Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Expanding our animal husbandry skills: Coturnix Quail

We recently had the pleasure of making a new friend in the local area who runs an amazing farm rearing goats, rabbits, ducks, chickens, sheep, and guard dogs, by the name of Blanche Perkins. Blanche contacted us on Facebook and was kind enough to pass a flock of 20 Bourban Red turkeys our way a couple weeks ago (as they were making their way accross the poultry fencing and into the dog enclosures where they were easy targets and made for expensive dog food) in exchange for some Homegrown nursery stock next season.

Kim, myself, and Corie, made our way down the road to Blanches amazingly beautiful farm and had a great time chatting with Blanche and checking out the animals as well as catching turkeys and discussing the red legal tape that binds us in many ways from exploring our true potential as farmers. On the trip home Kim and I discussed our newfound friendship and we definitely agreed that Blanche was "our type" and what we hope to become a long time friendship was forged.

Last week Blanche sent me a message about some Coturnix quail she was anxious to get rid of, about fifty or so, and obligingly we took them in exchange for nursery stock again. I had been sort of half heartedly exploring the idea of raising a few quail both for meat as well as a sideline income for about a year or so but had yet made the commitment, sometimes that little push is all it takes, and I can't thank Blanche enough for the little birds which I have already gained immense enjoyment from. Their care is so incredibly easy that it adds little to the list of daily chores and the experience of keeping such calm little "game" birds adds a lot to the allure of life on this farm.

As though that weren't enough Blanche also passed onto us (again in trade for nursery stock) another 24 Coturnix quail as of last evening.

Once our "peasant barn" is sufficiently rebuildt the quail will be given plenty of space in the second floor portion of the barn including a flight training room, a meat hutch, and several breeding cages.

There are two types of Coturnix quail in the photos below. The browns are Pharoh (I think) and the whites are Texas A&M. Apparently the white birds are also white meat all the way through contrary to the other breeds of Coturnix being dark meat.

This previous summer we got calls left any right from folks wanting quail eggs, meat, and birds for dog training, so hopefully this can turn into a lucrative little piece of our overall business scheme. In time I'll probably breed out the majority of the whites as I prefer a darker feathered and a darker meated bird.

You can also check out a few pics of the turkeys roaming around today after the huge rainstorm that ripped through the area (finally, this is the driest I've ever seen Indiana with little to no foragable subsistance available to the turkeys through the late summer and early-mid fall burning a hole in our pocket via feed bills).

As we have emphasised many times here on the blog and elsewhere making local contacts and facilitating trades within the local community are time honored and reliable methods to grow friendships and the local economy all the while creating a stronger locally sustainable community and saving a few dollars in the long run.

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