I lost three quail over the weekend, almost four. I’m so tired and frustrated but hey, what can ya do, right?
The first two were culled. One of the quail roosters went batshit and just ripped into one of the hens. Since she was already dying, just slowly damn, I made the decision of killing her quickly and humanely. Quail are delicate creatures so with a quick snip of my gardening shears, she was gone. Quick, easy, no more pain from her mortal injuries. As for the rooster, I made the decision that he was too aggressive and brutal to be around my flock. He too was dispatched quickly and humanely. I quickly cut the legs and breast out and fed the rest of the animal to my labrador. Nothing new to him. The meat was cleaned and frozen that same day.
Then I made the bright decision of updating the quail coop by myself. Replaced the entire thing with pallet walls covered in poultry wire and held up by stakes. Absolutely horrendous to look at. The quail are now on the ground, have more hiding spaces and room, and can dig about for bugs. But, of course, my structure being poorly built led to three of them escaping. Collected one, the other two disappeared for the morning. Alex managed to stop our dog from eating one and once again, they disappeared. We figured the pair had returned to the coop.
Dog got one again just a few minutes ago. And then my sister’s chihuahua carted off the body to chew on in her clean laundry hamper. Many faces were made as I threw the mangled mess away. The fourth quail was located quickly as the dogs closed in. Managed to save the hen and throw her back in the coop. Grabbed the green garden fence and surrounded the entire coop. Now they shouldn’t be able to escape at all. The holes in the plastic netting are too small for the quail to slip through. Here’s to hoping I don’t lose another one. I’m very upset with myself for having, once again, lost my quail to stupid decisions and bad planning. I guess I needed to learn my lesson sooner or later. As for taking the quails’ lives… I may have been born in the city but culling an animal is not new to me. Visiting Mexico, we children watched our uncles kill and gut a hog right there on the front porch. Even if this was my first time doing it, I talked through my anxiety with Alex, then moved quickly. I felt the squirm of discomfort watching them die and thanked each bird for their life and the experience I gained raising them.
Figured that’s the best I can do.
As always, be kind and tender to one another.