Want to become self-sufficient, but don’t know where to begin? Embrace the quail. Even if you live in the city, quail is the little-known urban homesteader’s loophole. Even if you’ve never owned a chicken. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing. I definitely don’t.
In the timeless, incredibly original and increasingly wilder-eyed words of Shia Labeouf, “Just do it!”
OK. Here it is. If you haven’t caught on yet…
We’re beginning a new chapter here in Laissez Faire Today land. Our nomad days seem to be winding down. The winds have changed. The four seasons are calling us back home. The Hero’s Journey has come full circle.
Winter is, indeed, coming. And it’s time now to hunker down and get to work. (And, yes, convert some of this “magic Internet money” into tangibles, which, I believe, is important.)
The new enterprise? To become as self-sufficient as humanly possible on a small plot of land. Every plant, animal, tree and pellet of poo will have a job, a purpose. It will belong.
And this journey, mostly by happenstance, as all great journeys do, begins with a chicken and a quail and a question.
“Which is better?” I asked.
Well, some bias may be involved, indeed, but, the response came soon enough…
According to some farmers nearby, at the MyShire Farm in Miamisburg, OH., quails are the “new chicken.”
Space efficiency – “They just don’t need a lot of space! The coturnix quail is quite content with 1 square foot per bird, and even then they still love to cuddle and sleep together.”
Eggs – “At 300 eggs a year, the chicken has a hard time keeping up. Add in the fact that egg to feed ratio is better with quail, and many claim the health benefits of quail eggs are far superior. Said to help everything from boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, to preventing cancer. Some people allergic to chicken eggs can consume the quail eggs without any reaction. And my favorite part….. They start laying as soon as 7 WEEKS OLD. Chickens take 20+ weeks to lay.”
Meat – “Sure they are small, but don’t let that fool you! These birds can hatch and get to butcher weight in 8 weeks with less cost and labor than the chicken counterparts. The quail meat is higher in protein and lower in fat than your average chicken broiler too. Their small size makes them easy to dress out without any fancy equipment. They are easy to store in the freezer, and fast to cook. The best part is quail are sustainable! No more ordering in cornish rock cross chicks for $2.50 EACH CHICK year after year. The coturnix is easily hatched out in your home incubator in just 18 days.”
NO BAN! – “Most in-city ordinances ban livestock, this includes the chicken. Quail however, are not in this category and can be kept as pets. Coturnix quail are not ‘game birds’ either so most states don’t require permits that are necessary for other quail such as the native bobwhite. This opens up the possibility for millions of Americans to have their own sustainable protein source.”
You’re Right. I Have No Idea What I’m Doing. So what?
I have no idea what I’m doing. But that’s the most exciting part.
And here’s why I’m doing it…
Some of the most liberty-minded people in America, even if they don’t identify as such, I’ve come to realize, aren’t wearing suits and ties.
They’re not slamming down the soapbox or shouting down the “unwashed masses” for acquiescing to the totalitarian tiptoe.
They’re not out on some righteous rampage.
If you don’t go looking for them, you wouldn’t even know they exist. Most of them would rather you didn’t find them.
They’re too busy making sure valuable and important breeds and strains and knowledge aren’t being lost in the mass monoculture.
They’re the last few on earth who are so close to the source of production they can smell its breath.
Too busy wrangling cattle to care what AntiFa is crying about at Berkeley. Too busy growing turnips to care what the lamestream media has to say about the Trump dog ear lookalike.
It’s all nonsense. A charade. The bread and circus doesn’t appeal. There are better things to do.
The goat got out again and bucked the baby alpaca and now it’s hiding and crying softly in the old tractor tire and won’t come out. A squirrel spooked the pig and now it has its head stuck in the fence again.
The chef needs the microgreens by 6:30. The wood needs split by 7. The ax handle needs mended before then.
They’re digging down fence posts, capturing rain in barrels, hammering nails into wood.
And when they get a spare moment to turn on the news, they can’t shake the feeling the world simply has too much time on its hands…
The only waste they create is stuff that can’t be used to replenish their soil, which will work to replenish their bodies. Their preferred art is of the folk type — reclaimed, reused and useful for something.
They are an “alternative” node in the complex web of essential societal functions. The white blood cells in a sea of grey.
They’re the “lowly” farmer or homesteader.
You probably don’t know them. And, heck, they like it that way.
And, they’re on the rise.
Buy a [expletive deleted] quail.
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today