Baby Quail

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.

Oh did I mention they’re really cute?

  1. Forgot that spam thing and lost my comment!

    The only thing we kill on our property is rattlesnakes. Since one bit our big dog on the nose we are particularly careful about them. The wild quail run all over the place as do the rabbits and jack rabbits. We just don’t find ourselves able to kill our own food. It will be interesting to see how close you come to taking care of all your own food needs. My own great-grandparents did it as did most of everyone elses. My grandparents though, were quite happy to leave that life behind.

    • I know I will never get all the way there, but I might get close. I am sure at some point I will have to work with others to get there. This is all an experiment, seeing what food will work best for me. I realized a while ago that to achieve this goal, it meant killing animals for meat, I help rationalize it to myself by ensuring they have had a happy life, that I will not waste it and that I honor their sacrifice.

      PS: I sent you an email about your spam protection problems.

      • My son feels like you do with the animals. Go figure, since he’s a vegan, lol. I just look at their eyes and get too soft.

        My spam problem is simply one where an old dog needs to learn a new trick. I think I have it down now. Most blogs have the spam captcha thing below the comment box and yours is above. I do learn though! Thanks for the email about it.

        • Glad I could help. The spam protection is a necessary step, it literally keeps out 200-300 spams a day!

  2. I don’t go hunting, generally because I can afford to buy what I need. HOWEVER, when funds are few and you can’t raise all that you need for a vegan lifestyle … you will eat just about anything … according to my father who spent time in a prisoner-of-war-camp.

    You can partly repopulate the wild quail in your area …
    Also consider raising rabbits for meat. Not as messy to dress-out, require a small space, and have the highest feed to meat conversion ratio. They kept food on my table during hard times.

  3. Because they can be raised in a square foot of space on wire doesn’t mean they SHOULD. That’s not a good life.

  4. I agree with Melissa. You can pasture them on grass in a chicken tractor just fine, and they love it. Just make sure the height of the tractor is only about 2 feet, or they can and will break their necks startle-flying straight up. Also be prepared to handle your extra males one way or another, as the chicks hatch out at 50% and any more than 10% adult males will kill each other.

    Quail are amazing, wonderful birds, but not without their difficulties.

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