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Quail
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After having some quail eggs at my MIL's house I decided I wanted some for eggs. I ended up buying 10 four day old chicks. They are now 8 weeks old and I am keeping six of them the other four are all roos that I will butcher. I have four hens and a roo in one pen and will soon have another four hens. Unfortunately I don't have room for any more than that since I live in town. I've had so much fun raising them and now eating the eggs. I have read that the eggs are very good for you and that the meat is good as well. My boys and I love eat them. My 7 year old likes his Udi's toasted and cut into quarters. I then top each toast quarter with a quail egg sunny side up. The 11 year old eats them scrambled. I'll eat them anyway but raw. :P

Anyone else have quail? I know several people on here have chickens.

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That sounds interesting. Are they easier to keep than chickens? Do they take up less room? How many eggs do they produce? What do they eat? Their eggs are small, but I like them. I don't have space for chickens, but maybe I could have quail. How do they manage cold?

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quote name='dilettantesteph' timestamp='1338982093' post='801051']

That sounds interesting. Are they easier to keep than chickens? I'm not sure if they are easier to keep than chickens or not. I've never had chickens. I guess you could go both ways with that. My MIL has both. The chickens are in an outside coop and can get out into a fenced in area to scratch. The quail are kept in pens and it depends on how big the pens/cages are as to how many birds you can put in them.

Do they take up less room? I would say yes. Most people keep them in pens and cages and they can be stacked. On average allow 1 square foot of space per bird.

How many eggs do they produce? On average about an egg/day. They can produce all year round with proper lighting. You don't need a roo for the hens to lay. I want to hatch some eggs so I am keeping a hen/roo ration of 4:1 to have fertile eggs.

What do they eat? You should feed them a good quality non medicated quail/game bird food with at least a 24-28% protein content. The feed I am giving my quail has wheat middlings in it along with a bunch of other stuff. So far I am not having a reaction by handling it but I wash very well afterwards. Maybe check with a feed store to see if a feed mix could be done up with non gluten grains only. You can also give them treats like weeds, bugs, meal/wax worms, fruits/veggies. So far my birds like parsley, basil, plantain weeds out of the yard, dried meal worms, earthworms and rolly polly bugs.

Their eggs are small, but I like them. They are small but oh so tasty. If using quail eggs in place of chicken eggs the conversion is 5 quail eggs is equal to 1 large chicken egg. They are supposed to be healthier than chicken eggs too.

I don't have space for chickens, but maybe I could have quail. I live in town and do not have a big back yard. My husband built me a cage and used a 1/2 palet as the frame. It is about 40" long X 24" deep. I have 5 birds comfortablly living in it and probablay could put a couple more in. Hubby is going to build me another cage for 5 more birds.

How do they manage cold? They will tolerate the cold fine as long as they are sheltered properly. My MIL wraps plastic around her cages all except the door to block them from the elements.

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They are so cute!! You'll have to post pics of yours1 Did you name them?

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They are so cute!! You'll have to post pics of yours1 Did you name them?

The boys did when they were chicks. Now I don't know which one was which except two. One has a croocked beak and his name is CB. Not a trait I want to pass down so he is not a keeper. Another male is Small Fry because he hatched three days after the other nine and was smaller than than the rest. I call my Italian Goldie because of her color. Gotta come up with some other names for the rest of the girls.

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I've only named a few of my chickens. Trying to stay distant because they are destined for dinner after their egg laying years, but I have chicks, one of whom I'm sure is a boy, so I've named him "Stewie". The turkey is named "Drumstick", but he's not all that bright, so it's defaulted to "Dufus".

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Could they be put in a garden, or would they wreck it? What do you do about slaughtering them? The slaughtering question is also for Jesgar for chickens. Maybe I could get my husband to do that part. I hear chickens do wreck a garden. Maybe you could put them in a root vegetable garden so that eating the above ground stuff wouldn't hurt much.

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I have the man do the slaughtering part. It's very quick, and probably a lot less stressful than anything the production farms do. Also, my chickens aren't the meat birds that grow to full size in 8 weeks and have to be processed soon after that timepoint because the ones that have managed to live that long start dieing from the stress of the rapid growth.

Cleaning is pretty easy, and there's no contamination from the guts.

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Thanks. I'm glad that contamination from the guts doesn't bother you. How sensitive are you? I was planning on giving them a gluten free diet because I thought it would be a problem for me since I am sensitive to such tiny amounts. To give some comparison, do you have problems with produce grown on wheat straw?

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After many years of extraordinarily clean eating, I am pleased to say that I'm not sensitive at all. :)

I don't think I eat anything grown on wheat straw, but I do use straw (of undetermined origin) in the chicken coop. It's wet enough here that the straw isn't dusty by the time I clean it, and I wash my hands after doing anything with the chickens.

Sorry, I can't be a barometer for you, but you can clean a chicken with getting anything from the gut onto the meat, if you're doing them one at a time.

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Hubby wants to let the roos get a little more growth on them before butchering. So we will butcher them when they are 10 weeks old in two more weeks. Our plan is to cut their heads off with really sharp kitchen sheers and let them bleed out. Then I will put them in hot water to loosen the feathers and attempt to pluck. Quail skin is very thin so I don't know how sucessful I will be. I may end up just skinning the rest. I then plan to cut then up along the spine to take the guts out. I will leave them otherwise whole since they are small.

I've decided I really don't have the room to hatch and brood my own quail. So I'm gonna just fill the cage with hens just for the eggs. When they get to old or aren't laying as well, I'll butcher them and get some more hens. MIL has tons and plans to hatch out eggs so it won't be a problem to get more.

I never realized that quail could be so brutal. Three of the girls started pecking the crap out of the 4th girl so I had to take her out and put her in with the gimpy crooked beak roo that they pecked bloody too. They make quite a pair at this time.

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you can clean a chicken with getting anything from the gut onto the meat, if you're doing them one at a time.

I thought you might mean that, after I'd finished with my post. Thanks.

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I never realized that quail could be so brutal. Three of the girls started pecking the crap out of the 4th girl so I had to take her out and put her in with the gimpy crooked beak roo that they pecked bloody too. They make quite a pair at this time.

Do they peck at you too?

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Do they peck at you too?

Just the roos try and peck me. Luckily they are so small it doesn't hurt.

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Well, I've had quite a fun time with my birds. I still have the original four and have added to them. I now have a total of nine hens and three roos. I am getting a total of 9 eggs a day. The eggs are fertile so we are incubating about 30 some eggs at the moment. I hope we get some to hatch.

I ended up butchering the quail myself because the husband wouldn't do it. He said that if I wanted them I needed to be able to shoulder the responsibility. So, my 11 year old and I did the job and quite well, I must say so myself. :P I ended up skinning them because it was easier and quicker. I butchered some for my MIL also. She let me keep all the meat. I have another six that will be ready to butcher in a few weeks.

I have eaten the quail eggs I think every way but raw. I can't bring myself to eat a raw egg period no matter what kind. So far my favorite is sunny side up on toast points. I also decided to make crepes with them today. The crepes turned out the best I've made.

I tried to give a link from drop box to a picture and it did work, but unfortunately it had my log in name on the screen(which was my first and last name) and I didn't want that information posted. So I deleted the link. :(

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Thanks for the update. I really need to get into this.

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I'm up to 11 hens now. Funny two more "males" ended up female. :lol:

Sunday my eggs started hatching. Out of 35 eggs I had 22 to hatch. Pretty good considering I've never incubated eggs before. They are so cute! They are no bigger than my thumb and some smaller. I had one with a splayed leg and I had to splint it's legs together with a bandaid. Another one had curled toes so it has a cast on it's foot. It was rather funny watching me tend to these two little chicks. Both are doing better and should be fine.

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The things ya gotta do as a poultry mom.... :rolleyes:

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