THE SIMPLE LIFE ON OUR OZARKS QUAIL FARM

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MISSOURI OZARKS, United States
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. *******************************************************

Monday, January 24, 2011

Booking Birds For Next Fall

With the many calls I am getting a day for birds now I am also getting booking orders for next fall.  I guess they are finding out there is a shortage of birds so they are getting on the early order list so they don't run out next year. This really helps me to plan and I may sell everything real early this coming fall season. Fine with me!
I received a call this morning from the Mo. Dept of Conservation.  They are wanting to buy quail from us for a youth hunt. I am going to make this work with what birds I have left.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snowy Quail Day

Snow came through the area yesterday. We got spared the large amount and just got a little over 2".  Every time there is winter weather I worry about the pens collapsing and birds dying.  Went out to check a small pen and some of the birds were huddled up keeping warm.  They are hardy critters once they get fully grown. Still getting calls daily for birds. Many from out of state and most from preserves and field trialers we haven't sold to before. There suppliers are out, too.  I have started to send out next falls price lists and I am making a push for these guys to order birds now for delivery next season. Some are doing that and I think more will pre-book since they are going to be out of birds with a couple of months left in this years season. It sure makes it easier to estimate sales and guarantee them winter birds.  I have to charge them .25 per bird more for feed costs for longer holding times. They understand!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's Cold Outside

It is 2 degrees this morning. I was really concerned the birds might have froze, but as we feed & watered them they are all fine.  Once these critters get over 10 weeks old they are really feathered out & tough. We have given the birds in the fly pens a lot of places to hide . The birds in the barns still have heat lamps on them. I'm about ready to turn them off and let them stay in barn. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Guys from the East Coast are Wanting Birds Again!!

We've had 2 calls so far this week from east coast states looking for lots of quail.  They got hit hard by that big snow/ice storm last week and apparently it tore down the flypens and killed thousands of birds. The fellow last night said he lost 25,000 quail. How devastating would that be. Losing $100,000.00 in sales plus the cost of repairs. WOW!   He asked me for at least 10,000 birds to help him fill the preserve orders for now. Of course I am not big enough to help him. He was pretty desperate. I really hate that for him and the preserves losing all that hunting business because of lack of quail. I can attest this quail business is very sensitive to disasters with losing a lot of birds really fast.  We did find another cabinet incubator yesterday for a good price so we bought it. We should have all our incubating bases covered for awhile. I got last years wild quail numbers report from the conservation department yesterday. Missouri is doing better than some states but we are down a great percentage number from even 10 -15 years ago, let alone from the years of 60's & 70's. They are really making a push for habitat restoration.  If you have a farm I hope you will make it quail friendly before they are all gone.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Time to Start Getting Ready for New 2011 Hatching!

Even though we are still holding both pheasant & quail for next months sales, we have to book our eggs for the next season. If you don't do it early you will not get any. I know it seems strange but they are really in demand and first order first served. I have really thought about producing my own eggs but I would have to have about 5,000 hens & 1,700 cocks, along with another bigger barn and lots of cages. I would have a big feed bill for them and decided to just buy from a breeder that has that as his business model. We booked 3,000 eggs per month beginning in April delivery. The first couple of months eggs will come from south Texas & the rest from Kansas.  We still really enjoy working the birds and meeting new friends.