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After I retired I wanted to stay busy on our farm. My almost 30 year career was in the hunting & fishing industry, so raising the birds I had hunted for years was a natural for me. Being married to my best friend, wife & help mate is all I could ask for. My wife of 34 years and I love living on our farm and doing the chores it takes to maintain it. We are living a wonderful slow life in our retirement. Our grand daughter is such joy. Having a big garden to feed us, raising bees for honey, loving our pets and no debt. I feel blessed to have enjoyed this country living and sustaining our family through growing our food and simple ways my whole life. I am happy to see others across this great country deciding to live instead of just collecting more. A less-stress farm life is making us very happy. *******************************************************

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My First Plan

I decided to buy a few pharoah quail. 2 males and 6 females.(this is early March, 2009) Harvest their eggs , incubate them and learn how to raise them up to adults. So I got a small 100 egg incubator, put a weeks worth of harvested eggs in and wait the 17 days. It ended up being about 30 eggs and about 20 hatched. I placed them in a plastic brooder tub with a heat lamp and 100 watt bulb over them. Amazingly I only had 2 die in the 2 weeks they stayed in the tub. By this time they were getting a lot bigger, so I had a friend build me an 8 foot 2 section cage with 1/2 inch wire on the sides and bottom. I placed it in my barn, put in the young birds and a heat lamp. After 7 weeks total they all were alive and full grown. Eating and crapping constantly. So now what do I do? I spoke with another friend about doing this and he knew a guy that raised the Bobwhite quail, which is what I wanted to raise. I visited his place and got hooked. He had a great story about why he was doing this. He was a business executive that lost his wife to cancer shortly after they had retired. He was lonely out on his farm all by himself after 40+ years of marriage. He had bird hunted for years but that had really slowed down. So he decided to raise about 1,000 quail a season, process and package them. He would put 4 or 5 in a bag and tell his old or new friends from church or werever and ask them if they liked quail meat. If they did or wanted to try it he would tell them to drop by his place and pick some up. They loved coming out to his farm and he loved having the visitors. He is a good man. I thought since I had a stroke and was trying to heal I to was lonely since I couldn't get out much. I would give this a try. I built up my pharoah stock since they were a lot easier to raise and are full grown in 7 weeks. I had my son butcher a bunch of them and freeze them for me. I too enjoyed giving them away. But I found most people wanted the white meat bobwhite instead of the dark meat pharoah, so I made the change. I bought 7 breeding cages (each cage had 3 sections with each section holding 2 females and 1 male). So I had 21 sections full of birds.(Picture of a 5 cage rack shown above) I bought 40 female and 20 male bobwhites as my egg producing stock. In a weeks time I had about 150 eggs.

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