On our way back from Enchanted Rock last Friday we picked up 14 quail chicks from a breeder in Dripping Springs.

14  1-2 week old Coturix quail. Coturix are predominantly brown but occasionally you’ll get a white one. Texas A&M has bred an all white variety. 

They’re pretty tiny but well on their way to getting their feathers

We put them directly into the quail tractor and quickly realized a fault in our design. The feeding holes are too big for young birds. A couple of over eager chicks crawled right into the food hopper and couldn’t figure out how to get back out again.

After extricating the wayward chicks we taped up the feeding holes until we could come up with a better solution or the quail grew into them.

Quail moved into the tractor.

Testing out the watering system.

You fill up the blue coffee can with water. When the birds want to drink they tap the metal nipple and it dispenses a few drops of water.

Until the quail don’t need a heat lamp anymore (5-7 weeks) we’ll keep them on our balcony. I’ve installed the watering system but left the old water trough as a back up until the birds get used to using the watering nipples. I also rigged up a stand to hold the heat lamp.

I installed a small incandescent bulb (colored red with a marker) to provide a little warmth during the day. Our solution to the overlarge feeding holes was to cut small holes into small scraps of cardboard and pin the cardboard over the feeding holes.

Birds using the watering nipples.

We put some trays of dirt into the tractor that the quail seem to enjoy wallowing around in.