Sunday, July 29, 2012

Quail Update. We've Gone Free Range!

This Sunday morning my neighbor came and softly knocked on the front door at 8:27 in the morning.  I was in the kitchen making smoothies for the kids, not sure if I had really heard a knock or my imagination.  Still in my pajamas I answered the door.
"Sorry to bother you so early, but I think one of your quails got out and is in our back yard."

uh oh.
So I dressed and headed over there with a butterfly net.  Her husband had started chasing it around the brush and wood behind their yard.
I handed him the net and he snatched him up.
Luckily we have such cool neighbors who don't mind that their suburban dream house turns out to be next to the Beverly Hillbillies.

I plopped him back in his pen.

That's not the first time one has escaped.  Since we added the free range addition, one or two gets out almost every day by passing around the tunnel ramp.  But usually they just hang out next to the pen, trying to figure out how to get back in.  They are communal birds and don't stray from the flock.

It's pretty silly actually.

Oh except this guy above, who Nala spotted living in our garage a couple days ago, eating bird seed.  When I finally found him, he flew into our other neighbor's front yard.  At 10am in the morning I tiptoed around the front of their house, net in hand.  I felt like Elmer Fudd.  "Shh, I'm hunting quail."  

I nabbed him before anyone drove by wondering what the hell I was doing.

The quails grace us with an average of 10 eggs a day.  I haven't had to buy any chicken eggs since they started laying.  You can sub three of them for one chicken egg in recipes.

My mom's Romanian cousin cured her asthma by taking 4 raw quail eggs for 49 days.

We love the silly little creatures.  It's been great raising them this year as we've been able to keep them safe from the predators.  We've seen a red fox, a raccoon, and a big black snake.  But nothing has succeeded in penetrating our defenses this year.

We recycle the egg shells and manure into our compost.  Really we're just a goat away from living on a farm.

Here's a cute series of a mama rotating her eggs.

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