Archive for the Quail Category

Baby Quail

Posted in Quail with tags , , , , , on April 11, 2011 by PickMeYard

We walked into our home the other day and immediately heard chirping noises.  We followed the sound to our new incubator that was loaded with quail eggs.  Baby quail were hatching out of their eggs all at the same time.  What a sight that was!

That’s a hatching baby quail.

We should have taken all the little quail eggs (41 total) out of the egg turner and placed the eggs on the wire mesh inside the incubator a couple of days before they were expected to hatch.  I didn’t.  Everything turned out okay though because we were able to take the babies and the automatic egg turner out.  We put the rest of the un-hatched eggs on the wire mesh.  It would be sad and irresponsible if one of the babies got caught in the automatic egg turner after hatching.

Our “Little Giant” incubator from Tractor Supply.

Coturnix quail eggs are supposed to hatch in 17-18 days.  Ours hatched in exactly 20 days.  We kept adding eggs into the incubator so they’re 3 days apart.  We expect more to hatch today and tomorrow.  We already see a couple of the little eggs rocking back and forth in the incubator.  I put a colored dot on top of each egg with a sharpie to tell us which date the eggs went in.

Quail eggs in the incubator with the automatic egg turner taken out.

After the first set of quail hatched, we let them dry in the incubator for about 30 minutes.  Then we put them all into a bin lined with paper towels and a 100-watt bulb over them.  I put a thermometer in the bin to keep their temperature at 99 degrees.  Each week I’ll lower their temperature. I’ll change their bedding from the paper towels to something less slippery in a few days too.  I haven’t figured out what I’ll switch to yet.  For some more information on raising baby quail check out

Baby quail in their bin. I don’t recommend the shell as a watering container. I took it out right away. They could easily drown in it.

Our quail  aren’t good parents.  I’ve read it’s from the captivity.  So, after having our 12 quail for over a year, we decided we should get an incubator and hatch them ourselves.  We purchased the incubator and the automatic egg turner  (goes inside the incubator), from Tractor Supply.  It came with a good instruction manual. 

Our experiment turned out to be a success.  The babies are so incredibly cute.  The best part is that we were able to watch them hatch out of their eggs.  We were all yelling, “oh my God” and “get the camera!”.  It made the incubator worth every penny.

They love being in our hand this way. It must make them feel safe. How cute is that?

Come grow with us!

Sunny Side Up!

Posted in Quail with tags , , on September 14, 2010 by PickMeYard

We are a homeschooling family.  The best part about it is that we’re on our own schedule.  It’s not all fun and games though, the workload is pretty tough.  Grayson starts his work in the morning and comes out of his “classroom” when he’s ready for breakfast… and then lunch.  This morning he asked for quail eggs sunny side up.  I thought it was blog-worthy.

Those are quail eggs in my hand and quail eggs frying in the pan... in real butter.

Bite-sized little eggs.

I like to fry both sides of my eggs sometimes.  They were prettier before I fried both sides, but they’re too runny for Grayson’s taste.  Tomorrow morning I’ll make eggs in a blanketWe’ll have to try them hard-boiled too.  The kids will have to peel their own.

Breakfast of Champions!

Come grow with us!

Exotic Quail

Posted in Quail with tags , , , , , , on September 13, 2010 by PickMeYard

Our yellow labrador and yellow cat died 3 years ago from old age.  As far as pets go, we were down to one dog.  We felt free, yet it felt like there was a void.  We tried to fight the temptation to fill that void with another pet.  We lost that battle big time and now we have a small hobby farm.  I don’t know what the heck happened, but we’ve never been happier.  Everybody says to us, “isn’t it a ton of work?”  Yes and no.  We have animals because we have kids and we have kids to feed the animals.  Very synergistic.  Grayson loves his animals and gets paid to feed and take care of them.  

The latest addition to our little farm is 12 japanese quail.  They’re called Coturnix  coturnix japonica and we just love them!  I was reading a book called Growing & Using Exotic Foods: Living Off the Land , by Marian Van Atta . The author talks all about growing foods in the subtropics and has great recipes.  Then, out of nowhere, in the back of her book, there’s one page about raising Coturnix japonica.  She clearly loves them and that one page talked me right into going on a hunt to find my own.  I searched Craigslist and ended up finding someone who lives right down the road from us.   We left her their house with 12 beautiful, healthy quail and new friends.  They have a little hobby farm just like ours.  

Click here  for a YouTube video about raising quail. 

Our adorable Japanese quail.

Coturnix coturnix japonica.

These little birds are incredibly easy to take care of.  I think that’s what attracted me to the idea of raising these quail in the first place.  They don’t require a lot of space and they’re not noisy.  They make quiet little “whowie”  noises when they’re happy, such as the food bowl being set down in their cage.  These quail have short life spans (2-3 years).  They start laying eggs at 6 weeks of age and incubate their eggs for only 15 days.  Isn’t that amazing? 

Our quail coop.

They are ground dwellers and like to scratch and forage like chickens.  We don’t let them out of their coop though because they are way too susceptible to predators and I doubt they would last a day on their own.  I give them huge, flat bowls filled with fresh dirt and mulch everyday.  They dive right in and start scratching.  I also put potted fern plants in their coop to make them feel like they have something to hide behind.  They have boxes to nest in. 

Breakfast time.

I feed my quail “Flock Raiser” by Purina Mills.  Game food works for them too, but the Flock Raiser works for our baby chicks as well.  The quail go crazy for it. 

Of course, the best part about these little quail is their eggs!  They’re speckled and tiny, but taste just like chicken eggs.  Japanese quail are prolific egg layers. 

Lots of quail eggs and one white chicken egg.

The little yolks are the quails and the larger yolks are the chickens.

Quail eggs in my hand.

I’ve read many times that when you order quail in a restaurant, you’re probably getting the Japanese quail.  Well, we don’t plan on eating ours.  However, it’s good to know that we have options. 

We are eating the eggs though and they are delicious

Come grow with us!