Sunday, May 8, 2011

Quivering with Eggsitement

Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
       -Wallace Stevens

We haven't seen so many deer lately, or wild turkeys, either.  But we are hearing the spontaneous cries of quail all the time.  Not the Chi-CA-go of wild California quail from the underbrush.  These are my girls' long wished for pet coturnix quail.  According to this blog it has been more than two years since my girls got the idea into their heads to raise quail for eggs.

I'm not really into pets.  The only pets we have that are my idea are 3 goldfish.  Nevertheless our pets number in the tens of thousands.  (The girls always count their bees among the pets).  And then there are the ever-reproducing guppies.  And the mice.  Wait a minute, I think those were my idea.  And now nine quail.

Definitely not my idea.

Last fall Evelyn said, "We're never going to get quail, are we?"
I said, "You do the research, design a coop and save the money to build it and buy the quail and you can have quail."

They saved the money.  Clementine proved the truth of the old saw that a bird in the hand is worth a Wii in the living room when she won a Wii and sold it to raise money.

Evelyn and Clementine both put birthday and allowance money toward it.  They shed some tears over the design of the coop before we all decided it was beyond our skill to build it and they asked Dru at Happy Coops to modify a chicken coop for our quail.  He is a true craftsman. The girls have been putting the quail outside each day for a few hours to peck and scratch and take dust baths.  They have drawn the attention of a ginger cat and a redtail hawk, but nothing can get through the hardware cloth.  I hope.  Yes, I really hope.
Now the girls are waiting for the first egg.
Quail don't have to be hardboiled before they start laying--I'm told they start at just 6 weeks old.


laurata said...

Cool. Mira is terrified of chickens. I wonder if she would be afraid of quail.

In other news, I need to email you. Do you have major plans for the summer? Your exploits last year have inspired me. Plans for a road trip or three in the works!

Carolyn said...

How big will the quail get? Are they noisy like chickens? And are you eggsited to soon be cooking up quails' eggs? I look forward to recipe posts! (That's a beautiful quail coop, too.)

Susan said...

Laura, is Mira afraid of chicks? The full grown quail are about the size of a two week old chicken. We have a two-week California trip planned to Lassen, etc. I have simmering on my back burner a desire to go to Civil War sites. Maybe in September.

Carolyn, they are almost full grown. They are fairly quiet, actually. Very soft cheeping is their usual mode of expression. The only time they are loud, so far, is when you take one away from all the rest. The lonely one makes a loud piping noise. We are very eggsited about cooking eggs!

jugglingpaynes said...

They are so cute! You are a great mom to let them have quail and giving them the inspiration to figure out how to make it happen. What a wonderful learning experience!

Peace and Laughter,