Summer, along with its oppressive heat and humidity, has arrived. Some of the best stuff on the homestead happens in summer (like the arrival of ducklings and a garden that’s starting to produce), but summer comes with struggles as well. Get summer tips for the garden, your livestock, and even tips for staying cool while you cook.
You have never seen a more quirky homestead critter than a quail. They are so funny to watch and will begin amusing you from the day you hatch. Despite their small stature, quail produce delicious eggs at a marvelous rate. Quail are perfect for a small or city homestead as you can house quite a few in very little space. Because the males are generally quiet (just letting out a sweet cooing sound) you can have them on non-traditional homesteads.
The internet would have you believe that incubating Coturnix quail is difficult. I’m here to let you in on a secret… it’s not. Forget fumigation and floating techniques. It’s really no different than incubating a chicken egg. The only difference is that it takes less time and you might as well forget about candling. You simply pop your eggs in the incubator and start the clock.
Today I am going to discuss a bird of a different feather. The cute and personable quail. I was proposing the idea of getting Coturnix quail to my dear and wonderful husband. Being the way I am, I researched like a mad woman and drew out a sketch of my proposed quail pen to show him. So why quail? There are so many great reasons. While quail farming might not be ideal for every homesteader, they can fit into homesteads both large and small.
Today you are getting Zoologist Jessica instead of Homesteader Jessica. For those of you that don’t know, I went to school for zoology, but decided that I didn’t want to live in a city, which is what led me to farming. One important aspect of animal care they taught me about in college was animal enrichment and how important it is to an animals health and overall well-being.
Animal enrichment is activities that create a more stimulating environment for the animals and elicit some of their natural behaviors such as exploration, foraging, locomotion, social interaction, manipulating objects, or simply playing.
Sprouting fodder is something farmers have been done for generations. Fodder is defined as “food, especially dried hay or feed, for cattle and other livestock.” Sprouting fodder growing the fodder and allowing the livestock to eat it at a young stage. This feeding technique can offer a varied diet for livestock at a fraction of the price of traditional feeds. Although you can sprout a variety of grains, today I’m going to chat about sprouted barley because it’s a great all-around grain for livestock.
I am in love with mason jar feeders and waterers. They work for all ages and sizes in the flock and if you’re like me and have hundreds of jars laying around, it’s a dirt cheap way to go. The only flaw to them is they can be very challenging to hang. When left on the ground, they quickly fill with bedding and droppings. With a little crochet knowledge and some yarn or even twine, you can make a hanger in a matter of minutes.