Hatching his hobby
Ken Aldridge is a newcomer to raising quail.
He said he started a few weeks ago with seven birds.
“I also ordered 10 dozen eggs, then I’m going to have them going to an incubator,” he said. “I’m guessing half of them will be males and the other half will be able to lay eggs in about seven or eight weeks.”
Aldridge said he does not have enough room at his one-acre home to raise chickens, so he began to investigate raising quail. He said he obtained a lot of information from the Internet.
“These eggs are very nutritious,” he said. “They’re supposed to have no LDL cholesterol.”
The American Heart Association says LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is the “bad” cholesterol which could build up in the inner walls of the arteries and clog them. This could result in heart attacks or strokes, the Heart Association’s website said.
Within a few months, Aldridge and his wife, Beth, expect to enjoy cooking with the eggs.
He said he doesn’t plan on selling any eggs.
“I have too many things going on now to start a new business,” he said.
Aldridge keeps the quail in a small cage, but he’s setting up a row of cages where the quail can lay their eggs.
“It’s not been a challenge at all,” he said. “They’re really nice birds.”
Drip irrigation helps
make his garden grow
Aldridge has plenty of farm expertise to raise a vegetable garden.
He just has to make do with the space he has.
He said the garden he had last year “wasn’t very big, just 25 feet by 25 feet.”
But the garden yielded corn, collard greens, onions, tomatoes, squash, beans and “quite a bit of okra,” he said.
Aldridge said this year’s garden ought to be bigger.
“It will probably be mid-April before I plant, have it be the first frost-free day,” he said. “Almost everything I do, I do from seed, except tomatoes. I buy tomato plants.”
He said a drip irrigation system has helped the garden survive drought.
“I have a main line of tubing that connects with a little tube with little slits in it,” he said. “I have a well for my garden, so drip irrigation uses very little water.”
Aldridge laid the irrigation line under the soil to keep the foliage from getting too wet.
“If you get the foliage too wet, you could have problems with diseases,” he said. “Last year, my drip line was underneath the soil, at the root zone.”
This helped the water reach the roots better, he said. “And it cuts down on evaporation because it’s not exposed to the hot wind.”
He said drip irrigation is a gardening method “that can be done anywhere.”