Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Additions

What is the size of a mouse and chirps like a cricket? ...

Baby Quail!

We are now raising ten baby quail for at least the next few months; Nine of them are Cotournix quail and one is "Texas A&M" which just means it's a white cotournix. They're so tiny and quiet it's amazing! The smallest one is literally no bigger than a baby mouse and they're all surprisingly calm and fascinating to watch. 

Having ground-dwelling chicks is taking some getting used to. They don't like to be picked up from above and they certainly don't perch. They seem irritated when you make them perch, in fact! They prefer to be on solid ground which means no picking up and carrying around, but if you set your hand in their cage they'll let you "hang out" with them... Hopefully I'll have at least one suitable mating pair so I can hatch my own little quaillettes in the future. These little guys will provide eggs and meat for us, as well as some interesting conversation topics. Their housing has to be fairly special - draft free (to prevent quail piles... piles of quail in which they often kill each other), low ceilings (to prevent them from flying up, hitting the ceilings and breaking their necks) and very tiny mesh cage wire (these guys are so tiny they can fit through 1'x1 wire mesh... chicken wire even!)

It's amazing. These little fluffers only incubate for 17 days! In fact, within 5 weeks they start laying the next brood, and at the same time they reach "market weight" which is literally only a few ounces. :) Plus, mature quail only really need 1-2' sq feet per bird once they're mature. Mwahaha. I am Quail Girl!


  1. Oh, they're very cute! Did you hatch them yourself? We're considering quail (not allowed to have chickens) but I'd like to find chicks locally. No incubator.

    Are you the same Emily as posts on the Canning2 list?

    I enjoy the blog!

  2. They're adorable, but they don't sound too smart. If their home has to prevent them from piling and killing each other or breaking their necks from flying...
    I don't think I've ever had quail eggs. Looking forward to hearing more about them.

  3. Oh, Emily, enjoy the quiet now. Quail are LOUD. Well, the male quail are. And they like to do their ear-deafening chirup in the early morning hours. And the late morning hours. And the afternoon hours. But they are quite amazing.