I posted a while back that we wanted quail.
I spoke about Japanese Quail and Button Quail. Japanese quail were fluffy, cute, generally easy to sex, bigger than Button quail, and much more chickeny in their behaviour. Button Quail are tiny (think Syrian hamster-ish size!), come in a variety of colours, and hardly smell at all.
I kind of wanted Button Quail, because they are so small and smell-free, but I liked Japanese Quail because they are cute and behave like mini-chickens…which is what I wanted 😛
Well, we struggled to find quail anywhere.
We phoned up the poultry breeder I chose to get my dad’s flock from, and asked if they ever sold quail. They were really rude and said they wouldn’t have any until summer…only when we drove down with my parents this weekend they had Japanese quail!!!
Me and my partner got insanely excited and went to ask a staff member if we could buy two females. She said “Yes, but they come as a pair” – that was fine, we wanted two anyway…oh wait, she was talking about a breeding pair, a male and a female >__<
She said they only sold them in male-female pairs so that the males wouldn’t be left over and have to be culled (even though they do this with male chickens; they only sell hens!!). Wonderful.
I thought that was very naughty as first of all, we really did only want females, and secondly you’re not supposed to keep more than one male quail together unless there are A LOT of hens between them, so selling them in pairs of a male and a female just makes no sense. We were unimpressed.
Then my parents said they would drive us to a private quail breeder we had found a few days before, but who was too far from our house for us to travel to. We got in touch and the farmer said he wasn’t home until 9pm, aagh!
Still we set off, and it was really in the arse end of nowhere haha…pitch black, single lane winding roads coupled with snow, sleet, flooding, closed roads, and even a gigantic pothole which sent bricks bouncing about under my parents car…we had to check nothing had fallen off!
The farmer was lovely and he even showed us around his other animals; guinea pigs, sheep, pig, chickens, goats, and then the quail! He looked to have about a dozen and they all looked healthy and were surprisingly brave.
We got back and I quickly set the cage up. We decided to use a 120cm indoor rabbit cage as Japanese quail are bigger than Button quail…everywhere still says they only need 1 square foot each (I even read that a 20cm x 13cm cage is big enough for a pair!!) but we think bigger is always better. This cage provides six square feet, and we added foam paneling to the roof for protection.
And without further ado, let me introduce…
QUORN and KALE the quail 😀
I can *just* tell them apart – Quorn has a longer beak, whereas Kale (left in the above photo) has a normal beak. And here’s their little play area…it’ll expand once the huge box has gone 😛
We didn’t get the girls home until about 11pm so they hid away in the box until bed, but when I woke at 6am I heard them digging and pecking about! THEY ARE SO CHICKENY, virtually everything they do I have seen my chickens do.
Here is a boring video from early this morning 😛
We have some quail layers pellets arriving in the next few days (on their old food currently) and they tried some kale today – funnily enough Kale didn’t like it haha, but Quorn was picking it up and chucking it about!
The girls have stayed out the box all day, and are surprisingly docile. From everything I’d read I thought they’d be flapping in a panic everytime we so much as looked at them!
But no, they stand about and watch, they let us go close, they even came running when I threw the kale in! And Quorn was happy to check out the oyster grit treat bar whilst I posed with her 🙂
Can you see her, in front of the blue ramp? Also, that plastic storage box just behind me is going to be their dust bath!
My partner is really excited as these are his first pet poultry, and his first egg laying pet! I’m excited because these are my first independent pet poultry, and I’ve never eaten a quails egg haha…speaking of which these little peepers are point of lay (6-8 weeks old) and that first egg is going to be SO exciting ^__^
I know I said I was going to post about the package we got in this blog…but quail guys, quail!