Today I culled the last quail rooster from my flock. I have been culling for the past few days. This is my first time raising quail and I had more roosters than hens. Nothing went to waste. Meat put in the freezer. Eggs were collected and eaten. Feathers and butcher waste went to the dog. However, I did notice an immediate change in my quail coop. While I understand that roosters outnumbering hens can cause deep, deep stress in the hutch, it still surprised me to see how quickly my animals settled into their new lives.
For the past few days, my hens have been so stressed out due to too many dudes lazying about. Quail roosters usually need a harem of five quail hens to stay happy and mate regularly. With only three hens being shared amongst five roosters, I decided it was time to thin the remaining few. As each rooster was dispatched, my quail hens seemed to chill out significantly. They scratched a bit more, nested a little longer, and to my utter surprise, laid more eggs. I used to get only one egg a day but now, three eggs a day! The rooster I did keep puffed up a bit more and mated twice as much too. With less competition to chase away, he now has more time to crow and less time being cock-blocked.
The second time culling the quail was not as hard as the first. I found better pruning shears and learned to turn my head away as I deal the killing snip. I take no pleasure in this and had to fight the worms tumbling about in my belly. It still hurts me a little to have to dispatch my animals. I understand that I have chosen this lifestyle and I must learn to deal with the good and bad that comes with it. Just gotta get over it. Again, I thanked my animals for the experience they provided me and I feel so better prepared for the future in regards to raising future quail. The dynamic in the coop has changed significantly and my remaining five quail seem much happier. I hope one of them may go broody in the future and hatch out the next generation of quail chicks.
As always be kind and tender to one another.