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It’s that time of year to start raising quail again. It’s been a nice resting season between October and May but I’m excited to get started with my quail restoration again. The quail surrogator has been sitting in the barn waiting of repairs and my previous surrogator locations have been growing weeds and brambles during the rest period. It’s time to get my prep work completed and get the surrogator ready to load some baby quail and begin my third season of raising quail.
Equipment Maintenance for Raising Quail
The surrogator that I use for raising quail is very well painted and protected but any piece of equipment that sits out in the weather exposed to animal feces and urine is going to show signs of rust. Most of the rust on my quail surrogator occurs along the bottom support pieces. It isn’t bad rust, mostly just surface rust. I think that may be because I do have an annual preventative maintenance program to clean it up and get the quail restoration surrogator repainted.
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Equipment Restoration for Quail Restoration
I use a wire wheel and a lot of elbow grease to grind off all of the exposed rust spots from the quail restoration surrogator that I use for raising quail. Rust has generally been to extent of my maintenance problems. I have had to replace a hinge or two but usually do that in the field as the need arises. I don’t try to perform rust and paint maintenance between cycles because I usually empty, clean, move and refill the quail surrogator all in a single day. With the hot Texas Summers, I’m anxious to get the work done and the surrogator refilled. In this case, I had more rust than last year and spent a couple of hours working with a wire wheel buffing out all of the visible rust spots.
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Final Maintenance Touches Before Raising Quail
After I buffed out all of the rust spots, I used Rustoleum black paint to repaint the exposed areas. I used this same paint last year (same can of paint!) and it held up well over the past year. I did a better job of buffing this year so I expect my repairs to withstand the elements even better this time around during another cycle of quail restoration. There were also a number of nicks and dings in my quail surrogator that exposed bare metal so I used this opportunity to cover those as well to prevent any additional rust from occurring during this season while I’m raising quail.
New Transport for the Quail Surrogator
We moved the entrance gate at the ranch and built a barn so the roads out to the quail surrogator locations aren’t as easily accessible via truck as they have been in previous years. So, I loaded the quail restoration surrogator in the mule to see if everything would fit – and it did with the exception of my water barrel to fill the surrogator water barrel. I love that the surrogator XL breaks down so easily for transport. This makes it even easier to manage my operation of raising quail.
Ready to Begin Raising Quail – Again!
I am going to reuse previous year’s quail restoration locations this year. I have 5 previous locations that I’ve used for raising quail and of those, three seem to perform better in the long run than the others. Since there are already wild birds from previous releases in these areas, I can assume that the habitat is sufficient for the quail and that releasing new birds into that habitat with the existing populations will help them survive even better after release. Just seeing my quail surrogator installed and ready makes me excited to begin the raising quail season again.
Summary of Starting A New Season of Raising Quail
I’ve begun my annual cycle of raising quail and scheduled and completed my annual quail surrogator maintenance. My quail restoration maintenance mostly it involves buffing out rust posts and repainting with a rust proof spray point. I’m using a mule this year instead of my truck to move and install my surrogator. The surrogator XL fits just fine in a mule with the exception of my water supply barrel. I’m reusing past locations that have proven to hold wild birds after release instead of starting new locations and running the risk of higher mortality after release.