Monday, September 1, 2008

Changing of the Guard

Quail Update

As many of you may recall, I hatched some Coturnix Quail in my third grade classroom last March. After a week-long stay with my students, I took them home to the farm where they have been living contentedly and laying 9 eggs per day, almost without fail. Well, I was thinking about winter coming and making plans for survival. I came to the conclusion that I needed to do a little down-sizing. I put the 9 quail hens in a Freecycle ad and immediately received five or six responses. I contacted them to see what kind of situation they each had and I chose a family with five young children who live on a little farm in the next town over from us. This family came over and the children were all googly-eyed over these little feathered bundles. They each caught one and gently held it and placed it into the carrier. The little girls were already coming up with names; "mistletoe," "twinkie," and "featherball." The boys looked at me and said, "That ain't what we're namin' 'em." That made me laugh, because the boys had been talking up a storm and none of them talked like that!! (poor grammar, I mean).

I will do another "hatching" in my classroom again next spring, but this time I will hatch chicken chicks. Here is a link to the types of eggs Michigan State University offers at their Poultry Farm. They provided me with an incubator and the eggs hatched exactly on the day I requested! Any ideas as to what kinds I should get? Maybe Angelo (Farm Manager)would give me a mix! I'm leaning towards the Light Brahma breed right now.

I gathered the last batch of quail eggs and dedicated a little breakfast to them. I made a little omelet with cheddar cheese and some salsa. The heirloom tomato was still warm from the morning sun. Coffee with cream on the side!!


Out with the old and in with the new!

The hens started laying this past week and the eggs are mighty good!! The yolks have a strong orange color and are full of flavor. They are a little on the small size right now, but they'll get bigger as the hens mature. The brown one is from a Cuckoo Maran and the white one is from Floozie, the Buttercup. The quail eggs are on the left side!!!


School starts tomorrow

Oh yeah! I have a job. Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 10th year as an elementary teacher. I started a little late, and have been trying to catch up ever since! I have 26 students with names like Naomi, Max, Caleb, Cruz and Varun. It's always exciting to start fresh, but I'm starting to feel a little jittery!! What's up with that?!

23 comments:

Sandy said...

Oh no!!! You're getting rid of some of the girls!! But sure can see why. I enjoyed seeing their eggs and seeing your breakfast and
beginning your 10th year...

why the jitters....because I would imagine anything new is a little unnerving. After all you are getting a whole new classroom of kids. How exciting really....

Have a great beginning school year Don! Hey, don't forget us all here in blogsphere while you are hanging out with the kids.

Amy - "Twelve Acres" said...

Please promise me that some day you will hatch some turkey eggs! I so want turkeys but not at this point in time. I think a pair of Royal Palms would look great on the lawn!

How great that you found the perfect family for the quail. They were so cute as hatchlings and so TINY! Their eggs are equally cute and TINY! Your breakfast was picture perfect...and a tomato still warm from the morning sun cannot be beat.

The Marans egg is pretty! And your buddy Floozie is laying too? Hurray! She's a cutie pie. Don't you just love your own farm fresh eggs?

School started here last week. Us moms sure are glad when school starts!!! I think the jitters are normal at the start of anything new. You'll do great though, so don't put too much pressure on yourself.

Have a great week Don!

Sharon said...

Good luck tomorrow Don.... It would be so fun to be a fly on the wall and watch things unfold for you!

Ruth said...

Hey Don, I ironed an outfit and laid it out for today - for myself! Even though our classes started a week ago, I felt the first days of school from you last night. I'm kind of geared up!

I can't wait to hear about Max, Naomi, Cruz, Varun (!) and Caleb - and the others. The stories begin. It would be fun to start a school blog changing the names of course, just recounting the kid stories.

Did you realize you listed names at the start (the quail) and again at the end (the kids)?

warren said...

My wife always gets jittery the first day of school as well. She loves it though. She's at a year round school but the jitters start after the 3 week summer break when it feels like the next school year. Anyhow, have fun on the first day!

laura said...

The story about the little Bowery Boys is a riot; I laughed aloud (and startled the dog).
When I was about 6 or 7 my mother bought 6 ducklings; they lived in the front room.
The first day of school. It still sounds magical --the promise of a new beginning; new pencils and notebooks. I still stroll down the back-to-school aisles and always wish I was going back. As I recall, jitters are as much a part of it as a new bookbag.

jen @ J&J Acres said...

I didn't realize that quail eggs were so tiny! They're too cute! I'm glad you picked out a good family for them. I'm sure they'll take great care of them!

I love the Light Brahma breed. We don't have any, but I'd love to get some!

Don said...

sandy: Yeah, I was kinda sorry to see the quail go too.

I had a great first day and am feeling energized for another year of school!

How could I possibly forget all you great people in my blogworld?

Don said...

Amy: Wow, those Royal Palms are fabulous! They don't get very big tho. I think I am going to have a few turkeys next year. Maybe we need to meet somewhere around Toledo so I can give you one for Thanksgiving!!!

Thanks for all of your kind words!

Don said...

sharon: I would like to have you as a guest instructor for some writing exercises! Come on down!!

Don said...

Ruth: That's funny about the names! The hard part of starting school for me is having to wear clothes that aren't ragged shorts and tees.

That's cute that you ironed and laid out your clothes!

Don said...

warren: It must just come with the job! We teachers were sharing our pre-school starting dreams at lunch today. Maybe I need to post some of those!!

Don said...

laura: Ducks in the front room! I laughed at your use of "front room!" We called the living room the front room and the dining room the back room.

Don said...

jen: I agree with you! When I look at the size of these quail eggs and then picture a bird hatching out of them, I am truly amazed. I like those Brahmas too. They seem to be good layers too!

Ginnie said...

Why do I have tears in my eyes! Suddenly I just want to go somewhere and cry. I don't think it's the giving away of the quail. Nicholas will get over that. So what is it? The names. The new school year. Wearing different clothes. Who knows!

VioletSky said...

The eggs look great - I love the variety. And on a Fiesta Ware plate too??

Glad you had a good first day at school

Loring Wirbel said...

I didn't eat a single heirloom this summer. And I sure didn't eat any quail eggs. Ah, the girls will be missed, I'm sure! Let us know who won the naming contest, and good luck with the school year!

Country Girl said...

Cool looking eggs. We got rid of our quail. We want to buy an incubator this winter. Maybe we can get as a Christmas gift to one another???
Enjoy school!

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, what's up with that? I don't know how you teachers do it, like your starting a new job every year, new faces new challenges, good luck!!

Stiggy said...

How did your first day back go Don?

Were you happy with the intake?

Any rough diamonds yet or too soon to know?

:D

Don said...

ginnie: I love your passion! Don't worry about the quail, or about having little living things around the farm for Nicholas to love. I plan on having something around each year for the kids to love.

chickengirl said...

I love Brahmas! You should hatch some of them. Sounds like this may become an anual thing!

Oooh, I'm dying to find some eggs, but most of our pullets are at the fair!! We only have 4 of that batch at home!

This is random, but I counted the other day and we have 45 chickens and 4 ducks. Wow!! I'm dying to get a pair of doves at the fair.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Don, you said,""Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 10th year as an elementary teacher. I started a little late, and have been trying to catch up ever since!""

I say, don't ever try to catch up, as you are already way ahead!!
I know you are far too humble to say this, but it is quite evident by the response of your students!! what better comment on your abilities then the kids!!!