Skip to content

Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: button quail

We have almost five acres. It is a nice sized piece of land. Getting the right combination of animals for the space has been a mix and match challenge. It is not enough space to have cows or a lot of other large animals, but it can accommodate a good number of small to medium sized livestock.

On one side of our house, we keep our fowl pens. There is a 10′ x 10′ pen with 2 ducks, a 5′ x 10′ pen with 2 turkeys, a cage with 2 Japanese (coturnix) quail and a homing pigeon, 3 bantam chicken cages, a chick grow out cage and the main standard chicken coop.

Our horse and pony have a double pasture out front. That set of large animals works well. The recent rain storms keep passing over our area, so we have a round bale scheduled for pickup today, but normally during the warm weather, the grass grows at about the same pace as their grazing.

The three dogs all stay inside now. And they have a fenced area in the back to run around in. That is also where our herd is. We have four mini goats. And now there is Charlie.

Charlie

This is our new lamb. He is very quiet and shy. I think that Charlie is an Oxford sheep. They are used for both meat and wool. We won’t be eating Charlie, but a scarf would be nice. Actually, I have a friend that weaves, so she will most likely be getting a surprise package when we shave him.

The goats have been ignoring him, except for Luna. Luna is our little black goat that loves to play all day. She taunts the dogs. She jabs me lightly in the calves with her little horns if I’m not quick enough at feed time. Luna has been torturing Charlie. But Charlie barely feels her pushing him around. His fleece serves as a bouncy, thick layer of protection.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We run a small operation here hatching chicks. Therefore, multiple breeds and types of young fowl are sometimes housed together. We have found out that you have to pay close attention to the type, age, size, etc. that are kept in these groups.

It is recommended to keep birds of similar ages together. Chickens and other fowl are territorial and can be aggressive towards one another. Our first experience was putting month+ old chicks in with our adult guinea fowl hen and chicken hen. One chick was dead and one injured before we realized our mistake.

Another thing to watch out for is brand new wet chicks right out of the shell. The chicks that are already in the brooder may mistake them for food or may take advantage of this vulnerable stage. You must let a chick dry out and be happily on its feet toddling about before introducing them to the other babies. We found this out recently (the hard way again) when a brand new one was put in with the rest.

Chicks Share 1

Chicks Share 2

Size is important. If you house a range of sizes together, make sure there are places for them to get out of the way of the bigger chicks. I have heard that turkeys should not be housed with chickens (for the turkeys health benefit), but we know a lot of people who keep them together.

Use your common sense and information you find on the subject to base your decisions on. No matter how you choose to do this, it is likely that there will be losses here and there. There are parts of running the Farmette that are difficult, but overall it is a great lifestyle.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Please look at yesterday’s post Pic and you’ll see quite a variety of baby birds. There are Chinese Painted quail, Japanese quail, Pekin/Khaki Campbell X ducklings, Buff Orpington chicks, Americana, Americana/RIR X and Bantam X.

Half of our interest in particular breeds is how the eggs look. We purchased some fertile Japanese quail eggs since the eggs were so attractive. They are small and white dappled with brown. Hopefully the chicks will make it to adulthood and produce more of these tiny morsels.

Americana chickens lay light blue or green eggs. Two of our hens lay light blue and the third lays an aqua colored egg. The hens are all gray and the chicks seem to follow this coloration. The rooster is so multicolored that we hope to get a bit more feather color here and there as we hatch more eggs.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chick Mix - Quick Pic then back to the Brooder

Once the hatching begins, it seems to gain momentum. The sound of the new chicks motivates the others to hatch. Last year (Spring 2009) was our first one in hatching eggs.

I remember my husband, Jamie and I pulling eggs out of the incubator and wondering how much longer it would take or if they were duds. A sound came from one of the eggs, but I was the only one that heard it. I said “Did you hear that peep?”. Jamie looked at me as if I had three heads.

But, apparently, I had not gone off the deep end. It was just that neither of us knew that you can hear a chick right before it begins to break out of the shell. And it seems that not a lot of people know this. So, when we have guests in the Spring our new hobby is to have them hold an egg to their head and watch the amazement.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Eggs - Variety

If you want to skip the dye for Easter eggs, choose your chickens wisely. You can also bring a bit of Spring liveliness into your kitchen every day. By mixing up your flock with different breeds it is possible to produce a rainbow for your breakfast table.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring is here after a surprisingly tough winter in Southern North Carolina. This means that it is time to hatch eggs. Egg hatching can be like crack for animal lovers. To see a brand new life emerge from a hard oval object is all too fascinating. The magic of it never seems to grow old.

We did hatch some Chinese Painted Quail over the Winter, but it requires a heated barn or a place indoors to hatch and brood chicks. Even adults cannot tolerate the cold, so the temperature must remain above freezing for them.

Now baby chicken season is here. We keep our incubator near the kitchen and brood boxes in the garage. When the chicks are fully feathered, they move to a well sheltered outdoor cage with nesting box.

Our incubator is Hova-bator brand. We bought it new on Ebay. If you look at the website StrombergsChickens.com, you will see a few options for these. Ours has a fan and egg turner which is well worth the cost. You can make your money back quickly by selling off some of the birds you make.

Incubator - Clean and ready

Selling off chicks also helps feed the farm. Hatching provides you with new chickens each year.

Establishing the type that you want to raise is a matter of personal preference and need. We don’t raise meat or fighting birds. Egg layers are our focus as well as some ornamental breeds.

Always keep a few hens just for food eggs. There is nothing like a fresh egg. The taste is so much different than the commercially produced kind. We have become quite spoiled in this way.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Take a quick look at the incubation process, if you choose it instead of consumption. These are Chinese Painted Quail eggs, birds most often referred to, somewhat incorrectly, as Button Quail. If you like instant gratification, this is as close as you will get, since these eggs can hatch after about 2 weeks.

Eggs

The result is just the size of a quarter. They become full size (4″-5″) at 6-8 weeks. Shortly thereafter these now adult quail will start to lay and quickly populate the world with their wind-like whistling calls.

Chicks

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,