We have bred quail at Coombe Mill in the past, but not for a few years now. An opportunity came to try again and we jumped at the chance. Our runner ducks had grown up and were strong enough to be released into Jurassic park with the other ducks and chickens; yet our own breeding Red Island Red pairs were still failing to provide chicks for us. It was a visit to the fowl auction for Farmer Nick.
Last time Farmer Nick went to buy some day old chicks or fertile eggs he came home with six gorgeous runner ducks, nothing was going to surprise me on this trip. I was secretly hoping he might find a Peacock for our lonely peahen Pricilla, however that wasn’t to be. Still I was delighted when he turned up with quail as I remember how popular they had been here in the past.
We released them into Peacock world with a cozy nesting box already made up by our boys and left them to settle in. It took them a while to venture out of their carry box and tentatively explore their new home.
They may be a little shy still but we knew all was well when a couple of days later we were rewarded with our first egg. I had forgotten quite how small and delicate the eggs are. Farmer Nick only has small hands, yet they still look massive holding a tiny quail egg.
Quail are a hit with the children
The quail have been with us a couple of weeks now and are used to the morning routine of our holiday guests going into feed them. They also know that food comes with cuddles and have become surprisingly tolerant of the morning chase games as little hands circle round them and hold them tight. For me the magic is in capturing the children’s expression with that first hold.
Hopefully in time I’ll being able to share some new born chicks of our own here.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.