Death and Birth (We Got Quail)
Hey hey, things seem to be picking up over here in our tiny home. A few days ago, I caught Moonbeam, our gray doe, trying to get the attention of her brother. Fortunately, Mocha is neutered, so he hardly cared for his sister’s aggressive doting. After a quick Google search and pursuing several rabbit breeding threads, the behaviour is normal and actually a sign that the doe is ready to breed. This is pretty great news for us since we want to breed Moonbeam and sell her kits. I will have to do some research regarding purchasing another buck.
In addition to maybe getting an unaltered buck, I made the risky decision of purchasing some days old quail. A fellow in Dripping Springs was selling the little ones for a buck a piece and I went ahead, with my birthday money no less, and purchased twenty chicks. We got a good amount of Coturnix, or common quail, and four white Coturnix quail. They’re super, super tiny and their chirp sounds like a squeaky wheel. Too cute! I was lucky enough to find an unused plastic tote in the back of Dad’s shed and got a brooder set up in our bathroom. They cuddle up under the 20W lamp and prefer the soaked chick starter feed over the dry. I took a leaf out of Justin Rhode’s book with soaking the feed and also adding a little bit of apple cider vinegar to the quail’s water.
Unfortunately, one of the little guys died that evening. I felt the urge to cry at the loss but hardened my heart a bit. Death runs alongside birth in our chaotic lives and no matter how much we may scream and cry in protest, these two lovers will never separate. I buried the dead chick under the rabbit hutch and placed a heavy rock over it to deter the dog. He likes to dig dead things up and eat them, ugh. Upon returning to check on the rest of the chicks, I felt my stomach drop. Another chick was listless and kinda sickly looking. I dipped its beak in the apple cider/water mix and slipped him into the feeder, hoping that a drink and meal might help. For about a day this sickly chick floundered but then, to my utter delight, perked up this morning. I was delighted to watch the little guy, who is the smallest out of all the quail chicks, hop about and flutter its tiny wings. I hope it grows happily alongside its brethren.
I will be raising the hutch onto a very strong, wooden foundation and building a quail hutch underneath it. Out of the twenty quail, I hope to keep two females and one male as laying/breeding stock. The eggs will be eaten and the remaining quail will be butchered for their meat. I might attempt to sell some alive to local residents before butchering, but we’ll have to see.
As always, be kind and tender to one another.
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