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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lil Henry the Quail

Who can resist beautiful little quail eggs. Tasty too if you don't mind cracking 4 or 5 times the shells. My teen age grandson, an avid hunter had decided to incubate 80 quail eggs to be released nearby for hunting use. He surprised me by bringing four young quail sure I would want to raise them for food.
 Even though we had just constructed a wonderful chicken run these anything but friendly quail wanted none of it, time after time escaping.  And time after time I captured them,  the last time resulted in a nice eye injury.  Never corner a quail! I only recovered one of the quail after the eye episode. Hoping the lone quail was a female my husband named it Henrietta after his nervous grandmother who paced a lot!

 

We read everything about quails with everything stating over and over to keep them in a metal cage. They won't play they won't nest they won't do anything but pace .  About that time we realized our Henrietta was a Henry . We had a good size cage for Lil Henry to pace and pace he did. He did not  seem to care about straw or anything except pacing. When the chickens were let out to free range in the afternoons he would sing a mournful song and continue until they returned to their pen.  Finally, realizing we would get no eggs from Henry and saddened listening to his cries our thoughts were to  release him . Maybe Henry would head for the woods that would be fine with all of us.  So the next day when the chickens were let out for their free time Henry's cage was left open.  He was free to go.But Henry decided to stay with the chickens . He especially enjoyed the company of Big Mama the  Jersey Giant chicken. His first day of freedom he and Big Mama shared a dust bath with Lil Henry snuggling with her in ecstasy.  Since then Henry keeps the chicken schedule. He follows them through the property occasionally bursting out in flight. It is a crazy sight and even though we may never get eggs from lil Henry he gives us joy as we listen to his NEW  happy song.

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