Fowl Play: Quail Edition

Posted on February 13, 2012

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The cutest thing I have ever purchased is not actually a thing, but is a breathing being that cost a whole $1. So naturally, I opted to get 20 of them, but like some sort of poultry baker’s dozen, I ended up with 21 instead. One for good luck maybe. I’ll assume that the 21st Bobwhite Quail thrown into the cardboard box for me to take home was the one missing a toe that I just may insist that we don’t eat.

Bobwhite quail are not the most popular eating quail that people raise, but are widely hunted as game birds throughout North America. They are named after the sound of their call, which as younglings doesn’t seem to sound like “bob-WHITE” to me, but I’ll record it and let you be the judge as they grow up. Fully grown they weight a massive 6 or 7 oz. and are at maximum 8 to 11 inches from tip to tail.

Quail are like a single chicken breast with feet.

But they are a zillion times prettier than most chickens I have ever seen. So pretty that I’m sure it will give me pause to slaughter them, though I plan to make sure that my first slaughter is a pretty thing I can fully appreciate the life, then death, and lastly the taste of when I’m sprinkling rosemary, oregano, and spreading homemade butter or olive oil on it.

Originally we intended to keep the little fellas above Rosemary (the lady rabbit), but since they are currently inside under the momma bird butt (aka the heating lamp), we have enough time to use screen or other materials and make them their own hutch. They take dust baths to clean themselves, can fly short distances as young as 2 weeks old, and are considered full ground birds, laying their eggs in ground nests and hiding out in thickets, I’d like to accommodate that as much as possible. I realize they aren’t in their natural habitat since we’re raising them for meat, but happy meat is good meat, and so the most like natural for them things can be made, the better.

Despite being spazzes when a hand goes into the mass of them cuddled in the cage, when one is by themselves (with only a few exceptions) they are relatively calm and are much more ok with being held than the ducks are. I also tried putting 4 of the tiny quail into the duck box to see if they could maybe stay with them, but it wasn’t the quail who were getting picked on, but instead the ducks were absolutely terrified of them. It was pretty hilarious, but I hear it’s best not to mix waterfowl and ground birds, so that’s fine either way.

And now, the photo montage of super adorbz.

This huddle takes up as much room as 2 of the 2 week old ducklings.

Nobbins

Tiniest wings ever.

Asleep or dead? Asleep like they were dosed on Benadryl before the ride over

It will be hard to eat you, but I promise I’ll enjoy it enough to make up for it.

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