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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: quail

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But,

Beatrice

“Beatrice”

Abbey

“Abbey”

Luna

“Luna”

Tony

“Tony”

Mozart

“Mozart”

Guinea Fowl

Guinea Fowl

Bantam Chickens

Bantam Chickens

Annie & Muriel

“Annie” & “Muriel”

Rocky

“Rocky”

Bigs

“Bigs”

“Now, Abbey! now, Annie! now, Tony and Rocky!
On, Beatrice! on, Bigs! on, Muriel and Luna!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.”

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And me in my ‘kerchief, and dadda in his cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

Crazy Bird

“Crazy Bird”

Button Quail

Button Quail

Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish

Deirdre

“Deirdre”

Cecilia

“Cecilia”

Penny

“Penny”

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

xmasMoonWbw

excerpts courtesy of

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

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We have tried many different ways to provide fresh water to our fowl. Containers have been purchased at the farm supply stores. Bowls have been made from old pots and buckets.

Either way, there has always been quite a problem with the birds getting their drinking supply dirty. I have been trying to come up with a good, low cost solution that is not too difficult to set up.

I recently discovered that you need to put a little money into a specialized part. Then you can recycle household items (2 liter soda containers, wire/twine) for the rest of the project.

The part was probably, originally designed for use in higher volume PVC pipe type watering systems. If you poke around the net, you will find some information about their use for back yard flock waterers. I purchased a dozen push in watering nipples from Meyer Hatchery’s web site (McMurray Hatchery – similar name but no drinkers for sale).

Large Soda Bottle with Nipple

Getting this together is a bit harder than it looks. You must have a good drill and a bit that is about 23/64″. The hole that you drill needs to be as small as possible so that the nipple fits tightly and does not leak.

The crucial pivot point of my neck is damaged, so I have to commandeer my husband for tasks that require arm strength and pressure derived from the upper body. Even as a really big guy, he struggled to push the nipple (including 1/2 of the rubber washer) through the hole. I may try to find a drill bit that is just a touch wider.

Drilling can be a challenge since the soda bottle cap wants to spin with the drill bit. I have a solution in my head that would make the task easier if one were to make a lot of these drinkers. You need to use a 2″ x 4″ board under the cap to drill through it and not into the floor. But, I think if you were to attach two pieces of wood to this board in a V-like shape, you could slid the cap into the spot where it was snug for drilling.

The next step is to construct something in order to to hang the bottle up at bird head level – so that they can drink comfortably. We drilled a small hole on either side towards the base of each bottle. Wire or rope slides right through the middle and creates a handy hanger when tied or twisted at the ends.

Hanger and Filler Door

You also need a way to fill the bottle up with water. I wanted the watering system to be EASY to manage. Not wanting to have to take the bottles out of the coop, take off the cap, fill and put back, I decided on a hole at the base near the holes for the hanger.

After several tries, I came up with a good solution. A “Fish Mouth” shape was the winner. So that the least amount of contaminants would enter the bottle, a flap was a necessity. It was also important that an average size hose would fit in for filling. I followed the contour of one of the 5 bubbles in the bottle design that make up the standing base. PERFECT!

These were tested before I wrote this Blog entry. They work great! So far, the new drinkers are in the standard chicken, guinea, bantam chicken and quail pens. A few drops of water and shiny steel parts attracted the birds to the nipples. By the next day they were all drinking readily from the hanging pop bottles.

Water in the drinkers lasts several days. You can add a little apple cider vinegar or a drop of bleach to help keep them clean. I am guessing that periodically, the bottles will have to be replaced. The caps with nipples can be re-used over and over again.

Final Product

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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