Archive for May, 2009

Mini urban livestock, Quails

May 11, 2009

We have quail!

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After trying quail eggs from the local market and eating quail at a restaurant last year, I was convinced quail would be a great addition to our urban farm.

Quail eggs are very yummy. From my research quail eggs are higher in nutrient per gram then chicken eggs, have a higher yolk to white ratio and are very pretty, each one having slightly different combinations of white and browns spots and sploshes.

As far as cooking,

Fried Quail Eggs on Toast.

Crack four quail eggs into a cup.

Heat pan, low to medium heat.

A drizzle of olive oil

One egg ring, lightly rubbed in olive oil, placed in pan.

Pour all four quail eggs into egg ring.

When eggs are set to your liking, place on toast and enjoy!

Poached Quail Eggs with Avocado.

Have toast and fresh slices of avocado ready.

Crack one quail egg into a cup (we find espresso cups perfect for this use)

Set a medium size saucepan half filled with water on the stove.

Add a tablespoon of vinegar.

Bring to boil, turn down to a simmer.

Stir water to create a whirlpool.

Pour single quail egg into centre of whirlpool.

Use slotted spoon to remove when set.

Repeat process until you have enough eggs for each serve (I suggest three to four per person.

Below is a cake mix conbining quail and hen eggs.

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Care of Quail.

We are currently housing our five quail in a metal guinea pig hutch. The hutch is being used as a quail tractor, with us moving it around under our fruit trees.

UPDATE: Quail Towers has arrived! Hiding away in a shed at our East Gippsland home was a three storey chicken hatchery which I thought would be just perfect for keeping quail. The guinea pig hutch whilst great for tractoring the quail was not all the practical for getting access to the eggs, Quail Towers on the other hand is off the ground and I can easily see if there are eggs without opening the door or bending down. Photo’s coming soon.

We feed Game Bird Crumbles which cost around $24 per 20kg bag. We crush the crumbles in our grinder as quail that are under 16 weeks old find the crumbles a bit too large to eat.

I read somewhere that quail only eat 18 grams each a day, well our quail are eating three times that, maybe due to the cold weather or their age.

In regards to living quarters, quail are very quick to escape out partly open doors, select hutches or cages that will enable you access without fear of losing your new friends.

UPDATE We lost a quail, actually we lost 4 but found three within the day. A visitor didn’t shut the door properly and at some time during the day all but one quail flew out. Quail can definitely fly, we ended up using an old butterfly net attached to the broom stick. The last quail was seen flying over our neighbour’s house, never to be seen again. 😦

Eggs Production

Quail start laying somewhere around 6 – 8 weeks old, lay around 200 – 300 eggs each a year for about 2 – 3 years. Quail that are good for egg laying are not good mothers, like productive hens the mothering instinct has been selectively breed out, so if you want more quail, use a small bantam to hatch them out or an incubator.

We have also processed our surplus (too many males) and enjoyed Greek Style Oven baked quail. Friends came over to help with the task of plucking and preparing the birds for the table. We would like to aim to have at least one meal a month of quail from our own urban farm.

Interested in getting quail? Give Jeremy from Oakleigh a call 0411 048 707, he has stock available at very reasonable prices.

Enjoy your quail!

PS Just found this blog site, which includes info of hatching out quail, well worth a read!

http://alifelesssimple.wordpress.com/