thinking about – it’s light.  Check out my post on Supplemental Lighting for more on that..

However, if you decide to keep your birds warm all the time, you need to ensure that they stay warm because they won’t grow their “winter feathers” when it gets cold outside.  This is important.

If you keep your quail at 70F all the time because they are your pets and you feel bad for them you probably aren’t doing them any favors.  If the power goes out for 3 days due to an ice storm and it’s 20F outside, your birds will suffer badly or die due to the fact that they have not become accustomed to cold temperatures.  So plan ahead to take care of your birds in the event of a power outage or emergency.

For example, my emergency plan is to simply put all of my birds into big plastic storage bins and bring them into the house until the emergency has passed.  Have a few big bins, feeders and waterers around just in case.

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