So Why Raise Quail

Good morning dear readers!

I have been a busy bee round these parts and one of the reasons for that is that I am raising QUAIL.

So I live in a Southern California Suburban setting. Just a little quarter acre lot with a cute lil modest home in pricey ole So Cal. And this gal aches and aches for some space to farm. You know, not anything grandiose, but for now I am just a backyard space of about 400 sq and 5 separate garden spaces that make up another 100sf and so all combined, I have, well a TINY 500 SF FARM!

Woo hoo!

That actually sounds a bit ridiculous in truth, yet is what I got, and since I try and make the MOST of what I DO HAVE and not lament what I do not, 500sf it is.

So I purchased 5 quail this past year. One was an adult, a juvenile, and 3 chicks.

Its a bit of a fun journey, and some less fun moments but from there to here; I had 4 egg laying ladies. (One ended up being male). I chose, with great heartache, to give Sir Charles up because he was beating up on my lady gals and I couldn’t have that. I was also not quite sure if I wanted fertile eggs, so the ladies-only club it was!

Then by the tragedy I call New Year’s Eve, I lost my middle lady-bird-child Murphy to a stupid dog accident and well, she didn’t make it to 2021.

Now admittedly I am WAY over attached to these lil chirpy gals, and I knew this round would be more pet then live stock so its no surprise at the hot tears I shed over my middle bird. And the four eggs a day was really making me happy. That said, we’re down to 3.

So we rang in the 2021 year, rather reluctantly I don’t mind admitting, and the weekend found us back at the feed store looking for a few more. Also I had magically found myself in the free possession of a double decker bunny hutch during Christmas, (not a gift, just a happy happenstance) perfect for way more lady birds.

As the journey took us from one occurrence to another, we are now at a bird breeder who has quail and I was sent home with 11 snowball looking Coturnix quail.

No idea if they are male, female or doves. 4 flew the coop, literally, while moving them from the carrier into the coop, but never fear, all 4 made it back home safe and sound.

Lady is a bird whisperer!

Now its been only 12 days and not one snowball is laying eggs, but they are all residing in darling, very natural settings and I am hopeful that my new daily quota of 10-14 eggs a day will soon be in my basket.

Now for those of you who don’t know, quail eggs, as one could imagine are tiny.

Bitty. Cute as a button eggs.

Its takes 3 quail eggs to equal the size if one pretty good size medium chicken egg. I normally buy extra large. (On a side note chicken eggs now seem ENORMOUS to me)

There is also something called a “button quail” which are about half the size of a normal quail and their eggs, as you might guess, are half the quail egg size too.

I see a theme beginning here.

Tiny farm space

Tiny farm animals

Tiny farm products.

Tiny FUN

So the question begs to ask, WHY EAT/RAISE QUAIL EGGS?

Its okay, I wondered the same thing until I started getting daily eggs and found myself playing with them, and taking fun pics, and making quail egg art, and cataloguing what bird lays what pattern of egg, why do I need or want such little eggs…

Here is my list:

1. They are GORGEOUS, I mean, they ARE

2. Keeping quail is easier than chickens if you live in a non-chicken raising environment.

3. They are easier then chickens.

**WARNING**Actually I have found so far that all raising quail has left me with is a huge ache to get chickens. So if you think quail will erase your need for chickens, well, think again. They are a gateway bird.

4. They are pretty darn quiet and can be kept in small areas.

5. Their waste makes GREAT compost fuel. We waste nothing here!

6. They love food scraps, not your leftover pizza of course but veggie clippings, dandelions if you don’t spray them, salad greens, etc

7. Quail eggs are very nutritious for being small. 1 quail egg is about 14 calories, 1 gram of protein, 1 gram of fat, zero carbs or fiber and full if micronutrients like folate, vitamin A, B12, Iron, phosphorous and Selenium. We treat them like superfoods.

8. So many uses! I add a quail egg to a chicken egg for added nutrition when cooking. We’ve hard boiled them and they are delicious. You can pickle them or just crack a few more and make breakfast. I have loved adding them to our regular egg dishes as a specialty item, and one rough week, the quail eggs got us through until pay day 🙂 so YAY for having egg laying birds !

So if raising quail might interest you, its a truly wonderful experience, and if not just having access to quail eggs, from a farmers market, or someone you know who raises them is a wonderful addition to your regular healthy diet.

So how bout it! Have you ever tried quail eggs?

Did you know they come in BLUE?

Next post!

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