Bobwhite quail don’t usually need supplemental water. In fact, they satisfy most of their water needs from dew and metabolic water. That said, many desert quail do benefit from rainwater collection systems in the wild.
But, bobwhite quail in a surrogator do need water. And, in the hot TX summer, they drink a lot! Most recently, 120 bobwhite quail drank 75 gallons of water of a 6 week period in July – September 2018.
Since the water tank on the Surrogator only holds 15 gallons, you will need to regularly refill that tank. And, since the Surrogator is best located in a pasture under a tree, the likelihood that you’ve got a hose bib or spigot is almost zero.
A simple rainwater collection system and a small water pump seem to be an ideal solution to carrying water long distances.
I repurposed an old wildlife waterer that had a small 4′ x 4′ collection roof and a 250-gallon tank. I’ve built and used smaller configurations but find that this size almost guarantees I’ll have enough water for the entire summer.
We had a few dry years and expanding the collection surface proved to be very easy.
And then we went and added another just because we could.
In the offseason, I attach a float controlled waterer from Tractor Supply and return the rainwater collector to its original purpose – watering the wildlife!