Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Keeping Quail

John Gray asked for some more about the quail, so this is for you John:

Ours are the Japanese Coturnix quail and they were actually my Mother's Day present last year. They are housed in an old rabbit hutch, a v. large hutch not one of those small things that the rabbit can't turn aound in.

Quail will fly straight up if startled thus making it well nigh impossible to keep free range, for their own saftey. They like to scratch around the floor and don't need flying space.

They lay throughtout the Spring and summer, usually one egg a day each, sometimes two. I'm told that one can tell which quail layed which egg by the markings on the egg as they are always the same. They don't go broody and they won't sit on their eggs so if you want to hatch them you'll have to use an incubator or a bantam.

We sell our surplus eggs at the farm gate for £2.00 a dozen. We don't have that many so we'll never make a fortune but I guess they pay for themselves. We find that lots of people want the eggs for hatching, ours aren't fertile as we don't have a cock bird. It would appear that they are primarily hatched as food for raptors, in fact our birds were destined for owl food when we bought them. I understand that they are culled at six weeks.

They are endearing little characters and their call is quite charming however they really, really don't cope well with stress of any kind.

Stressful situations like overcrowding can lead to agression which if blood is drawn can end in canabalism. If you have a sick bird I'd always recommend seperating it before the others literally peck it to death.

We have a "sick bay" where three hens now live peacefully together, each one of them had to be removed from the main hutch for a variety of reasons and it seemed safer not to try and re-introduce them when they were fully recovered.

They are fed on chick crumb, layers pellets, seed, corn, scraps etc. They love a bit of greenery and I actually grow chard and spinach near their hutch just for them.

The hutch has flower pots turned on there sides for little resting places, leylandii branches for shelter and some old CDs/DVDs hung from the caging to give the quail something to peck at rather than each other.

They do need constant access to water which can lead to a bit of a problem as they will walk in the water.

The wet feet then pick up bits and before you know it you can end up with a quail with a ball of "soil" set like concrete on it's toe. This has to be carefully soaked and removed or the bird will end up losing a toe.

That's all I can think of for now, hope it helps.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Weekly Roundup

For the first time we took part in Today's Flowers which is such a nice idea that we think we'll make it a regular post at Renaissance Little Green Notebook
Another first was the rather ludicrous photograph of one of our Silkie Bantams here at The Chicken Daily and talking of firsts our eldest son exhibited some of his photographs in a gallery for the first time. There is a photograph of his photographs on the website http://www.renaissanceshop.co.uk/ in the What we are doing section.

Whilst we are on the subject of photographs isn't the one above adorable?

Red squirrels aren't the only wildlife in need of a little help so we were pleased to be able to use the Renaissance Newsletter to help promote a WDCS Walk for Whales in nearby Hunstanton.

Over at Renaissance Vintage Notebook we seem to have spent quite a lot of time at the V & A looking at vintage inspired quilt fabrics and enthusing about the Grace Kelly exhibition.

We're always on the look out for beautiful ways to display vintage books, we are vintage book sellers afterall, and we found a rather lovely photograph whilst blog hopping which of course lead to the discovery of lots of new, to us, blogs

Maybe you'll find the time to visit them?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Silkie Photograph

Pom Pom left a comment on one of our weekly roundup posts over at Renaissance Vintage Notebook asking to see a photograph of our Silkies ,of course we are only too happy to oblige.

Looking back to the first Silkie post I do hope that the rather glamourous photograph of a Silkie didn't lead anyone astray, ours will never win a rosette at a chicken show, but, boy are they cute.

Rediculous but cute.

And John I'm working on the quail post.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Happy Easter (& a weekly roundup)

It's been a busy week getting ready for the Easter hols at Renaissance HQ

with little being uploaded to the website www.renaissanceshop.co.uk.

It didn't start well with the news of Elspeth Thompson's death, so sad.

But we've had a reminder of new life with our quail starting to lay again, very seasonal.

And Marmee the photograph of quail eggs is just for you.

We went all Eastery over at Renaissance Childrens Notebook with Easter Gift Bags,

Flowering Bulbs for Easter and How to Make an Easter Chick.

And all wistful over at Renaissance Vintage Notebook with a sort of if we had a real bricks & mortar shop we'd stock:

Flowers in vintage containers & Crochet Blankets, Bags & Cushions.

And now of course it's April ,we had to mark April Fool's Day with a little joke or two,

and Easter is upon us.

We'll be spending it together, the whole family is home this weekend, bliss.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter.

Thursday, 1 April 2010