Quail Drama

If there’s 1 thing I’ve learned from raising Coturnix quail it’s the fact that they are very ruthless and cannibalistic!  This happens mostly when new members are introduced to the flock.  I use the “playpen” method and several distractions such as treats a new hiding place etc. when introducing new members but this doesn’t always work, they are not very accepting no matter what efforts are made to make the transition go smoothly.

Earlier this week, I introduced some newbies to the flock and a few days went by with no drama, and then…….last night while doing my nightly routine with the animals, I found this girl (see photo).  She’s 1 of the newbies and she has been singled out by the others.  They have “scalped” her!

scalped quail

It’s ugly I know but believe it or not she’s doing ok.  A little time away from the flock and some antibacterial ointment (without pain reliever) and back into the flock she goes.

One thing I don’t recommend in a case such as this, is isolating from the flock unless you use the “playpen” method again for the simple fact that, you CAN NOT introduce just 1 bird to a whole flock, the others will kill the single bird!  I took her out for about an hour, treated her, made sure she got some food and water and then once all the others were down for the night, I placed her back into the coop.

This morning I found her hanging out in a corner with a large male laying beside her, hopefully he is protecting her.  The others don’t seem interested in her so far today.  I will have to keep a close eye on them and repeat the process if it happens again.  I will keep ointment on her head which will hopefully help to keep the others from pecking at her.

It’s always something with these quail.  I believe I have more dramatic adventures with them, then any other animal on the ranch.

What’s Happening Around the Ranch

Been busy around here but what else is new.  The new peeps are doing well and starting to feather out already.  Unfortunately we’ve lost 2 quail babies and 1 has bad eyes that keep getting stuck shut for some reason, so I’m having to clean them and open them up several times a day so the poor thing can find the food and water.

Moved the big cage a.k.a grow out brooder, outside so the youngsters got their first taste of spending the night outside for the first time last night and it got down to a chilly 51 degrees, but they’re all doing well this morning.

I still have 6 Seramas that need new homes ASAP!  With the cooler weather moving in and the cold being here before we know, the flock will soon need to be cooped up at night and there isn’t enough room for them.  So if anyone local is interested, send me an email roseshadowranch@yahoo.com  I have them priced to sell quick at an unbelievable price for Seramas!

Still have 10 eggs in the bator.  This will be my last hatch till spring (boo-hoo).  It saddens me to pack my bator away but chicks are too hard to find homes for in the winter months.

Our pregnant alpaca “Buffy” is due in a little over a month so the excitement is building!  Hoping for another grey girl.  Buffy has been amazing with giving us gorgeous girls, so fingers are crossed for another.

The gardens are starting to wind down.  Tomatoes, peppers and corn are just about the only things still producing so I’m really hoping for a day soon that I can get out there and pull all the spent plants and replace with some others that will give us a fall harvest, but it’s getting late so we’ll see.

That about wraps it up around here.  How are things at your place?

New Peeps

Once again I’ve been busy hatching out chicks, yes I am a true hatch-o-holic and there’s no cure!  Monday we had 18 Coturnix quail hatch and 2 Serama Bantams.  Aren’t they adorable!!  In case you can’t tell who’s who, the larger white sleeping chick in front and the black chick are the 2 Seramas.  I also want to let all my local friends know that they are for sale along with some older peeps from the last 2 previous hatches.  I will not ship them so you must be local or willing to drive.  As nature would have it, fall is almost here so this is my last hatch for Seramas and quail until spring.  I still have silkies and polish in the bators, but once they’re hatched I will be packing up the bators until spring, and it just breaks my heart.

Peeps

GIVEAWAY * GIVEAWAY * GIVEAWAY

We reached 300 fans on our facebook page and to celebrate that milestone we will be giving away this beautiful alpaca bead bracelet to one lucky winner!!!

Alpaca Bead Bracelet

This is a handmade bracelet made by Rose Shadow Ranch’s very own Christa Kenyon!  The focal bead in this piece is needle felted alpaca fiber!

TO ENTER:

~To qualify to win this beautiful bracelet, all you have to do is be sure you’re a fan of our facebook page by “liking” it, then leave us a comment on our facebook page wall telling us what your favorite farm animal is and why.  That’s it, you’re in!

Winner will be picked at random Monday August 13, 2012 at 10pm EST

Busy Busy Busy…………..

Phew, I’ve been so busy lately processing fresh produce!  So far, 4 quarts, and 1 pint of spaghetti sauce have been put up and 9 pints of applesauce!  More spaghetti sauce simmering on the stovetop, hoping for another 4-5 quarts.  Remember this is my first year ever canning, so I’m quite excited about the progress I’ve made.  I absolutely love it and look forward to doing more in the days to come.

On another note, life with the chickens has been eventful too!  I’ve been letting the teenage Lavender Ameraucana and Olive Egger out in the run with the rest of the flock and last night was their first night roosting with them too!  They’re still a bit too shy to help themselves to the feeders or waterers in the run, so with the heat, their time out has been limited.  Hopefully within a week or so, they’ll learn their place in with the others and I’ll find them using the feeders and waterers too.

Then there’s the quails.  This morning I woke up to an interesting situation with the 3 week olds.  The screen that is over the brooder fell in somehow (probably 1 of the kids doing) and I noticed 1 was missing!  I thought oh great!  Where the heck could she be!  I seriously thought 1 of the dogs got her until I found fresh quail poop on the basement stairs!  Now I knew I had a problem on my hands.  First off the basement is way to cold for a 3 week old quail.  Secondly, our basement is so full of stuff I thought I’d never find her and she would die down there and stink up the place!  I grabbed a flashlight and headed down hoping that if I just started moving stuff around I would spook her out of hiding and get her flying around making it easier to spot her and catch her.  Well, I made it to the bottom of the stairs and there she was shivering and scared, poor thing.  I picked her up, gave her a little snuggle and put her back in her warm brooder.  Did I mention this is my splay legged girl whose legs were so bad I thought she wouldn’t make it.  I mean, her legs were as far out to her sides as they would go and she was hobbling around on her belly!  After several  attempts at fixing her legs, she is finally getting around on her own 2 legs just like the others!

Always fun times at the homestead:0)

Happy Anniversary!!! A Year In The Life…

Today is a special anniversary for me (besides being my 15 year wedding anniversary which is also quite special).  Today marks the 1st anniversary of me raising chickens!  1 year ago today, I went and bought my very first chicken “Grace” a White Delaware, “Grace” as you might recall recently hearing about, has sadly departed us in this world, 2 weeks ago.  She was an amazing chicken!  When she first came to live on the ranch, she was only 10 weeks old and extremely shy!  It wasn’t until after she was an established layer that she became my favorite chicken.  She would always come running when she heard my feet hit the deck.  She was my shadow, she followed me everywhere and was always under my feet!  She was full of personality and would even fly up on my back whenever I was in the run.  Ok, enough about “Grace” it makes me sad to think about the memories I have with her:*(  4 days after getting “Grace” I went out and got “Midnight” a chicken that I was told was a Red-Laced Wyandotte but later I learned she was actually a Black Sex Link, nevertheless, she is a great bird!  Grace and Midnight were my only 2 chickens thru the winter, then about mid way thru, a friend introduced me to and gave me my first Serama Bantams, (3) week old chicks which sadly, became just 1 a rooster my 3 year old daughter named “Blackie.” “Blackie” was a house chicken all winter long.  He became quite fond of my husband, who would go talk to him and “speak his language” quite frequently throughout the day.  I never intended to keep a rooster, I was always led to believe roosters were loud and mean, but not “Blackie.”  My children came to really love him (and so did I) so we decided to keep him.  As he matured, I knew he needed a mate, so my friend who gave me “Blackie” offered up a mate for him, a beautiful golden girl we named “Goldie.”  This is when “chicken math” took over my life!  Once those fertile eggs started being laid, I became a “hatch-o-holic, I became completely addicted!!!!  My 2 chickens became 3 then 4 then……….MANY!  I first started keeping chickens in an attempt to start raising as much of my own food as possible, but now I keep them not only for their eggs, but because I genuinely love them!!  Who would of thought chickens would make such wonderful, loving, full of personality pets!!  I relate them to dogs in that sense.  On the ranch, we now have 1 Black Sex Link, 1 Easter Egger, 1 Buff Orpington, 2 Red Sex Links, 1 Isa Brown, several Seramas, 1 Lavender Ameraucana, 1 Blue Olive Egger, 2 White Silkies, and 2 Ameraucana Bantams.  I LOVE CHICKENS!!!

chickens and ducks oh my!