Welcome our Quail!

Chores, exercise, sunrises, sunsets, quiet, busy, animals, a production garden, dirt, lots of dirt, and everything else in between.

It for sure is not everyone’s cup of tea, but we love farming.

One of my wishes for our farm was to see if we could not only grow our own food, but supply food to our diet as well as our dogs diet.

We aren’t a large enough property to have beef cows, so no on that one.

No on ostrich, llama, and other exotics.

And then I started to read about quail. Coturnix quail to be exact.

They take up less space than a chicken, grow at a faster rate, produce up to 300 eggs per bird per year, and they get up to about 14oz. per bird and are also a great meat source.

I started to dig around even more and found some great resources on youtube, and then a quail egg hatchery with more awesome youtube videos.

We got them into our incubator, I followed the manufacturers guidelines to the Nth degree, and 17 days later, little quail chicks were pipping and hatching.

DSC03459

Out of the 47 viable eggs we hatched out 35, but one died two days later.

DSC03424

UPDATE – this incubator which is a good starter incubator only had a good hatch rate the first hatch, after that it went down dramatically. The temperature gauge was really off, as was the humidity guage, it was hard to keep things stable after the first hatch.

We went through two other brands and so far have been very happy with the BRINSEA – 80-85% hatch rate each time, automatic egg turner, temperature/humidity auto features. This is our third season and so far it is super consistent.

So here we were with a tiny brooder box, and 69 quail chicks who started to grow SUPER fast.

DSC03456

We borrowed a friends sheep tank, and they out grew that one in about 5 days.

DSC03458

Then we made a giant 4′ x 8′ brooder in the garage that finally was big enough for all of them, for about a hot minute!

DSC03461

They grow rapidly – from thumb size to adolescents in 3 weeks.

3 WEEKS – adolescents – feather sexable

5-7 WEEKS – sexual maturity, males start crowing

7-10 WEEKS – butch males (if you don’t the harm they cause to each other is deadly, literally)

7-12 WEEKS – hens start laying eggs if they are stress free

DSC02728

They are social, fun to be around, they eat as much as a horse practically, and they are more of a miniature velociraptor than a farm bird, I consider them my baby dinosaurs!

DSC03522

We will have meat birds and egg layers, and so our little farm finally has a production animal for us and our dogs.

DSC03525DSC03517

And as is always forefront in my mind, I am grateful to supply my animals and my family with love, kindness, nurturing and a good life. And my goal is to RE-LEARN what my grandparents knew, how to feed my own family through my own efforts and skills!

psst – and this is how quail sleep!

DSC03528

And their feathers/colorings are gorgeous!

DSC03615DSC03618DSC03622DSC03624DSC03626DSC03630

Love Nancy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s