Check out my new book!

“A Publishers Weekly top ten pick!”

Raising Quail for Eggs: The Perfect Solution for Urban Homesteaders

May contain affiliate links. Please see my privacy policy and affiliate disclosure.

Raising Coturnix quail for quail eggs and/or quail meat is a viable option for small homesteads and urban situations.

You might be interested in the idea of raising pigeons for meat, too.

coturnix quail sitting on a basket of quail eggs

How to raise quail indoors or as backyard quail

I raise chickens for eggs, but I run across so many people who lament that they can’t. Homeowner Association regulations, city ordinances, or quite simply a lack of space confounds many who would like to gather fresh eggs daily.

When I started poking around for alternative ideas for my urban friends, I found a couple of sites dedicated to (or at least tackling) the idea of raising quail indoors.

Jessi from Epic Quailblog and Marcy from High Lonesome Homestead were both kind enough to answer some questions for me about raising Coturnix quail for eggs. Marcy is a busy homeschooler and homesteader and offered very brief answers; Jessi went into some serious detail.

There is a ton of information included here! Use the links below to jump to the answer to your specific question about raising quail.

Keeping quail indoors

Note: for the purposes of this interview, “quail” will refer to Jumbo Japanese or Coturnix quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). Other species of quail have different requirements.

AS: Is raising quail really feasible in an indoor setting? What about odor? Are there other issues to consider?

EQ: Quail can certainly be kept indoors in small numbers. They do inevitably have some degree of odor, however.

A spare room, basement, porch, or garage is an ideal space for small quail setups. Ventilation is a key factor for all indoor setups. A ventilation fan that sucks air out of the room, like a ceiling bathroom fan, will remove most of the odor. Somewhere in the room should be a vent or window that opens to the outside for fresh air to come in and replace the stale air being removed.

It is important for the birds to have fresh air. Poor ventilation can lead to respiratory disorders. Note, however, that very young quail up to three weeks of age must be in a draft-free environment to prevent chills and illness as they cannot regulate their own body temperature until they are fully feathered.

quail chicks from above

Where to situate your Coturnix quail

Other factors to consider when raising quail include noise, pests, predators, and the mess factor. Male Coturnix quail do have a raucous call that they use to claim territory and attract females. It is nowhere near as loud as the crow of a rooster, but as soon as the sun comes up they will begin to “sing.”

Having your quail setup right under your master bedroom might not be the best idea. Females can also chirp loudly, and when active, quail running around on a wire floor can sound like a miniature stampede.

Overall, though, they are quiet birds compared to most poultry and game birds. This is one of the reasons they are well suited for suburban living. When I was in university I kept Coturnix quail in my 9’x12’ dorm room on the second floor, and nobody knew about it!

Having feed around has the potential to attract pests like rodents and insects. Keeping your feed in tight containers and keeping cages clean will help keep pests at bay. Also, make sure any windows open to the outside have metal screen or hardware cloth over them.

Quail Eggs: A small space solution

Most cats and dogs and even ferrets will readily go after quail if they have the chance. If you share your house with pets, keep [the quail] in an area that is pet-proof. Even if a cat or dog cannot get into the cage, their presence may frighten the birds to the point where they quit laying, cause themselves injury or death, or suffer from stress-induced ailments like diarrhea or malnutrition.

Coturnix quail housing: Keeping it clean

Anyone who has ever had a budgie or two as a pet knows that birds can make a mess. Quail are no different. Their feathers create a fair amount of dander and dust that can cause allergies and sensitivity over time.

Keeping the quail room well dusted and vacuumed and well-ventilated will cut down on allergens. Quail like to sand-bathe and can be messy eaters, so you are inevitably going to have some mess to clean up some of the time. Carpeting in the quail room is not the easiest to clean. Linoleum or a treated concrete floor is best because it can be easily swept and washed.

Manure that is left to pile up for a long time can grow mold, which can cause a condition in humans called histoplasmosis.

With a basic regime of vacuuming and dusting, though, they are kept clean quite easily.

Dealing with quail manure

AS: How do you handle the quail poop situation? And how frequently?

EQ: When quail are kept on a wire floor, the droppings fall through onto a paper lining. I change the lining every 24 hours to reduce smell and keep things clean. Poop will stick to the wire sometimes and when I change birds out, I scrape the wire floor with a wire brush to get most of it off.

If you have you’re raising backyard quail outdoors, you can rake up the droppings and compost them to make excellent fertilizer – but be sure to age it well as quail poop is very high in nitrogen.

In an indoor setting, changing the linings and feeding the birds takes me about 20 minutes each night.

HLH reiterates: Keep it clean – no rats, no mice, no flies, no odor.

Quail Eggs: A small space solution

RelatedSprouting Grain for Livestock and Poultry

Housing for Coturnix quail

AS: Let’s talk about space requirements and cages. One of the pictures I saw on the Epic Quailblog looks like a two-tier system that fits into the space of a closet! How many birds would that house?

EQ: The short answer I give to this question is usually one square foot per bird, minimum – but more is better. Most quail enthusiasts will agree that Coturnix quail require anywhere from 0.5 to 1.0 square foot of space in a wire-floored environment. For mature birds I like them to have at least one square foot per bird. Younger birds can be housed in tighter quarters as they grow for a couple of reasons – they are smaller, of course, and they are not sexually mature.

The amount of space required also depends on your male-female ratio. Males can be territorial at times and the fewer hens they have to share, the more aggressive they become.

coturnix quail

Breeding quail

For breeding purposes, it is usually recommended that one keeps no more than five hens for every rooster, otherwise egg fertility will fall. At ratios of two or three hens per rooster, however, more fighting will occur and the hens will become more raggedy and more space is needed to reduce conflict.

The cages I have recently set up are 24 inches wide by 74 inches long, which is roughly 12 square feet.

Ideally I could keep ten hens and two roosters in each one at maturity. I could probably double that number if the birds were between 3-5 weeks of age, but as soon as the roosters start to crow, I separate them into their own cage because I do not want them to beat up the hens.

Males become sexually active about a week or so before the females, and when they are young and full of hormones they can be quite rough on the hens and on each other. The roosters in their own cage usually have to be butchered by six or seven weeks of age because they become sexually frustrated and aggressive with one another. Hens live in peace together much more easily.

Raising Quail for Eggs: The Perfect Solution for Urban Homesteaders

Best sizes for flocks of quail

For people interested in breeding and more intensive selection of their stock, it is not uncommon to keep quail in trios or quads – that is, one male for every two or three females, but in their own separate cage. This ensures that the males have nobody to compete with and do not fight, and the parentage of the chicks is more easily controlled.

If keeping with the one square foot per bird model, a trio of birds can be kept in an 18”x24” cage. I have seen birds kept this way in 12”x18” cages as well without a problem, but I have my own standard.

One of those reasons I like raising quail myself is to provide them with as comfortable a life as I can. I prefer to keep my birds in small groups of half a dozen or more with more room to run and move around.

 

Keeping quail on wire-bottomed floors

Six quail in a six square foot space can create a fair amount of waste in 24 hours. I have kept small numbers of quail on solid floors with shavings as litter, but they require more space and the cleaning is a bit more intense.

Cotrunix quail left to stand in their manure will begin to eat it, which contributes to the spread of disease and parasites. Another thing is the fact that quail are not the best at using a nest box, and you might find yourself doing an Easter egg hunt every day trying to find your eggs.

One of the benefits to keeping quail on shavings is that although it is more work to clean, the shavings absorb and redistribute moisture and so the manure dries and loses its smell quickly.

I would not recommend keeping a number of Coturnix quail on litter in the house, but if you have a garden shed or an old greenhouse, it might be something you want to try. Quail in small numbers are great for keeping insects down in a greenhouse and add some fertilizer here and there too.

HLH: The  minimum for growing out [meat birds] is one square foot per bird. The layers can be more concentrated in a smaller cage.

Raising quail for eggs

AS: What kind of setup would you recommend for a household that wanted the equivalent of a dozen chicken eggs each week? How many quail, and what size cage would that require?

EQ: If the average size of a medium to large chicken egg is about 60g and the average size of a typical jumbo variety of quail is 12-13g, it would take 5 or 6 quail eggs to make the equivalent of one chicken egg.

Quail are very regular and prolific layers, often laying well over 300 eggs in 365 days. This outdoes most heritage breed chickens in egg production and right up there with your high-producing white leghorn. A dozen quail hens under the right conditions could be relied upon to give you about 9-12 eggs per day which would be the approximate equivalent of a dozen chicken eggs [per week].

Quail are like chickens in that they slow egg production during their molt, but they don’t seem to slow down as dramatically as chickens.

They will typically lay almost as well in their second year as their first, so if egg production is what you’re aiming for, it is worthwhile to keep your layers for 2 years.

Because they reproduce and mature so quickly, though, it is not unreasonable to replace layers with younger stock every year.

Best practices for keeping egg layers

If a person wanted to keep a dozen hens with two roosters for egg fertility, your ideal model for a cage would be 14 square feet. It can be any dimension, but they tend to prefer long cages for more running room.

A 2’ x 7’ cage would provide them with plenty of space. If your availability of space is very limited, you can pack them a little tighter, but you may find that your birds will be a little testier with one another, especially the roosters. It is certainly easier to pack birds into a smaller space when they are all hens that have been raised together.

Coturnix quail do not utilize vertical space much and they do not perch. It is usually recommended that the height of their cage not exceed 12 inches because of their tendency to explode upwards when startled or feeling frisky.

By doing this they can break their necks on plywood or stiff wire if given enough space to wind up. I like to use corrugated plastic on the ceilings as it has a little bit of bend to it and is less likely to cut their heads than wire.

HLH: To get the equivalent of a dozen eggs, you need about 60 quail eggs a week. Nine or ten birds would be sufficient to meet that.

Keeping quail. This outdoor cage takes up minimal space.

Related: Bird Mites: Natural Control for your Flock

Keeping backyard quail

AS: What about keeping quail outside on an urban lot or apartment patio? Obviously they’d need protection from predators, but are there different considerations for keeping quail outdoors? Do they need supplemental heat during the cold months?

EQ: You might be able to keep a small handful of quail, say 6 or less, on an apartment patio, but your neighbors would have to be okay with it.

I don’t think they create enough noise and mess to cause a disturbance. But many people have pre-conceived ideas about poultry and will not hesitate to file a complaint just because the mere idea of the neighbor having birds disturbs them.

A budgie or cockatiel hanging it its cage outside on a summer day creates a lot more noise than half a dozen quail, but seems more acceptable in some people’s eyes. The closer your neighbors are, the more crucial it is for you to keep them spotlessly clean and tidy and well taken care of. This means keeping your setup presentable as well.

Appease the neighbors

Quail don’t care if your pen is made from upcycled old pallets and scrap lumber sitting under a tarp, but to your neighbors it might look like an unsightly pile of junk and cause them more reason to make a complaint.

If you have a small lot, it is best to keep your quail setup out of direct sight of your neighbors – you shouldn’t feel the need to hide them and keep them a secret (unless you know you have very testy neighbors!) but sometimes people who do not have poultry may not understand what they are seeing.

Some people might see birds in a wire cage and think it abusive because they don’t know the reason for it. Also, if you have to cull or butcher your birds, it’s best not to have an audience as someone might not want to see that outside their kitchen window. Keeping a barrier between your setup and your neighbors in the form of a hedge or solid fence also acts as a sound buffer.

Temperature requirements for keeping quail

Quail are very hardy in low temperatures. They can handle temperatures down to -20 F in the winter as long as they are well protected from wind, rain, and snow and have plenty of bedding.

Larger numbers fare better in colder temperatures because they pile up together and share body heat to stay warm. A 100w bulb or heat lamp can be used to provide extra heat, but it should be placed in an enclosed area so that the heat does not go to waste.

When I lived in colder temperatures I had a 24×24 inch plywood house attached to my quail run that had two 40 or 60w bulbs in it. Some of the birds would huddle in here on cold nights, but even with this available a lot of the birds chose to sleep in hay filled boxes outside.

Covering your cage with corrugated plastic during the winter will help keep the wind off.

Better yet, move the cage to a garden shed or greenhouse during the winter if it is small enough.

Moisture and wind will do more damage to your birds than the cold itself. I actually found that keeping the water thawed was the biggest challenge of keeping quail in sub-zero temperatures. Little Giant now puts out a heated poultry waterer that I have used with success.

two coturnix quail in a man's hands

Related: Raising Pigeons for Meat

Predation is another consideration when raising outdoors.

All wire must be ½ inch hardware cloth and no larger.

  • Raccoons are notorious for reaching through chicken wire and pulling the heads off of quail at night. Weasels can also fit through 1 inch mesh and will decimate a flock of quail overnight.
  • Foxes and coyotes can rip through chicken wire easily. I even had a fox go beneath the cage and grab the toes of the birds standing on the wire and pull their legs right off.
  • Roaming dogs can do damage to pens and scare birds literally to death.
  • Ravens and crows can also reach into cages with larger wire and harass birds.

I would recommend having a solid wood coop attached to the cage. You can herd your quail into it at night and lock them up for their own safety.

Disease and parasite infections are not usually a problem if the birds are kept on wire. If you choose to keep your quail in ground pens, a movable pen is best. This allows you to move the pen to a clean area every day. Do not encourage wild birds to come near your quail pen.

quail eggs on a piece of weathered wood

Best breeds when raising quail for eggs

AS: Now that we’ve established the kind of environment Coturnix quail require, let’s talk about the quail themselves.

Is there one breed in particular that you’d recommend for egg laying?

EQ: Two species of quail come to mind when speaking of good egg production. One is the Japanese Quail or Coturnix Quail and the other is the Northern Bobwhite. Bobwhites are native to the eastern USA and under the right conditions can be very prolific layers. They lay solid white eggs. The females usually begin to lay the spring following their hatch, often at five months. They do tend to be more of a seasonal layer, though, and need more space and a different environment than that which I have described for Coturnix quail. Many people love bobwhites for their white eggs, funny antics, wide vocabulary, tasty white meat, and their beauty.

Quail eggs may be small, but so are the quail. Small enough that they can be a great alternative to egg laying hens in the suburbs.

For quail egg production, though, there are few birds that can beat Coturnix quail.

Coturnix quail are right up there in the league of the commercial leghorn-type layers in the chicken egg industry. A single hen is easily capable of laying 300-350 eggs in a single 365 day period.

Quail varieties

Their eggs are brown speckled and have a pale butter-yellow yolk. Coturnix quail are a species (Coturnix coturnix japonica), not a breed. The “breeds” within the species are referred to as “varieties.”

Several different varieties of Coturnix exist, most of them corresponding to plumage color. Wild types or browns have the traditional look of the quail as it evolved in the wild – brown with speckles and a buff belly. Other colors include Texas A&M White, range, tuxedo, golden, silver, and fawn.

Some variations on the varieties also occur – Tibetans, Rosettas, cinnamons Italians, Manchurians, etc. Crossbred varieties may be combinations of colors – such as golden pieds, slate tuxedos, etc. Regardless of color, all Coturnix have the ability to lay eggs extremely well.

 

Jumbo quail

Variety changes things a little when size comes into play. Jumbos are much bigger birds than standards, and are usually of the white or brown color type. How much bigger? I have yet to find an official standard anywhere. Most breeders of what they consider “true” jumbo quail are birds that are at least 300g at maturity. For eggs to be considered Jumbos, they usually have to be 14g or better.

Several people I know are setting standards of their own lines which include the following: All breeders must be 280g or heavier by the age of 42 days, and all eggs that go into the incubator must be 14g or better. By doing this, they keep the jumbo quail truly jumbo. Anyone who is interested in purchasing Jumbo Coturnix from a breeder should ask the breeder what their standards are and what the finished weight on the birds and eggs are.

Jumbo quail lay just as many eggs as standards, but the eggs are bigger and the birds yield more meat.

HLH: We raise Japanese Coturnix – they lay larger eggs than, say, button quail or bobwhite.

tray full of brown-spotted quail eggs

Quail eggs – what to expect

AS: Coturnix quail eggs are small – how many quail eggs would you need for the equivalent of a large chicken egg? How many eggs does a single quail typically lay per year? And at what age do they begin laying?

EQ: I usually say one chicken egg is equal to 5 or 6 quail eggs.

A Coturnix quail hen will usually begin laying somewhere between 5 and 8 weeks of age. She will lay one egg almost every day. She will probably lay at least 300 eggs  per year or more. After a brief molt will continue to lay almost as well for her second year. They require 14-15 hours of daylight every day to be stimulated to lay year-round. For peak production, feed them a turkey or game bird diet that is 24-30% protein.

Extra calcium in the form of crushed eggshells, powdered calcium carbonate, and dark leafy greens like kale and broccoli should be added to the diet as well. Quail are usually too small to eat oyster shell unless it is crushed in a food processor first.

HLH: If you have them on supplemental lighting of 16 hours a day, quail will lay almost every day.

coturnix quail

Jessi Lynn Bell is 27 years old and currently lives in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada. She has been raising quail for thirteen years. She is an advocate of humane agriculture, sustainable living, and outdoor stewardship, and a Registered Animal Health Technologist out of Thompson Rivers University. Epic Quailblog was created 2 years ago when she built an incubator and hatched some quail for her university class. 

Marcy from High Lonesome Homestead raises quail for eggs and meat. She writes about her experiences raising quail both on her blog and at Lilly White Farm.

This post was originally published in January 2014; it has been updated.

Click to save or share!

Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

21 comments… add one
  • Pam Jan 18, 2014, 12:58 pm

    Intriguing article but if I’m wanting to be a humane steward of animals – isn’t raising quail in a cage every bit as inhumane as raising chickens in confined factory farm set ups? How does raising animals in a cage for their lifetime fit with an ethical lifestyle? They are more vulnerable to pests and diseases, as are the people who live in the close quarters with them? Why not source a farmer who has a pastured poultry operation instead?

    • Jessi @ Epic Quailblog Jan 18, 2014, 2:36 pm

      Hi Pam, thanks for reading the article and voicing some concerns about quality of life. You have some very valid points here. Living in a cage is not the same as living free range. On the flip side, keeping quail in a small backyard flock is not the same as factory farming. Birds in factory farming operations are packed into cages shoulder-to-shoulder with barely enough room to turn around. They do not have room to stretch their wings, they never see daylight, they eat processed pellets, they do not have a private nesting area or any place to get off the wire. In a wire-bottomed quail colony cage, each bird has plenty of space to run, stretch their wings, and has boxes of hay in which to nest and rest and sand boxes to sand bathe in. Wire bottoms keep the birds from having to walk in their manure and makes it easier for the caretaker to keep them clean. The easier it is to take care of an animal, the less likely they will become neglected. Every person who ventures into quail raising has the ability to provide as much welfare to their birds as they can – some people prefer wire floors, some prefer litter, some prefer more space, some prefer less. I invite you to read my article on Epic Quailblog about animal welfare. Thanks again fo your interest! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=554606957956460&set=a.282497338500758.70380.266841663399659&type=1&theater

    • Patti bordonaro Jun 7, 2015, 1:16 pm

      I agree, that is no life for those birds. If you can’t keep them Ina better environment , don’t have them at all !

  • Rick Blind Jan 18, 2014, 1:52 pm

    The main reason why I don’t want my quail to live on wire flooring:
    As young as 24 hours old quail hatchlings, still wobbly on their feet, already have their intrinsic need to scratch the flooring. This is embedded in their being quail. So i give them that, i use wood shavings, hay and straw. in that order. I don’t bother cleaning out everyday. twice a year is fine. That does mean the hight of the floor will go way up. Just use enough new bedding everytime the old bedding gets too dirty. (’bout once a week for me, depending on number of qual per area) Because the floor’s height goes up, I regulary have to raise the waterer and feedhopper. I have them hanging on a chain and hook so i can easily adjust height. If i would leave feed and water just standing on the bedding it would soon get contaminated with feaces and the qual will rake the food out of the hopper.

  • Jana Jan 19, 2014, 8:30 am

    Are there rules for quail like there might be for backyard chickens?
    laws are lightening up just curious. We have only 1/2 arce

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 19, 2014, 8:35 am

      I think it’s going to depend on your municipality, but a lot of places that don’t allow chickens do allow quail.

  • D Woolman Jan 20, 2014, 5:31 pm

    I wonder if anyone is working on breeding silent quail. 

    • Rick Blind Jan 28, 2014, 9:49 pm

      actually quail aren’t that noisy. They produce a hell of a lot less volume than chickens. Off course male’s in breeding season arent really silent, but wich animal is? My neighbours children (and her dog if she isn’t at home), are WAY louder…..
      I personally think the sound of quail has something really nice and relaxing. Something more adventurous than a chicken or a cat…

  • crafty_cristy Feb 6, 2014, 3:03 am

    I have some questions. Do you have to clip the quails’ wings? Can they be let out of their cages in the back yard if you are there watching (if their wings were clipped)? Do they eat bugs in the wild/would they eat bugs if they were allowed to walk in the back yard? 

    • B Mar 27, 2017, 10:38 am

      No clipping their wings unless you were to let them out, but you cannot let them out of an enclosed area otherwise you will not see them again. My kids treat their quail with Red Wigglers worms and flies. They are cute little birds, but they don’t get terribly friendly, they aren’t very domesticated. Serama chickens aren’t much bigger and they are easy to train and you can let them out and they’ll come back at night fall. They aren’t prolific layers, but they do lay.

  • tina Feb 14, 2014, 1:38 pm

    I think it is so cruel to lock up birds in such a small space. 🙁

    • Sue Dec 8, 2017, 6:59 am

      When we researched and started our quail we also wanted to keep life aunatural.
      We put 4 x 8 crates on the ground and within a week a critter reached under a
      sturdy wood frame, heavy cage. Several birds lost. We now , for winter, moved closer to house and raised off the ground-for protection.
      Lots of clean straw mixed with oak leaves with a medium size log makes them
      very happy, but more, secure. Every critter likes to eat quail.

  • Carole West Apr 13, 2014, 11:32 am

    I just started raising quail this year an dlove them.  I have mine outdoors on the ground in a mobile coop which they love and so far I’m experiencing great results.  Plan to expand and bring in another breed this summer.
    Carole @ GardenUp green

    • Dorothy Smith Dec 17, 2016, 3:41 pm

      Good for you I would like to raise some can u make any money raising The quail

  • Brad Mar 21, 2017, 6:38 pm

    I have raised quail for years, and I disagree that a wire floor is inhumane. Birds are like people. They let you know when they are not happy. They pick on each other, make lots of noises, and have other tells. I have raised many quail on wire cages that were perfectly content. They make sandbox especially for quail to dig and roll in. Coturnix have been domesticated for over 900 years. They are safe, clean, disease free and just fine in cages. Grass on their feet doesn’t determine their happiness.

  • Yohan Mar 24, 2019, 1:23 pm

    I might be a bit late for this but I have a question which I can’t find the answer to anywhere. What would be the minimum number of Coturnix Quail you can have in a flock. I read somewhere that the minimum number is 4 and after that quail will start feeling lonely. Will the flock size affect egg laying rate too?

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 27, 2019, 5:52 pm

      Like chickens, they’re flock animals. A flock of four-to-six should be about right.

  • Lance Parker Apr 19, 2019, 10:52 am

    What’s the best practice for egg production for eating? I’m mostly wondering about keeping males with the hens. These eggs would only be for eating, so having them be fertilized is not needed. But I wonder if the hens lay more if there are males in their pen with them?

    Great article, I found it extremely helpful! Thank you.

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 20, 2019, 4:28 pm

      My understanding is that keeping a single rooster with the hens keeps the flock happy — not sure if that translates to “more productive” or not. That said, I don’t think a rooster is *mandatory.

  • Lee Nieuwoudt Apr 29, 2019, 9:25 am

    Hi Kris

    Very interesting article. Thanks so much for sharing.

    I recently got into this hobby and have built an enclosure appr 14 square meters. 7m long by 2m wide. I have 5 females and 1 Male.

    I have built a box for them to sleep in but they seem to prefer sleeping outside. I’m just concerned about them freezing as it’s heading into winter here.

    How do I encourage them to go into this box of their own will?

    Tonight I’ve locked them in but worried this might cause fights…

    Thanks again for a great article. Learnt so much.

    • Cori May 22, 2020, 11:59 am

      Frankly, if the birds are choosing to sleep outside, it is not too cold for them. They are not suicidal. They’ll come inside before they freeze.

      Animals know more than we do about what they need. I have Muscovy ducks in with my chickens, in Middle Tennessee, and when I first got them, I was concerned that they would freeze, as even on nights in the single digits, they preferred sleeping on top of the rabbit cages rather than inside the chicken coop.

      Then my next-door-neighbor told me that, when she was a child, her mother kept Muscovy ducks where they lived in Ohio, MUCH colder than our current location, and they would chip ice out of the ponds in winter for them to swim. No frostbite, no issues, just happy ducks.

      Your birds will tell you if they need more. If they are voluntarily sleeping outside, when they have ready shelter, it means they are fine.

Leave a Comment