Saturday, December 29, 2012


The quail were not getting along. Not at all. 

At first, Spaz began to bully them. So I put him in the greenhouse. Next, Charlie became a bully. So i put him in separate quarters. Then Cotton, started picking on the others.

That was when i realized they were not happy in their hutch. They didn't have enough room, and they were not happy.

It was terrible to see them get hurt. Dove and Dusty were very badly injured by the others. So i decided i had to change something.

 So i moved them to the greenhouse.
All of them.

It isn't the prettiest out there, with all of the compost, watering systems and black plastic to keep the ground unfrozen. But they are in heaven out there. They still have squabbles, and sometimes they chase each other. But they never hurt each other, if one of them wants to get away from the others, they get away.  This is only for the winter, and i'm not sure what i am going to do with them in the summer.

But they are so happy right now...

They have compost to chow on, plenty of places to drink from, feed scattered every where, bushes to hide in. 

And also, they are much tamer. For some reason, out in the greenhouse they are so much more friendly. Even the shy ones like Spaz don't mind being picked up. 

The only little bird that is still terrified of me is Spice. She is a crazy little one. While the others wait at the door to be fed, she flies into the opposite wall! She is always alright, but she is very crazy.

And since they are so happy, i have had a few surprises.

Calico is a boy.

And so is Cricket.

And so is Cotton.

So i have 5 females and 5 males... not a very good ratio at all. But they all get along, and i have only heard them crow a few times. Actually, i'm not sure if Charlie is a boy... i haven't ever heard him crow. Hmmmmmm... So i might have 6 females and 4 males. It's too bad that i won't get that many eggs, but it's okay.

What funny little birds! Now all i have to do is wait for eggs :) 


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Still no eggs...

 The quail are still not laying. I'm confused by that. Of course, they may still be adjusting to their new home, but it has been nearly 2 weeks. 
Maybe it the cold... 
But they seem very healthy
 They have a dustbath to play in.

They have plenty of room.

 Branches to hide in.

 A coop to huddle in.
 14 hours of warm, bright light.

Plenty of friends...
And lots of love.

I wonder why they aren't laying eggs, but they can take their time. As long as they are happy :)


Monday, December 17, 2012


 Today was the first real snow of the season. The world looks surreal, how every branch is dappled with white. The sky is a pale shade of gray.
The quail huddle in their hutch, away from the cold.

Snowflakes sprinkle down, weighing down branches.
 Against the silence of the snow, you can hear their peeping.

They heal.

Spaz himself adjusts to his new home in the greenhouse, where he can't hurt anyone. The birds doze peacefully in corners.

It's beautiful.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The great escape ( Why to clip wings... )

It all started with the simple idea: My quail should be able to free range!

Of course, it doesn't work like that because quail would likely just run away. So i overturned a laundry basket and put Spice and Calico in it on the ground. They seemed happy about pecking around, so i left them there for a while.

When i came back, my presence must have upset Spice, because she easily slipped from between the bars, and flew away, into my neighbors yard.

Obviously, i was freaking out.

I quickly put Calico back in the hutch and chased after Spice with some feed in hand. She was under the neighbor's porch and i couldn't reach her, and she wouldn't come for the food. I was inches away so i tried to grab her, but she flew about 100 feet away.

I went to grab a bucket to carefully shoo her into. She came really close to a some dense bushes- if she went in there, I would never be able to find her.

The next time she flew, she flew into my bucket, scared but unharmed. Then, looking ridiculous, i exited my neighbor's yard with a bird and a bucket.

I returned her to the hutch, and snipped off the tips of her wing feathers. Now she is safe and at home!

That was pretty scary! But i'm glad she's okay.


Meet my flock

Each of my coturnix quail have their own unique personality! Here they are.

Spaz: Is the trouble maker. He is so mean to the other birds, so now he is living in seperate quarters. He has such a beautiful crow!

Charlie: Is the other roo, is much quieter and doesn't crow ( Yet... ). The poor guy got attacked by Spaz so he isn't very pretty right now, but he is a good little bird

Calico: I hate to choose favorites, but this little girl is gorgeous. She is also very sweet, and doesn't object to being picked up and held. She is a bit of an outcast with the other birds but she is very happy and funny. 

 Dove: Is beautiful and pure white. She is shy and quiet, and spends a lot of her time snuggling in the coop. 

 Cotton: Is Dove's twin! Maybe not, but they look very alike. Cotton is calm, but doesn't like being picked up very much.
Spice: Is the naughtiest little quail! But she is also a sweetheart, although shy. She is very light and boy can she FLY. More on her later. 

Lolipop: Is very quiet and shy. She spends lots of time in the coop portion of the hutch.
 Stella: Is chubby and the queen of the coop! She is friendly enough and isn't too afraid of people. She is almost all white except for a little black dot on her head.

Dusty: Is very active and loves to run around! She doesn't like to be touched or held but is funny to watch.

There you are! Aren't they cute? Thanks for reading!


New birds!

 At last, we went to pick up our quail. 10 beautiful A&M coturnix, 8 hens and 2 roosters. All of them seem very happy, healthy and inquisitive. At first they were afraid of me, but they are slowly getting used to my presence.They seem a bit crowded in their hutch- they are, with only 8 square feet instead of the recommended 10 square feet for this many birds. But they are nice and cozy and they can keep each other warm in the cold, soon-to-be-winter weather.

 Inside their little "coop" Portion of the hutch they have plenty of cozy straw, and they like to spend plenty of their time in there.

They are curious, funny little things.  They make the cutest peeping sounds and are friendly and odorless. They blend into our backyard very well, and they are adorable little pets!

I got the first egg 2 days ago, which was beautiful and speckled, and very tasty! There have been no eggs since, i'm assuming because they are still stressed from the trip to their new home.

I am looking forward to taming these little guys and getting ( hopefully ) Fresh eggs daily!!!

Clover ~

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quail soon to come!

I found some lovely coturnix for sale on the internet. Tomorrow i am going to pick up 10-15 adult A&M ( White ) Coturnix quail. I am so very excited!

I have cardboard boxes lined with shavings to bring them home in. Their hutch is set up, lined with pine needles, leaves and branches. Their food bowls are full with crumbs of feed. 

Christmas is still two weeks off, but this is the best christmas present ever! 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The incubator disaster....

So, you may be wondering why I didn't post about the chicks hatching 3 days ago.

Well, they didn't hatch.

Today was day 20 of incubation, so i turned off the incubator and cracked open all of the eggs to see what had developed inside....

There where 27 eggs with nothing inside at all, and 3 with embryos that quit. Two quit on about day 7, and one quit on about day 15. It was a little sad, that none of them hatched, all thanks to my wonderful spike up to 110 degrees on the first day!

But this is all a learning experience. I'm going to start back up again, with a REAL incubator and some hatching eggs. Or, maybe i will start with adult quail. We will see!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Housing Coturnix quail

So today i bought the hutch i will use to house my quail!  It's very nice and LARGE so it will be good for plenty of quail. The dimentions are 5 feet by 2 feet so it should be plenty of room for 20+ birds.
 I bought it from a local company, because a lot of the Hutches and cages available online seem pretty low quality. OR should i say... QUAIL-ity! Har. Har. Har. No really. I'm kidding. Don't worry.

Time for a few snazzy facts about housing Coturnix quail!

                  1. The minimum size is 1 square foot of floor space for every quail. Some people give more space and some people give less. Many people keep their birds on only 1/2 square feet per bird. But 1 square foot is a good minimum. 

               2. The roof should be either under 18 inches high, or over 6 feet hight. ( This worries me slightly, because the roof of this hutch is a bit high. I might have to put padding on the roof so the little guys don't bonk their heads to hard. ) The reason that you you need a lower or very high roof, is that nervous quail sometimes fly up really quickly and bonk their heads on the roof! 

              3. The wire spacing for the floor should be 1/2 inch. Any bigger spacing and the quail's little feet will fall through!

             4. Coturnix are super cold hardy but there should be somewhere draft-free with solid sides where they can huddle away from the cold. 

            5. Having a wire floor with a pull out tray is much best- it is supposed to make cleaning much easier. Don't worry, these little birds are much better adapted to living on wire then chickens are!

That's all for now! The eggs hatch in 4 days :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Candling the eggs....

Today is the 8th day of incubation. The hatching eggs are looking very nice!

Today i decided to attempt candling them with nothing more with a piece of cardboard and a strong flashlight. I have heard that it is nearly impossible to candle quail eggs, because the shell is so thick. But i decided to attempt anyways. 

Candling is a process where incubating eggs are held over a bright light in a dark room, allowing one to see the developing chick inside.

This is the least speckled quail egg i could find, so thought it would be perfect.
You can't see much detail, but you can see the outline of the yolk, and the air pocket. Since i am a complete newbie at this, i have no idea if this egg is going to hatch or not. But still it was cool to be able to see this much.

I candled some of the other eggs, and i found this one with a pretty big crack in it. I am going to keep it in the incubator on the off chance that it will hatch. I think that since none of the white is pouring out, it should be fine.

Only 9 days left until hatch!