The obvious answers are that I love the lifestyle. I love the fresh veggies. I love the fresh meat and knowing where my food comes from. I love the sweat and tears. I love the animals. I love the time that I spend with my family while we are working on different projects.
But one answer that I give more than ever it that I love the people who I meet and those who follow a similar lifestyle. My friends Gary and Susan are prime examples of people who I ADORE. This morning, (At 6am, no joke) I message Susan if she had any quail eggs that I could buy from her. I needed to add back to my quail line. My feathered crew is not laying real well right now. And guess what? Not only did she have some, but she gifted them to us and then brought this mama a care package of dried herbs from their garden!! (and she was online too at 6am) They are the most generous people. I LOVE their dry herb gift too!!!! OH MY! My winter teas are going to be so tasty!!
If you are planning on dehydrating herbs (or any other fruits and veggies) the Excalibur Dehydrator is my dehydrator of choice. Check out the links below or visit our amazon store for more items that are choice for our homestead.
20 years of researching has led me to the conclusion that you can homestead on truly any size property. You just have to have GREAT organizational skills on smaller properties to streamline what you want to accomplish. Here is a link to homesteading.com and 15 homesteading ideas for your property. https://homesteading.com/homestead-farm-design-ideas/
Mealworms are an ultimate healthy snack for chickens, ducks, geese, and quail. They are jam packed with protein and something that your critters absolutely love. We raise our mealworms to feed to our hatching babies in the house. We raise (Grand Champion) Quail. The babies go CRAZY over the mealworms that we put in their feeders.
A few things I have found in raising mealworms are that:
I know what I am feeding my birds!
I know what I am feeding my kids, why shouldn’t I monitor what I am feeding my birds too? After all, our birds give us meat and eggs that my kids are eating. Mealworms pack so many nutrients and protein. And your birds will thank you for it.
Meals worms are one of the easiest additions to your homestead. I keep mine in a tub(with holes drilled into the top) and an old fishtank in my laundry room. I feed each container a potato on Fridays and blow out their tanks once a month of all of the “skins” that they shed. Yep, that simple! I have a few pieces of cotton balls in each container for them to lay their eggs in and the bottom of my containers either have oatmeal or chicken scratch.
The mealworm life cycle is in four stages: egg, larvae, pupa, and darkling beetle. The larvae stage is what I feed to my birds.
There are so many different things that you can make in your solar oven. A favorite snack in our house is hard boiled eggs…. especially quail eggs. They are BITE SIZED!
You can use a solar oven to “hard boil” using the hot air inside the oven.
When using a solar oven for eggs, an easy hack it to hard boil eggs is to put them in a carton inside the oven. The carton needs to be one of the paper ones, not the plastic or styrofoam ones because the cartons will melt inside the oven.
Once you place your eggs in the carton, set them inside your solar oven. Seal the lid and add the reflectors. The quail eggs will take between 90-120 minutes depending on the temperature.
Finding simple ways, to make your products go further is something very important to our family. We have hundreds of animals on our homestead and needed to find a better way of feeding them.
With fodder, we can quadruple our feed output for our animals just by sprouting trays of wheat seed for 8 days and quadrupling the amount of feed we get out of each bag for our animals. A 50 pound bag of seed can yield 200+ pounds of sprouted fodder.
Growing our own wheat fodder (wheatgrass) was an easy way to add additional feed to our animals while saving a bit in our budget.
We have been extremely successful growing wheat, barley and oats (although oats tend to be a bit harder to grow.) You can pick up recleaned wheat, recleaned barley and recleaned oats at your local feed store. We purchase our recleaned wheat from Warren’s in Chino Valley. I have found that their wheat seems to grow best for what I am needing.
Here are the things that you need to get started:
8 trays ($1 plastic shoeboxes work for starting. We use both those and heavy duty black planting trays)
Shelf to hold trays (we have a metal shelf for one set and a PVC homemade shelf or the other set)
Drill with drill bit to drill holes in bottom of trays
Water collection bucket
Pitcher or large jar. (or optional water pump and fixtures)
Bag of wheat, barley or oats (recleaned are best) optional: additional types of seeds, black oil sunflower seeds or Austrian winter peas.
In order to make a successful system, you need to make sure that the water can flow through each tray and fall to the next tray down in a waterfall effect. The collection tray is at the bottom to collect all of the left over water that you can then recycle into your garden or other plants.
Besides being in the middle of a fantastic hatch (we are filling a huge order of quail this weekend) here on our homestead, we have added some beautiful new coturnix lines to our quail for our future hatches.
We now have Golden Italian and Cinnamon Reds. Both BEAUTIFUL BIRDS!
Quail available now. GREAT for meat and eggs… (Yes, they lay daily like chickens)
We currently have baby coturnix quail for available for sale. We incubate between 600-1000 eggs a month. They are full grown and lay at 8 weeks old and are great for both meat and eggs. Located in Chino Valley.
$3 each or more than 10 are $2.50 each. We take credit cards too!
We hatch out birds (chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and quail) every month on our homestead.
We also raise Nubian Dairy Goats, Yorkshire Meat Pigs and KuneKune Pigs.
Visit us online at www.krisandlarry.com or on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/krisandlarry
Coturnix quail are extremely easy to raise for both meat and eggs. They are full grown between 6-8 weeks. And begin laying at that time too. Their eggs are AWESOME in both flavor and in nutrients.
Here are the coturnix quail sub breeds that we are currently offering. We have been hatching quail for several years and bring in new lines several times a year to keep our bird lines fresh. We began raising them as meat and eggs for ourselves. We hatch 600+ eggs a month (and take advance orders). This is a kid-run 4H business. Our prices are always $3 each or more than 10 are $2.50 each. Our facebook page is www.facebook.com/krisandlarry (We have a new sub breed of eggs on the way too)
Here is a list of different sub breeds of Coturnix that I have come across in all my research.
Pharoah Coturnix- Wild color (We have these!)
A & M- pure white feathers- can also have brown spots on back of head and or on the back. (We have these!)
Golden aka Manchurian, Golden Speckled
Tibetan aka British Range dark coloring (We have these!)
Tuxedo– this bird is produced by breeding an A&M to a British range(We have these!)
Silver / Lavender
Cinnamon / Red – (We have a line of these on their way.)
Fawn / Rossetta
Feeding your quail
Quail need a higher protein than chickens to produce eggs.
We give our quail a 25%+ game bird food everyday along with a scrambled egg in the pens ever few days or so. We also grow our own wheat fodder and give them meal worms as treats.
Breeding season for quail is March – September… You can keep up egg production with them as long as you keep them both “warm” in the winter and 14 hours of light.
Quail are simple to keep. We have our in an old converted chicken coop with a cattle panel hoop house run. They can be kept in rabbit hutches, or even specific made quail cages. We give ours a bit of room, but know that they don’t need a ton of space.