It wasn’t a pretty sight, so Bruce Hampson swung into action.
A large brood of quail — two adults and a host of tiny, fluffy babies — were walking near Hampson’s Wheeler Avenue home in Parksville when one of the youngsters suddenly disappeared from the line after falling through a sewer grate.
Hampson lifted the grate and saw there were four of the mini quail in distress. He saved three. One drowned.
“I don’t know how many have fallen through over the years,” said Hampson. “There should be something done — it doesn’t seem right.”
To that end, Hampson said he called the city, the SPCA and the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. He said he believes some inexpensive steel meshes of some sort could stop this from happening again.
“They are beautiful little birds,” he said. “It would be kind of nice to save them — they are so cute.”
The city doesn’t believe there’s much it can do about the situation.
“Good on him (Hampson) for taking the grate out and rescuing the little guys,” said City of Parksville spokesperson Debbie Tardiff.
The city has approximately 1,400 catch basins like the one that felled the tiny quail on Wheeler Avenue.
“Realistically, it is not manageable to run around and put screens on them,” said Tardiff.
Robin Campbell of the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre also didn’t believe there’s much his organization could do about the issue.
“I’m sympathetic to the whole situation,” said Campbell. “It’s an ongoing problem, not necessarily quail but baby ducks.”
The northern bobwhite is the native quail species found throughout Arkansas. These predominantly ground-dwelling birds are primarily found in areas that contain large amounts of edge habitat. Edges are boundaries between different habitat types or land use practices.
The home range of a quail covey can cover as little as 20 acres up to 160 acres. In that home range, quail require various types of habitat, including: escape cover, nesting habitat, brood rearing habitat and feeding and loafing areas.
So, what is a “covey headquarters” and how does it fit into the equation for great quail habitat? Covey headquarters are patches of escape cover with dense, shrubby canopy cover and little ground-level vegetation. Headquarters are used by quail on a daily basis to provide protection against severe weather and predators along with resting and loafing areas.
The percentage of the landscape designated as covey headquarters can range up to 20 percent of the total area, with the remainder set aside for the other habitat components needed by quail. Covey headquarters should be provided in clusters of not less than 30 feet by 50 feet blocks of shrubs that are not more than 150 feet apart, which will allow the quail to have quick access to their escape cover if the need arises.
Shrubs that serve well for this habitat component include: wild American and Chickasaw plum, fragrant and smooth sumac, rough-leaved dogwood, deciduous holly, cockspur hawthorn and American beautyberry. Plum thickets are an excellent example of quail convey headquarters and occur naturally on many properties across Arkansas.
Existing Thickets — Protect and manage any existing plum or other shrubby thickets on your property. These shrubby thickets can be improved to better benefit quail. If invasive grass species take over the ground-level cover, those grasses should be treated with a herbicide, timing depending on whether they are warm season or cool season. This will re-open that ground-level cover making it easier for quail to move throughout the headquarters. Also, any over-hanging or adjacent trees to the plum thicket should be removed from the area. This strategy will help reduce predation from overhead predators and also provide a clear flight path for quail to escape from ground predators.
Creating Thickets — If thickets do not occur naturally on your land, they can be established by planting seeds, seedlings or container-grown shrubs. For beautyberry, dogwood and sumac, spacing should be on a 3 foot by 6 foot spacing. Other shrubs can be planted on a 5 foot by 8 foot spacing. Just remember, thickets intended for use as covey headquarters should be established in edge habitat, those areas of transition between habitat types and in open fields lacking shrubby cover. After you have identified the best location for your headquarters, the existing vegetation should be controlled using an herbicide before you plant the shrubs. This will promote the growth of your new plantings as well as open the ground-level cover to facilitate quail movement throughout the new headquarters.
Headquarter Maintenance — Whether you have existing or newly planted covey headquarters, you should avoid damaging these when conducting other habitat management practices on your property, i.e. prescribed burning or disking. Herbicides can be used to control invasive grasses within and around your thickets; however care should be used to avoid spraying shrubs. Also, livestock should be excluded from these areas to maintain the integrity of the thicket as a quail covey headquarters.
Lahore- Although chicken is the major source of meat and eggs in Pakistan but efforts are being made for exploiting other suitable economical sources for the production of meat and eggs. Towards this end, quail farming seems to be the most promising and one of the best alternate sources for production of meat and eggs.
This was revealed in a research paper, conducted by a scholar, Jibran Hussain for his Ph.D thesis, who hopes the new research would bring a great revolution in avian industry. The research is supervised by Dr Muhammad Akram, Chairman Department of Poultry Production UVAS.
Jibran Hussain, who is also a lecturer at Avian Research and Training (ART) Centre, told The Nation that he conducted a research on improvement in three-week body weight in Japanese quail through different techniques of selective breeding and has got very promising results in this regard.
His research paper reveals that Japanese quail (Coturnix Coturnix Japonica) is a type of popular commercial line which is known as “betair” inPakistanand has certain specific advantages. The quail can be used for meat production within a very short period of time (4-5 weeks) and mature at an early age of 6 weeks.
While informing about the situation of quail farming inPakistan, the researcher maintained that quail farming possess enormous potential but remained as one of the neglected components of poultry sector in the country. About 4 decades back, breeding stock of hybrid Japanese quail with good genetic potential for excellent growth performance, better egg production, egg quality and hatching traits as compared to local quail called “Betair” was imported in the country. But unfortunately, genetic potential of this imported quail has been deteriorated due to continuous inbreeding/uncontrolled breeding. At the same time no serious attempt was made to improve the genetic potential of the native quails.
This very poor situation of quail farming in the country brought about a challenge to the researchers from theUniversityofVeterinaryand Animal Sciences,Lahore, to adopt all the strategies to make this meat production system economical and commercially viable.
While unveiling the details of his study, the researcher informed The Nation that day old body weight in generations 1 was about 6.68g which raised up to 7.80 gm in generation three. The same was the trend in 1st and 2nd week body weight that showed an increasing pattern. The most promising results were observed in three week body weight that increased from 104 gram to 116 gram after two generations of selection. Caloric and protein intake per gram body weight gain also decreased with the advancement in generations. As the generations progressed, selective breeding showed positive impact regarding mortality rate as it reduced significantly from 1st to 3rd generation.
While concluding the results of his research, Jibran said that selective breeding in quail is quite successful and can also be multiplied in other avian species in order to improve their production performance in our local environmental conditions.
Newcastle Disease Virus is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting most species of birds. Clinical signs are extremely variable depending on the strain of virus, species and age of bird, concurrent disease, and preexisting immunity. Four broad clinical syndromes are recognized by scientists. They are Viscerotropic velogenic, Neurotropic velogenic, Mesogenic, and Lentogenic. NDV is so virulent that many birds die without showing any clinical signs. A death rate of almost 100 percent can occur in unvaccinated poultry flocks. NDV can infect and cause death even in vaccinated poultry. Fortunately NDV has not infected domestic chicken flocks in the United States since the last outbreak was eradicated in 1974.
NDV is spread primarily through direct contact between healthy birds and the bodily discharges of infected birds. The disease is transmitted through infected birds’ droppings and secretions from the nose, mouth, and eyes. NDV spreads rapidly among birds kept in confinement, such as commercially raised chickens.
High concentrations of the NDV are found in birds’ bodily discharges; therefore, the disease can be spread easily by mechanical means. Virus-bearing material can be picked up on shoes and clothing and carried from an infected flock to a healthy one.
NDV can survive for several weeks in a warm and humid environment on birds’ feathers, manure, and other materials. It can survive indefinitely in frozen material. However, the virus is destroyed rapidly by dehydration and by the ultraviolet rays in sunlight.
NDV affects the respiratory, nervous, and digestive systems. Symptoms are very variable depending on the strain of virus, species of bird, concurrent disease and preexisting immunity. The incubation period for the disease ranges from 2 to 15 days. An infected bird may exhibit the following signs:
- Respiratory: sneezing, gasping for air, nasal discharge, coughing
- Digestive: greenish, watery diarrhea
- Nervousness, depression, muscular tremors, drooping wings, twisting of head and neck, circling, complete paralysis
- Partial to complete drop in egg production and thin-shelled eggs
- Swelling of the tissues around the eyes and in the neck
- Sudden death
Any animals showing symptoms of Newcastle disease should be quarantined immediately. New birds should also be vaccinated before being introduced to a flock. An inactivated viral vaccine is available, as well as various combination vaccines.
Lynsey Waddle’s second-grade classroom at Lincoln Charter’s Denver campus is anxiously awaiting the results of its latest experiment.
The class is the only one in the county participating in the “4-H Embryology Hatching Project,” which is correlated with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for second grade and is designed especially for youth between second and seventh grades.
Through the three-week project, students learn about the life cycle from quail egg to bird.
Twelve 4-H families are also participating in the project, said April Dillon, Cooperative Extension agent for 4-H Youth Development.
Participants were distributed 20 quail eggs, along with 4-H incubators, on April 18, after receiving the necessary curriculum training. They were then required to set their eggs by April 22, with all quail returned to Lincoln County 4-H by this Monday.
“Some 4-H’ers will keep their quail if they have received a wild game bird permit, and others will return their quail to the 4-H office to be raised by a permitted individual,” Dillon noted.
With most due to hatch this week (and some having already done so), the anticipation is building.
Waddle said Tuesday afternoon that she expects her classroom’s quail eggs to be hatching at any moment, having spotted a crack in the shell of one of them in the morning.
The first-year teacher, who has 24 students in her class, received 23 eggs, though four weren’t fertilized.
She jumped at the chance to participate in the project, despite no real-life experience of her own on the subject.
“I’m no egg expert,” she said.
However, she knew it would provide her another way to instruct her students besides just talking to them.
“I feel like it brings the life cycle to the classroom,” she said of the hands-on approach to teaching that particular course unit.
She also raised butterflies with the class, which hatched just last week.
And while these projects certainly teach specific aspects of science, their scope goes beyond the textbook.
Waddle said her students are also learning responsibility, as well as how to solve problems and make and develop their own plans.
The quail industry has thrived in recent years. And for people who want to make ends meet with animal farming, try raising quails for health and wealth. Quails need little water and food and lays an egg a day,.
The meat is white, tasty and healthy for consumption. However, the eggs are by far the most important product.
British researchers say that quail egg should be pronounced a super-food, as they have an great impact on our health and even helps to fight obesity. According to nutritionists, the egg is one of the richest in good essential ingredients and we all should consume at least two eggs a day. The researchers emphasize the egg’s important role in general health protection as well as losing and maintaining body weight. Quail egg is simply, an elixir of life.
Quail eggs are considered one of the best known natural health products. Chinese medical practitioners have been using quail eggs for treatment for centuries with exceptional results. As quail eggs are slowly becoming easier to buy in the market place, more people are beginning to show interest in its uses as an active natural medicine instead of the chemical products with many side effects.
Quail eggs contain 3 or 4 times as much nutritional value as chicken eggs do, and they are 13% protein while chicken eggs are only 11% per cent. They contain nearly three times as much Vitamin B1 as chicken eggs do, and you can get double the amounts of Vitamin B2 and Vitamin A by eating quail eggs. Fertile quail eggs are also very rich in calcium and phosphrous, and you can actually obtain 5 times more potassium and iron from quail eggs than from chicken eggs.