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January 29, 2014

WE GOT QUAIL!

Posted by Anais Dervaes

We have new additions to the homestead menagerie--quail!   A local lady who hatched them dropped them off yesterday evening.    The quail are about a month old and are surprisingly calm. I expected them to be more excitable ("flighty") but they've settled nicely into their new digs.    The lady that we got them from said she "handled" them quite a lot (yeah!) so perhaps that's why they are so calm.

12 years of raising our share of chickens and ducks we've been wanting to expand our menagerie.  Actually, we've been wanting to add quail to the homestead's flock for many years and now that we found a local lady who's a responsible "hatcher" it's a perfect opportunity to do so.

Why Quail?  Quail are perfect for city homesteaders, requiring less space than chickens.   Quail: 1 square ft. per bird   Chickens 2-3 square ft. per bird

Eggs: Quail will start laying eggs in just 6-8 weeks.  Chickens lay  about 20-24 weeks

"The average size of a medium to large chicken egg is about 60g and the average size of a typical jumbo variety of quail is 12-13g, it would take 5 or 6 quail eggs to make the equivalent of one chicken egg. Quail are very regular and prolific layers, often laying well over 300 eggs in 365 days – out-doing most heritage breed"

What kind are they?  There are quite a number of quail breeds.  These cuties are Japanese Coturnix (Coturnix Japonica) aka "Pharaoh Quail" an old breed of quail from Eastern Asia.

How long will they live?  An average life expectancy of a quail is 2-4 years (chickens are about 8 years)

Our backyard menagerie not only provides us with hours of entertainment, but also they are a vital role in fertilizing/building our garden soil - not to mention the super yummy eggs to boot. (I've heard pickled quail eggs are some mighty fine eatin').

:: Resources ::

Raising Quail

 


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6 Comments: "WE GOT QUAIL!" »

  1. What cute additions to your homestead! I used to raise Button Quail, but have always wanted to try out some Coturnix. They look real sweet.

    Blessings -

    ~ Aspen

  2. Anais, Quail? Do you keep them in cages or will you let them walk about free? What will keep them from flying away if you let them have freedom? I don't know how you can still find space to continue to add to the menagerie. Your family is the master of small space efficiency. I wish you all the best in your quail raising.

    Have a great raising quail day.

  3. Awesome birds! I've seen where people in our region of Texas are starting to keep quail in urban areas. What is their typical diet?

  4. I raise quail myself up here in NorCal. They are great birds that lay so many eggs. The "black gold" they produce is awesome for the garden.

  5. Congratulations on your new addition to the farm! I've often wondered about adding quail to my flock. It's amazing how much a dozen quail eggs sell for at the market!
    I look forward to seeing how your quail adventures go! And to see how your first batch of pickled quail eggs turn out!

  6. Hi Anais,

    I have to say first that your family has inspired me to be the same way. I started back in 2000 with Gardening, Small Scale Animals, Composting and have grown from there. All my Garden is either Heirloom or Organic Seeds. It is all gardened organically and I also raise Quortunix Quail. I raise Pharoh & Texas A & M White Quail. They reach maturity at 8 weeks of age and start laying then. I make all my own organic feed for them. I also raise New Zealand White Rabbits. After doing research I have found out that New Zealand White Rabbits is the healthiest meat to eat and is the only meat that a Dr. will prescribe. here are some nutritional facts.

    Rabbit Nutritional Facts
    Looking at charts is an easy way of looking at the value of your rabbit meat and comparing it to other common meats. Rabbit meat is high in protein, low in fat and half the calories of pork. Also rabbit meat is an all-white meat which makes this suitable for many diets. Not to mention their manure is the best when used fresh for your garden or added to your compost bin to add more balance. Getting back to Quail. My Quail are great layers and I do have to incubate them myself. It is worth it. Many people love to buy them all dressed out from me for high dollars and while they are here they also buy dressed rabbits, pickled quail eggs which sell for alot in mason jars and pickled from fresh vegetables from the garden. Quail manure is also great for the garden and compost bin. Both the Quail and Rabbits are quiet and are a pleasure to raise. My son of 9 yrs. old loves to help and take care of them. He understand that the whole system of the life cycle.

    NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF COMMONLY EATEN MEAT

    MEAT TYPE % PROTEIN % FAT CALORIES PER LB.

    RABBIT 20.8 4.5 795
    VEAL 19.1 12.0 840
    CHICKEN 20.0 17.9 810
    TURKEY 20.1 20.0 1,190
    LAMB 15.7 27.7 1,420
    BEEF 16.7 28.0 1,440
    DUCK 16.0 28.6 1,015
    PORK 11.9 45.0 2,050

    God Bless to your family and keep up the great and wonderful work you and your family are doing. You have inspired a lot of people.

    Michael

The Urban Homesteaders

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