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’).
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