The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
I haven’t blogged much about the quail. Our first livestock were quail. We’d though hens needed more space than we had.
After a trip to visit a friend who had hens five years ago we decided to give quail a chance.
Then the following year, having kept three quail for a year, we decided to hatch some quail ourselves, as we only had one adult remaining.
In total nine hatched after nineteen days but two didn’t survive the night.
The remaining quail were a mixed bunch.
Brown boy was a feisty fellow with far more bluster than his tiny stature.
Snowy was the white male.
Kitchen bird survived a violent attack by her siblings early on.
Caesar got her name during a difficult hatching process.
Speckles was quiet and skittish.
Two other males were sold on as the ratio of male and female birds was fairly off.
That was four years ago.
Sadly time has passed. Sadly we lost Speckles this week. Brown boy is the only one left.
Our seven tiny bumble bees with legs are down to one.
It’s hard keeping livestock. In spite of our best efforts to remain aloof, the birds got under our skin. We have become attached.
Speckles was sick. She was having trouble walking. And was struggling more than was reasonable. In spite of eating she lost a lot of weight. The winter is setting in. She couldn’t drink unaided.
The decision to end the life of a bird was not one we reached lightly. So it’s been a sad few days. We saw that bird hatch and now she’s been dispatched.
It may sound sentimental and many people with livestock would laugh at our sentiment.
But I remember that when my mum grew up on a farm and a sheep went to the butcher they’d avoid that butcher for a couple of weeks afterwards. So I don’t feel too bad for caring about our birds.
I’m sad. We are sad. It’s sad. Brown boy doesn’t know where she is. There are two new quail to keep him company. But it will be a while before they are good friends.
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...