Initial Setup of a Surrogator in the Field

After selecting the location for our first field trial, it’s time to setup the Surrogator to house the wild bobwhite quail to release in the wild.

We assembled the heating unit and the water so the wild quail chicks will have ample heat. Hard to imagine that they need heat in the TExas Summer but when they are less than 3 weeks old, quail chicks have trouble regulating their body heat. Without a heat source, they will clump up and smother each other.
My Surrogator model is the XL. The XL is very convenient as it breaks into 2 pieces that can be easily transported in a pickup. However, those two pieces need to be clamped together. I elected to add a zip tie to the clamp as a bit of extra insurance.
I also bought the Chick-Aid as part of the Surrogator package. Most experienced Surrogators say you don’t need it but since I have it, I’m going to use it. Also, the Surrogator instructions recommended putting the feed on rough paper plates for the first week so that it would be easy to find for the wild quail chicks.
Wild quail chicks need water. Since we don’t have water easily available to the selected location, we needed to haul water. I repurposed a plastic barrel and added a water spigot and short hose so we could haul water. That’s my Dad looking authoritative.

Raising Bobwhite Quail and Surrogator

Update 7/11/11 – The promise of raising bobwhite quail and the surrogator is true – they work like a charm – as long as you know a few tips and tricks that aren’t so obvious in the manual. In my case, quail raising near San Antonio, Texas, I had four successful releases in 2010 and plan for four more in 2011.