6 Weeks in the Surrogator for Bobwhite Quail Chicks

Bobwhite quail chicks live in the Surrogator for 5-6 weeks. The instructions say start with 1 day old quail chicks and keep the in the Surrogator for 5 weeks. I’ve found that starting with 1-week old birds reduces the “infant mortality” that naturally occurs during the first week. Likewise, I find that keeping them in the Surrogator for 6 weeks, instead of 5 weeks, provides them with some additional time to better develop their flight muscles. They’ll need them once they’re out in the wild!

You can easily find bobwhite quail chicks via Google and most breeders will ship them in the mail overnight.


Your first step in loading the bobwhite quail chicks is to round up a bunch of little kids – sons, daughter, nieces & nephews work very well. They will be concerned, excited and a little bit worried – facial expressions left to right!

These bobwhite quail chicks are probably 1-day old chicks. Tiny!

You’ll need to “tend” the Surrogator weekly to remove any dead chicks, clean any moisture-clogged feed, top up the water barrel and adjust the heating thermostat.

Week 1

Bobwhite quail chicks grow fast!

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

At 5 weeks of age, these bobwhite quail chicks could be released. I prefer to hold them for 1 additional week so they fly better when released. Using 6-week cycles only allows me to run 2 cycles per summer where 5-week cycles allows me to run 3 full cycles during the summer. The start and end date for you will depend on how often and how long your quail breeder has chicks for you.

Week 6

6 weeks in the Surrogator and out they go!