Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Rain Fell, the Ducklings Looked up in Amazement!

It's Never Too Wet for Ducks, it Seems.

We really haven't had anything to complain about, weatherwise, here in Frugaldom, but yesterday's downpour came as a bit of a shock, even to the ducklings.

One minute it was slightly breezy and overcast, the next we were hit by a torrential downpour - it was probaby the first serious rain that we've had since the ducklings went outside.

This was quite a site to behold!

Did the ducklings all run for cover and shelter from the deluge? No! They came running up to the gate, 9 heads tilted sideways, staring skywards and quacking at the falling rain!

QUAIL: One of the projects we are working on here in Frugaldom is that of establishing a small egg production unit with the quail. Have you ever tried to photograph a quail? They are not the easiest birds to get to sit still and smile for the camera! After much to-ing and fro-ing, I managed to get one half-decent shot out of my dozens of failed attempts, so we now have the face of 'Frugal Gourmet'.

She is a 2010, homebred, Italian quail hen. This colour variation of the Japanese coturnix quail is sometimes referred to as a Phoenix Golden quail, a far prettier name, in my opinion. Despite it being very pale, the colour is dominant when breeding in mixed colonies, so I'm expecting to end up with the majority of my homebred hens looking similar to this.

Yesterday, while outdoor work was seriously curtailed by the rain and kitchen work seriously curtailed by the array of tubs scattered across the floor catching the drips from the leaking roof, I finally got around to designing the labels for the quail egg boxes.

Aample labels have now been printed and we are getting ready to begin sales proper. (I've omitted part of the labelling for obvious reasons, but the new web page has been uploaded and we're almost good to go.)

At £1.95 per dozen, I see no problems in selling, trading or even exchanging these eggs for other things that we need. I'll probably make a couple of small improvements to the final labels but, for now, we have the face of 'Frugal Gourmet'.

The latest quail chicks are nearly four weeks old and are about ready for transferring outside to their new quarters. The hens among them should be laying before the end of October!

Last time around, I separated the white males from the females prior to collecting eggs. This will ensure we have sufficient unrelated stock for next year's breeding programme. With luck, we should be able to have at least a dozen hens laying each day to see us through winter, then we'll set to work on improving the set-up to enable a larger flock to be maintained on a self-financing basis from 2012.

We aren't here to make our fortune, we are here to sustain our own lifestyle. If the birds can pay for themselves and supply us with eggs, I'll be delighted. Anything extra is a bonus that will be swept into savings for the next step of our Frugaldom journey.

Quail eggs for breakfast, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. Never had a quail egg only last week we bought duck eggs for the very first time at around 2.60 for 10 eggs. I thought they were delicious, as a basic eggs butty the two eggs tasted like I had added a little mayo but I hadn't, very creamy.


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