Thursday, September 15, 2016

A place for Quail

I've always thought of quail as something you raised for your hunting dogs or something people raised who didn't have a lot of land or restricted land that couldn't have chickens...
These are both reasons to raise quail...
But there are other reasons to raise this neat little bird...
They are easy to care for...,
And they are tasty.. For both Eggs and meat!
The eggs are nice , fluffy and light..I love them!
The meat is delicious! Not like anything else we raise. 
And they have to be the easiest things we've ever processed. 3 to 5 minutes per bird!! Total. 
 It takes me 12 to 15 to pluck a pekin duck on a good day , if we slaughter at the proper time before the big pin feathers come in....
and that doesn't include kill time or cleaning out the guts. Pekins and bantam chickens take 20 to 25 minutes per bird .. Not bad!
Muscovies and geese take Atleast 40 minutes per bird. Yeah, it's a lot more meat.. And when broken down its a lot of meals!
But sometimes it's nice to have something so fast to get in the freezer and not as dramatic to kill. Geese and Muscovies do not go down easy ☹️
Makes it harder and sadder to me ... 
But they can't all be breeders and to many males hurt the females. So it's part of life here. 
These little guys... Still makes me sad to kill anything but we are not vegetarian .. 
So these guys do make quick and easy meals. 
Let me start by saying though, they are not a low input animal!
Yes, I said they are easy... Especially if you just want them for eggs. They start laying at just around 8 weeks! Lay around 300 eggs a year.. Feed, water, gather eggs..simple.
The high input comes in with the feed.. 
They need fairly high protein food and eat quiet a lot , as most poultry does.
They can't really even be free ranged because they will fly away .. So all their food needs must come from you.
And they are high input if you want meat or replacement layers. They won't brood their eggs so you have to collect, incubate and brood Everytime you want new quail...,
So why quail for a farm that has no restrictions & plenty of land to raise lesser input livestock?
Besides being easy to care for day to day..
They are high output.. And from what I can see very Efficient!! Steady supply of gourmet meat and different tasting eggs from the other egg layers I raise..
Yes please!
Loads of eggs fit in the incubator.. So even if you just get a 50% hatch rate you should still have plenty of quail. Though I see most people getting 60 and up to 75% hatch rates. Incubating and Brooding birds isn't something everyone enjoys.. If you're one of those people quail wouldn't be a good fit obviously!
Always having to incubate and brood would become a huge drudgery if you hate it.
I happen to really like incubating and brooding baby birds though.. Especially in the winter when I don't have a lot going on here on the farm. 

So Fast eggs, fast meat... Outstanding taste.. Easy care...
All good reasons to give them a try!

Plus I'm able to make good use of all those rabbit hutches I've got!
We tried to raise meat rabbits for 4 years..I tried angoras for 1 year.. High input , high out put didn't work for us that time ... Hoping these will fit in much better! 
Time will tell ... More on them later 😃😃
Have a blessed weekend ! 

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