This is the second and concluding part of my post about building a wild bobwhite quail feeder that can withstand the ravages of deer, coons and other critters. While the cost of wasted feed is a true dollar cost, the real cost is that the wild bobwhite quail don’t return to a feeder once it has been raided by critters and this makes it very difficult to have an accurate count of raising quail. My primary purpose in building the feeders is to improve my method of counting the quail rather than to try and supplement their feed. I will place the feeder in a primary quail habitat location. The key difference with this wild bobwhite quail feeder is that it contains a small electric fence to keep the critters away. This approach has worked successfully on deer feeders and I’m hoping that it will be successful on my wild bobwhite quail feeder.
On/Off Switch for the Bobwhite Quail Feeder
Since the wild bobwhite quail feeder is electrified, it makes sense to have an On/Off switch to prevent getting shocked when tending the feeder. If you’re raising quail, it is important to regularly tend the quail feeder. I’ve seen situations where the electrical device attached to a feeder did not have a switch it the operator/tender regularly got a nasty shock. I want to avoid that situation since the feeder will be located in a very brushy area which tend to be very good quail habitat.
Wiring Harness for the Bobwhite Quail Feeder
The internal wiring harness on the wild bobwhite quail feeder is simple. There is a line running from the solar charger into the batter case, two lines running to the On/Off switch and a single line running to the bucket handle. The entire system is grounded to the bucket handle which hangs from a metal rod attached to a metal T Post which is driven into the ground. As part of my quail raising process, I put a T Post at each location where I place the surrogator which is near ideal quail habitat.
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Bobwhite Quail Feeder Electric Fence
The “electric fence” on the wild bobwhite quail feeder is built using stiff electric fence wire and six electric fence insulators. The insulators are attached equidistant around the bucket approximately 2 inches up from the bottom of the bucket. This will allow enough room to drill feed drainage holes to allow the feed to trickle to the ground while still deterring any critters from messing with the bucket itself. The bucket will hang freely from a piece of rebar attached to a T Post and be allowed to swing in the wind. The electric fence should help me retain more feed and lower my cost of raising quail while also making it easy to locate and tend when it is placed in prime quail habitat.
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Electric Fence Connections and Raising Quail
The most challenging part of building the wild bobwhite quail feeder was the exit and re-entrance of the electrical wire, through the insulator so that the connections would be waterproof to the inside of the bucket. This required some careful drilling and tricky pliers work but was accomplished without drilling any additional holes. It is important to account for quail habitat and rain water spoilage and minimize it to help reduce the costs of raising quail.
Completed Feeder Ready for Placement in Quail Habitat
The fully assembled and completed wild bobwhite quail feeder. It consists of a solar charger to charge a 12V battery, a large Coon Zapper capacitor, a simple On/Off switch, six electric fence insulators and a couple feet of electric fence wire and a five gallon bucket. Total cost of the materials was approximately $75. Yes, in terms of feeding wild quail that is expensive but in terms of having an accurate and effective way to determine wild quail population easily I think it’s worth it. None of my previous methods have worked very well due to raids by critters which leads to an inability to get an accurate count of the birds, in their quail habitat, that I’ve released from raising quail.
Summary of a Wild Bobwhite Quail Feeder
My wild bobwhite quail feeder is completed and another important milestone in my process of raising quail and improving the quail habitat. I’ve installed an On/Off switch to prevent getting shocked and grounded the electrical system to the handle which will ground via the T Post. I’ve used regular electrical fence building materials to install a ring of charged electrical wire around the perimeter of the bucket. The wild bobwhite quail feeder cost approximately $75 and is now ready for it’s first field test.