Garden and Nature in Words

The Day the Chickens went on Strike!

Chickens are great. You give them food scraps and a warm place to sleep and they return you eggs and fertilizer. It’s a pretty sweet deal. But sometimes the gravy egg train stops running, goes off the rails, slips off the tracks – you get the idea.


Rather than lay an egg yourself what are you going to do? For those of you that have had backyard chooks for a while, it is really hard going back to the eggs they sell at the supermarket, even if they are from ‘freerange’ chickens. No my friends, time for the ultimate backup plan – turn to a secondary layer.

Quails do more than go into soup

Besides turning up on plates in fancy restaurants, the humble quail is a reliable egg layer in its own right. Sure they are about 15 grams each, but when you have a few of them and they lay almost everyday expect during mid-Autumn to the start of Spring, that is a pretty awesome back-up plan for when the heavy guns are empty.

So for this old rooster, a good meal was made.


What is your secondary source of eggs? And if you don’t what would you have?

2 thoughts on “The Day the Chickens went on Strike!

  1. Quail??! Do you have to keep them in an aviary? Or do you let them free range? Despite having a generally negative view of ducks (mallards are rapists! really!), I read something about Khaki Campbells as quite good garden beasts (they don’t scratch up your garden apparently). Never even considered about quails. Mmmm.


    • Thank you for writing in! Yes you need to keep quail in a cage otherwise they will quickly end up as food for anything remotely bigger than them. They are kind of like lemmings when it comes to finding ways to get themselves eaten.

      Once you let them free range in an open area they are very exposed, and because they are undomesticated, it is near impossible to get them back into the cage in one piece. For example, they have a habit of making a vertical jump when scared, which is all the time. Once they are up in the air they then do this horizontal dart into whatever happens to be in front of them – a fence, brick wall, pond, ETC. All dumb ways to die 😦

      Great bird to have however; tough, resilient, tasty, good feed/weight ratio, and fairly easy to breed with an incubator. Oh, and they lay cute little eggs that are very tasty.


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