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In the past we have been able to free range our quail chicks in a neighbour's meadow. He even let us cut it in a special way so we could make it safe for them to be out in the open. Last year he started to cut it as a lawn and as he gives us the grass we really can't complain! However, it now means we need a new place to free range this year's chicks, so I thought, why not with our other birds.

Our garden is home to all our poultry and this year we have a lot of new chicks but it was planned and planted as a food forest, so has plenty of different areas and habitats and vertical as well as horizontal space. However, it is still new territory to baby quail, so thought I'd share some tips and suggestions. The main one being, to free range the quail chicks one at a time - it's just so much easier!

Step 1: Tips and Strategies

In the film you can see how the chicks, hatched 20th July this year are now quite robust and savvy enough to enter the world of our forest garden.

You will see the bond forged between the quail and the mother hen, plus some of the surprises our quail had install for us, including a propensity to over-eat!

If you've enjoyed this film and want more information on raising quail organically with a mother hen then please visit The Holistic Hen where you will see more of our organic quail, chickens and pigeons in their forest garden home and information on how we raise them.

All the very best from stormy Normandie, Pavlovafowl aka Sue

<p>We just picked up our first little flock of quail and have enjoyed letting them out into the garden for small periods of time. I'm excited to try this out.</p>
<p>Hi there mountainmasha, how wonderful that you are raising quail like this! I found the main thing is always to get them to bond well, once they trust and feel good around you, then they get very tame, even coming when you call their name. It is easier for me because they already have the bond with the mother hen who has a bond with me. I found it a good idea to get them used to digging in the soil with me, as they are always interested in what I could find in the way of food! They will follow me with the garden fork, the main thing is to watch out for them as they dive in between the tines!. The only thing with young quail is that they do like to try out their wings. Tonight 'Tufty', he's the one at the beginning of the film, actually flew up onto the greenhouse roof just for the fun of it. That is why freeranging them in the meadow was so good, because after their typical short flight up into the air they would hurry back to the middle of the field where we had kept the grass long. In an open area they are very aware of predators. Here in the forest garden the quail are less wary so tend to be more adventurous in flying. Good luck, quail are such fun and I am so happy you are giving them the life they deserve, they will pay you back with excellent quality eggs and good times! All the best, Sue </p>

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Bio: I am passionate about organic farming and food. We have a small homestead or rather a forest garden with rare breed poultry, fantail pigeons and ... More »
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