Farm, Garden and The Land > Live Stock, Critters and Aquaculture

Quail for processing compost

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I've been thinking about this a little more, and while I still think it is doable, I'm trying to think how it can be designed in a way that won't be more work than it's worth.

My main concern would be that it might be a total PITA to find the eggs everyday. In my experience the quail don't seem to want to nest or lay in a certain area, they just pop a squat and lay. Now this could totally change in a more natural situation or through selection or some other control mechanism. I personally wouldn't want to be sifting through the paddock everyday on an Easter egg hunt for a few dozen eggs. Now if you could convince your kids this is the "Best game ever!" the problem might be the solution.  ;)

Another option might be to separate the egg laying function from the compost processing function. So perhaps an area is setup for compost processing and in the area you only put in young females or males (6-10 weeks old). That gives you 2-4 weeks worth of "work" without having to worry about lots of random eggs strewn about.

I like the idea, I want to raise my birds in a more natural manner, I want to reduce feed and labor inputs. Hopefully we can figure out a way to assemble a system like this. I'm going to keep pondering this and hopefully have a Eureka! moment.

International Harvester:
I appreciate your input brother. I just looked over your quail for meat and eggs post.... very informative. I think there are some trails to be blazed.

 Like Cedar stated you might look into ducks or Turkeys as well. They don't lay as well as a chickens, but your daughter might not be allergic to them.

On the subject of scraps and feeding. I fed 70 chickens through the winter on a diet of anything the grocery stores toss. If you have enough scrap from your source you can use it to replace all of your birds diet, and they will be healthier. Chicken feed is bottom of the barrel. While there are problems with our food supply it is better than chicken feed. Your birds diet will be much more diverse and you will get better healthier meat and eggs.

I don't have a compost area, I just put the scraps on the garden and my chickens process it and redeposit it in the garden. Compost piles are for people without chickens.

I have not tested this with quail yet, But chickens, Turkeys and Muscovy ducks can easily be raised on scraps. I see no reason why it cannot be done with quail, and is worth a try.

A picture of my chickens diet this winter consisting of chopped apples, corn on the cob, lettuce, bananas, pears, squash, cantaloupe, water melon, pineapple, tomatoes, green beans, cereal, bread and 100's of other good eatings with guacamole toping all for free. They ate better than 90% of Americans. 

I'm going to give this a shot and see how it works. I put some of the birds out in the tractor yesterday, and put a wire rabbit nesting box in with them that had some veggie scraps in it. I'll keep you updated on how it goes.

Can anyone update? How are quails at processing compost?
Has anyone figured out a system they like for this?


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