Well, here I am nearly 18 months after getting my first quail. And I’m still in love with those little gals.
They are funny when I go out to feed and water them. They all rush to the side of the coop when then see me coming and chatter at me. Or maybe to each other?
“Here she comes!” “Here she comes!”
They will stand still while I stroke their backs for a few seconds even though they still don’t like being picked up. That’s OK though, I never really wanted them as pets.
The egg laying tapers off somewhat on the more intensely hot days but I have decided that quail, not chickens, are better suited for an urban farm. And here is why:
- Quail make very little noise. No wild squawking like my neighbor’s chickens do when they lay an egg. My girls are more like, “Opps! Did I just do that?” Even the roosters make a small noise when they crow. Like an old-man sneeze rather than a loud cacophony.
- Quail won’t tear up your gardens or flower beds. They like to run and hide under the leaves, peck about looking for bugs, and basically mind their own business. No scratching about destroying everything in their path.
- They take up much less space. Well, because they are smaller. Duh.
- They eat less, also because they are smaller. During the summer months, if you let them free-range, they need very little feed at all.
- They are FUNNY. They walk backwards to poop, make tunnels in straw or grass that look like little fairy homes, and make a wide variety of little noises. Sometimes when they sleep they stretch full-out and look like they are dead.
- Every egg is a little different and I STILL delight in finding them and looking at the colors and patterns.
- Quail will lay an average of 200 eggs a year for about two years. That’s A LOT of eggs!
- One quail egg contains six times more vitamin B1 and 15 times more vitamin B2 than the average chicken egg. Quail eggs contain iron, folate, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, riboflavin, and selenium, as well.
- Just add a heat lamp and they will lay eggs all winter long, even here in the frozen tundra of NE Ohio.
The only thing quail have on par with chickens is the smell. Ick! But you gotta have smell if you want fresh eggs.
So if you are considering a back yard egg layer, and you live in an urban or suburban neighborhood, I highly recommend quail.