Babies!

Our quail finally showed up at the feed store today. We brought home a dozen. Squeeeee!

chicks1

chicks2

chicks3

This is where they’ll live when they get big enough to go outside:

quailrunweb

I’ll have an Eco-Saturday post about our quail-rearing adventures in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, here are a couple of quick facts about the cage you see above:

1. This is a “quail tractor” — a portable coop designed to protect the birds while giving them access to fresh forage. I’ll post details when I do the instructional post — complete with plans and a materials list — but for now, the upshot is that it’s a similar setup to the one we used for our chickens in Tulsa, except I designed it to suit the needs of quail, which are smaller and have different habits and preferences than chooks.
2. It’s not quite finished. It needs a roof, some corner braces to reinforce the lid, and maybe some removable insulation panels around one end to keep the quail warm in the fall. The hard part — cutting and attaching the hardware cloth — is done, though.

Now we just have to keep these little guys healthy and happy until they’re big enough to work in the garden. I hope they’re as enthusiastic about scratching up weeds and eating bugs as our chooks were.

Emily

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2 thoughts on “Babies!”

  1. I think you could have fit at least two and maybe three of them into a large chicken’s egg shell. They were very cute, but I have my reservations about the practicality.

    1. They’ll be fine for our purposes. I mostly need them to eat pests and weeds. If they produce a few eggs, too, that’s a bonus. It takes five quail eggs to equal one chicken egg, but they’re supposedly very nutritionally dense, and quail tend to be better layers than chickens. Chooks weren’t an option under current city policy (though I intend to lobby for a change in that policy, which is wrongheaded and environmentally bunk), so we’re trying quail. If they’re too little to be useful, I’ll build a bigger pen and switch to pheasant next year.

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