Quail

This year’s Spring project is adding quail to our backyard.  My friend Laura has also wanted to get them, so this year we are pushing each other into finally making this the year of quail.

Coturnix quail.  These guys.

Also known as Pharoah Quail, since they were so important to the Ancient Egyptians that they have their own hieroglyph.

This means, of course, that since the chickens are named after Queens, these new birds must be named after Egyptian royalty!  If all goes well, I’ll start out with four quail: one male and three females.  Front-running names right now are Ramses, Nefertiti, Hatchepsut, and Arsinoe.  Another friend named Laura (I swear every other person I know is named Laura!) suggested I call the quail’s coop the Coop de Nile, which will probably stick.

The coop is going to have a garden roof, somewhat like this one:

I plan to grow strawberries on it, as I’ve been needing to make a new bed for the strawberries.  “Sparkle” strawberries and these very pretty white ones, called “White Soul”.  The white ones I’m growing from seed, so I hope all goes well.

Can’t you just see how pretty the combination of white and red fruit is going to look?

Inside the coop, I want it to be natural for the quail, so I’ll give them a floor of dirt and sand, with different varieties of grass growing.

Laura and I are going to borrow an incubator and hatch our own quail chicks.  We hope.  *fingers crossed*  I have successfully hatched a duck before, so surely quail can’t be that different?  Look at how tiny the just-hatched baby quail are!

One of the major reasons why I want quail is for the eggs.  They are even healthier than chicken eggs – just packed full of nutrients!  And I’ve heard, although I’ve never actually tasted one, that they are wonderfully flavored.  And, they are so small and cute.

Our plans are to have the eggs in the incubator by the end of May.  And I intend to blog about the entire process, from building the coop, to hatching the eggs, to gathering the first eggs.

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8 responses to “Quail

  1. Quail are adorable!

    The only flaw in this plan that I see is that if you hatch your own, you’ll get 50% males. If you’re raising them for eggs, you might want to see if you can buy sexed babies.

    Love the strawberry roof idea. I might have to try something like that; it might deter the slugs!

    • It’s impossible to buy baby quail, much less sexed ones, in my area. But my friend and I are putting two dozen eggs in the incubator, and we’ll see what hatches. Any extras beyond what we want, we’ll give away.

  2. Great idea for the chicken coop!

    I can get quail eggs in our tiny Chinatown. The yolk is much bigger in proportion to the white than chicken eggs, and very creamy.

  3. I’m guessing the first Laura is (for lack of a better name) library Laura?

    I think it’s smart to hatch your own. You won’t have to go through the post office disaster you went through with your chicks.

    I love the coop, and am totally curious about white strawberries now. You don’t have to keep them in the dark, like white asparagus?

    A question about the quail, since I don’t know much about them: do you have to worry about males in town, the way you do chickens? I’m assuming they don’t crow…yeah, really don’t know much about quail at all!

    And why not Cleopatra? I could just see a little Cleo quail running about and peeping…and doing whatever else quails do 🙂

    I’ll be interested to read your posts!

    • Hi Bonnie! Yes, it’s work Laura, and no…white strawberries don’t need to be kept in the dark. I’m very curious about them, since I’ve never grown this variety! Male quail do make a sound, but I’m not sure you could call it a crow. It’s not loud, so it won’t bother any neighbors. And I don’t know why I don’t want a Cleopatra quail, but I just don’t. Everyone suggests that name though, so maybe I’m just being contrary! *grin*

  4. here in Florida, we have alot of quail, also known as “Bob-Whites” because of the sound they make. My parents live in a rural area with virtually no feral cats, and they have a covey that usually hatches between 6 to 14 chicks. They are so adorable to watch! They scratch around the birdfeeder, one of the adults keeping watch at all times. If they get spooked, they run for the cover of the azalea hedge, and if they get lost, the male will call out “bob-white”. so cute!

  5. Dirt floor is fine, but don’t forget to put a wire floor under the dirt to keep put predators. Even in the city raccoons, opossums and rats will prey on quail if they can. Also, make sure your wire is strong enough and small enough openings that no predators can reach in grab birds. I use 1/2″ hardware cloth- it even keeps out snakes.

    • Right! All my cages are made with 1/2 hardware cloth, and I put it underneath too. Rats are continually trying to dig under, and I can’t have that.

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