All about Coturnix Quail
Coturnix quail, also known as Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica), are small, ground-dwelling birds native to East Asia.
They are popular for their fast growth rate and high egg production, making them widely used for commercial purposes in the poultry industry. They can produce more than 300 eggs a year. Though this number of eggs require artificial light through the winter. We do not provide light in the winter for our birds so they do stop laying in the fall.
Coturnix quail are highly adaptable and can thrive in various environments, including arid regions, grasslands, and agricultural areas. We keep our quail in an open aviary, as you may have seen in one of our reels or live videos!
These quail have a diverse diet, feeding on a mixture of grains, seeds, insects, and vegetation. Our open aviary provides grass and bugs. We also feed Kalmbach’s Wild flush feed.
Coturnix quail have a relatively short lifespan, typically living for about 2 to 3 years in captivity.
Because Corturnix Quail are imported and do not naturally live in the wild, they do not require a wild game permit in the state of Virginia, making them a great addition to a backyard flock! Varieties such as bobwhites and California Quail require wild game permits, adding an extra level of complication that some people may not want to venture into.
Why are all of our eggs BLUE?
Coturnix quail do not naturally lay blue eggs. The color of an egg is determined by the pigments present in the shell gland of the hen's reproductive system. Coturnix quail typically lay eggs with a cream or light brown shell color. However, it is possible to breed or select for quail strains that lay eggs with different shell colors, including blue. This is achieved through selective breeding, where individuals with desired traits, such as blue eggshell pigmentation, are chosen as parent birds for subsequent generations. This selective breeding process allows for the development of quail strains that lay blue eggs.
All of our Celadon Corturnix Quail were originally sourced from The ONE Egg to Rule Them All. Info can be Found on our Friends of the Farm page. If you are interested in obtaining some birds from us or them, feel free to reach out!
The Milk Cow Cometh
If you have been following along for just a couple of months, you will know that we got a cow named Bessie back in January. Bessie was supposed to have a calf in February, but it turned out that she was not pregnant. We worked with the farm that we got her from and she returned home.
Since then we have been on the search for a new cow.
TODAY IS THE DAY!!
Cassie is coming home!!
Cassie has been raised by an avid 4-Her up in Pennsylvania. She is just over 3 years old and due with her second calf in June. We are so excited to (finally) be starting our family milk cow journey with Cassie and honored to be able to support a 4-Her in the process. I was once a 4-Her (Sheep & Swine) and know the hard work and dedication that each member puts into their animals. We hope one day for our children to be members of either 4-H or FFA, when they get a bit older.
Send us good vibes and maybe a few prayers as we embark on this (never ending) journey with Cassie and get one step deeper into the lifestyle-spiral that is a homestead.
Peace, Love, Milk.
All About Kunekunes
Kunekune pigs are a small domestic breed of pig that originated in New Zealand. The first kunekune pigs were imported to the United States in 1994, and the American Kunekune Breeders Association was formed in 2006. Since then, the breed has become increasingly popular in the USA as a small, friendly pig that is easy(ish) to raise and care for.
Kunekune pigs were originally raised by the Maori people of New Zealand as a source of meat, but they were almost extinct by the 1980s. The pigs were rescued by a small group of enthusiasts who started a breeding program to save the breed.
Kunekune pigs were officially recognized by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy in 2006 as a "recovering" breed. This means that while the breed is still considered rare, their numbers are increasing, and they are no longer in danger of extinction.
Kunekune pigs are a small breed, with adults weighing between 100 and 250 pounds. They have a round, compact body, short legs, and a short snout. Their coat can be a variety of colors, including black, brown, white, ginger, and spotted.
Kunekune pigs are known for their friendly and docile personalities, making them popular as pets. They are also easy to care for, require minimal maintenance, and are resistant to many diseases. They are grazing animals and are often used to clear land or as lawn mowers. They are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods, including grass, vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Kunekune pigs are known for their slow growth rate, which makes them well-suited for small farms and backyard homesteads. They are also known for their ability to forage for food, making them a sustainable option for meat production.
The meat of kunekune pigs is flavorful and tender, with a good balance of fat and meat. It is also a RED meat; marbled and gamier than what you would recognize as pork from a grocery store.
Kunekune pigs are also used in conservation efforts to help restore native habitats and control invasive plant species. Their ability to forage for food makes them ideal for this purpose.
Kunekune pigs are social animals and prefer to live in groups. They are intelligent and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, such as searching for truffles.
Despite their small size, kunekune pigs are surprisingly strong and can move heavy objects with ease. They are also known for their adaptability and can thrive in a variety of climates and environments. Kunekune pigs have a lifespan of around 15 years, which is longer than many other breeds of pigs.
Would you consider kunekunes for your farm?
All About Golden Comets
Golden Comet chickens are a hybrid breed of chicken, created by crossing a Rhode Island Red rooster with a White Plymouth Rock hen. This hybridization results in a chicken that has a golden-brown feathering.
They are excellent egg-layers, known to lay between 250-320 large brown eggs per year, with some hens producing up to 330 eggs in a year.
Golden Comet chickens are relatively easy to care for, with a calm and friendly temperament that makes them good pets for families. They are also hardy birds and can tolerate cold temperatures well.
They have a fast growth rate, reaching maturity at around 16-20 weeks, which makes them a popular choice for backyard breeders.
Golden Comet chickens are not typically raised for meat production because they are smaller in size compared to other breeds that are raised for meat, and because their egg-laying ability is highly valued.
They are good foragers and will happily scratch around in the yard or garden looking for insects and other food sources. This makes them a great addition to a backyard flock or homestead where they can help with pest control and fertilization of the soil.
Golden Comet chickens are a sex-linked breed of chicken, which means that the males and females can be easily distinguished by their feather color at hatching.
In Golden Comet chickens, the gene for feather color is sex-linked, with the rooster contributing the gene for white feathers and the hen contributing the gene for red or brown feathers. As a result, male Golden Comet chicks will have white or light-colored feathers, while female Golden Comet chicks will have brown or reddish-brown feathers. This makes it easy to identify the sex of a Golden Comet chick soon after hatching, which is useful for breeders who want to separate the males from the females.
Furthermore, this sex-linked feather color inheritance also allows Golden Comet breeders to selectively breed for desirable egg-laying traits in female chickens, while also maintaining a consistent appearance in the male chickens
Would you consider adding Golden Comets to your flock?
No Mow March
I hope you have all participated in No Mow March. Here are some facts about those "weeds" that you'd be mowing over that are often the first and only source of nectar for the honey bees that we depend on.
The Greenhouse Debacle
So if you read our first greenhouse ordeal here, you will already know that we had to rig what remained of our wind destroyed greenhouse in our barn and hope it worked. It didn’t. The issue was with power. We could not get our heaters to stay on in the barn in order to heat the greenhouse. This resulted in too low of a temperature for our seeds to properly germinate. What did germinate did not result in a healthy plant.
Because of this we decided to give ourselves a pass, a break, a pat on the back and a “you tried your best,” this year. We will be buying started plants for most of our vegetables. And guess what??
We are still in our first year at our property and we sometimes have to remind ourselves that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Setbacks happen. This is one for us. We will do better next year and hopefully have a working hot house or green house that will allow us to successfully sow our seeds so we do not need to buy started plants for 2024.
hard boiled pass
We tried Baking Eggs - SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO!
10/10 do not recommend.
For starters - farm fresh eggs are always hard to peel. The best thing I’ve tried is boil with baking soda and vinegar in the water. Ice bath after cooking. But I don’t always remember to do that. My grandmother, who had chickens until the day she passed, said you need to use old eggs to get them to peel well and to get the perfect cook. We don't have old eggs!
Back to baking. 325. 30 minutes. Muffin tin is to keep from rolling. Peeled just as horribly as usual. And guess what? They were unevenly cooked! The pictured ones look fine. But once the kids started eating them, we discovered some undercooked yolks.
Something else that happened was at each touch point on the muffin tin, the eggs got brown burn spots on the whites. These spots would not be very attractive on a summertime display plate of deviled eggs.
Hard boiled pass on this one guys.
Let's Talk About BOOTS!
My farm boots. These boots I wear at my farm, and my farm only. Why? For one, they are hardly fit for public! But more importantly, if I were to where these to say Tractor Supply, where other birds and animals are hosted, I could be tracking parasites from the ground back to my farm where I walk around my pens and my fields and spread something to our animals.
Your farm boots. These are the boots I wear out. I do my absolute best to change my boots before leaving and upon returning home. These boots look better because they simply get less use than my farm boots.
Fancy boots! These are night out boots! I don’t wear them around the farm, they are for date nights, events, and basically anytime I put on a dress because I’m too old for heels . You’ll see them at the Gloucester County Hoedown in G town!
Why Katahdin Hair Sheep?
There are a few reasons that we chose Katahdin’s for our sheep on the farm. For starters we absolutely knew that we did not want to be shearing. I learned all about that in 4-H and really just did not want to mess with it. If we did not have plans for the wool, I just did not see the reason to mess with wool sheep.
What is a hair sheep? A hair sheep is exactly what it sounds like! It grows hair instead of wool. And this hair actually sheds in the spring time, allowing the sheep to be cooler for the spring and summer months. The hair will grow back in the fall to keep them warm over the winter.
Katahdin’s traditionally used only for meat production as a mid sized breed but are also used for milk in some areas. Ewes typically have good maternal instincts, which is a good trait when you want to your farm to run itself. If you are constantly ending up with bottle babies and hand rearing animals, there is going to be a lot of time that is better spent.
A great trait of the Katahdin’s is they are great grazers. One of our goals when picking our ruminants was to make sure Stephen did not have to spend too much time mowing each week. We believe we have put together a great group of livestock that will keep our soil and grass healthy, while also keeping it trimmed to a manageable level.
Katahdin’s are adaptable to many climates and are proven to be resistant to parasites that usually plague other sheep breeds. This is highly dependent on the genetics of your given sheep, but is part of the breed as well.
We have enjoyed our Katahdin’s so far! And definitely enjoy their lean and mild flavored meat!
How to choose your EGG!
Never had a duck egg? Wondering why some people love quail eggs? Let’s take a look at some fun facts of each and compare the nutritional values so you can make an educated choice on how to fuel yourself and your family!
Each egg offers different benefits and uses. Each has a slightly different texture. Where duck eggs are excellent for baking due to their creamy yolks, you may not want to crack 30 quail eggs to meet your recipe needs, right?
Now let’s take a look at the nutritional facts of the eggs. This is based off of 100g of each type of egg. These items will all vary on how the animal is raised and what it consumes for its diet, so these numbers are estimates. In order to choose the egg that is right for your family, you’ll need to look at what factors are most important for your nutritional goals. More protein? Less carbs? More vitamins? Just because duck eggs are what we eat, doesn’t mean that is what is best for you!
I hope some of this information helps you determine if your family will be sticking with chicken eggs or looking for a local farmer or store that carries duck or quail eggs to help fuel you and your family the best way possible!
In our home, there is a time and place for all the eggs!
Mom. Wife. Farmer. Homesteader. Engineer. Maker. Doer. Entrepreneur. TYPES: INFJ. Gold. Controller.