Three years ago I set a goal for myself to start growing most of my own food. Many of you might remember this past summer when I got my chickens, I had put up some post about them (see them here). Well now they are almost full grown and soon to lay eggs.
I then learned of quail which have a few unique attributes that really appealed to me. In my journey to grow my own food, I have set another goal to design everything to minimize work put in, maximize what I get out, to integrate ergonomics, set the stage to ramp up production in the event of a long term crisis (think Katrina) and develop a high level of diversity.
Quail does all these things, they are raised in a square foot per bird, are able to be kept on wire without harm (so dropping simply pass through the mesh) to minimize cleaning, they are prolific breeders laying 300 eggs a year, and I have two species of birds to add to my chickens, making a higher diversity.
Recently I have moved the chicks, who are now all grown up, to their new home in the coop I built. The first day was an adjustment for them because it was soooo hot outside, but they are doing well and seem very happy.
So about 2 years ago I started a long term goal of mine: to gradually grow most of my food on my own. Today I am taking a huge step, I am adding animals! I just picked up 6 Rhode Island Reds baby chicks! I have built a coop for them when they get a bit older, but for now here is a quick video in their new home.
I choose this breed of chickens because they are known for laying large eggs frequently, which is what I primarily want them for. They don’t get broody, generally quieter, aren’t too jumpy. The other upside is that they do pretty well as a meat chicken in the event that I have to do so. This is kinda a big step in the process that I am working on and I hope I am doing it right! Anyway, there is more to come on the chicks in the coming weeks.