What's this? A duck egg, yes....a chicken egg, yes..... a QUAIL egg, YES!! We have quail, and they laid an egg on day one :) Only 1 but still - that's a positive sign.
They are funny looking things, really small too. Very flighty but lovely to watch. We have 6 girls and a boy which we bought from a rescue centre called Wetheriggs Animal Rescue located at Thorpe Farm Centre on the A66 near Barnard Castle. They have some Old Spot cross pigs which are due a litter in a month, so this is where we will get them from.
Grace managed to get a close up on arrival. Pretty cute.
This is the view inside a pen, food on the left and a drink further down. Quail have their own type of food, so won't be on the poultry feed. They have a mesh floor which caused us many discussions and sleepless nights, yes really. All reseach suggested this is how to keep quail and then the muck drops through. We were not sure about them walking on the mesh, but actually, they are just fine.
We have a dust bath for them which they love and this is where they lay their eggs! We're going to also put some foliage in for them to hide in, now we have them, we're learning what we think they would like and of course we adapt as needed, as a smallholder you just have to.
We shall incubate the eggs and hope to raise more of our own this year. Quail are quick to get up to breeding age (6-8 weeks) unlike chickens which are 22. Also little fact, if you're not allowed to keep poultry in your area, you can maybe keep quail as they are game, not poultry ;)
So all in all a very successful weekend with regards to quail. We didn't really get much else done on the smallholding as we had lots of other commitments this weekend plus we had a poorly dog and a poorly Ste! Hopefully the latter 2 are on the mend now and we can play catch up during the week. Time stops for no one :)
Well they are making themselves at home. Was telling OH about you yesterday and what you have all achieved in the last four years. He said definitely no livestock or bees here because of neighbour, but he seemed interested. Fingers crossed. I am glad you rehomed them and with your pigs shortly you will be well set up. Are you thinking of having a dairy cow too. Look forward to your future posts. Take care Tricia xReplyDelete
Ooooh love that he seemed interested Tricia - I have my fingers crossed for you!! Sadly we don't have the space for a dairy cow whilst we have horses but it is on the cards for sure at some point on our adventure! xxDelete
My uncle was a dairy farmer a one a one man band, until about the age of 36 and he was diagnosed with angina. He was a big strong man and not being able to do anything really broke his heart - he would rather have spoken to animals than people. However, he went on to buy a smallholding where he just grew his veg and had a few chickens and then a bed and breakfast business where he had his dairy cow, chickens and a few pigs. When he retired from that he moved near Horncastle and bought a retirement bungalow still with lots of land, his chickens, his dairy cow and his pigs. If you get the chance to have a dairy cow you will never have had fresh cream like it. It is divine as are all the other bits and bobs you can do. I see you with a bit more land yet. Look forward to hearing how you are getting on with the Quail - I didn't appreciate however that they were a game bird. Thank you for that little bit of information. Take care sweetie Tricia xDelete
Thanks for all the info, chic, didn't know anything about quail to be honest. What is the difference with the food they eat? Great you have a date for the pigs too!Look forward to seeing how the egg yield comes on.xReplyDelete
We didn't either on quail. They still are funny looking things to me. They have specialist feed, I haven't looked in to what's in it but a 20kg bag will last ours a long time.Delete