Quail Can Be Perfect Poultry For Those Without Land

One decade ago, Jenny and Will Ledlow bought 6 acres in central Oklahoma, where Jenny dove into hobby farming. Raising a vegetable garden, pigs, guineas, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese and quail, Jenny provides most of the family meals and a lot of fun. Plus, through social media and farmer’s markets, she sells what the family doesn’t use. 

“I’m not a quail expert,” Jenny says. “But I’ve had poultry since I was a kid. I learned quail care online, reading books and through years of experience. After reading about quail, I decided to try raising them. In 2014, I hatched around 20 quail eggs that I bought online. I chose coturnix quail because they are fast growing, very productive and fairly easy to care for.

“Quail are not a big investment, and they can provide eggs and meat for people without land. Plus they are quiet and small.” 

Quail-Raising Basics

During the first four weeks, Jenny feeds her quail game bird starter. Then she switches to game bird feed, kale, herbs, lettuce, cucumbers, corn on the cob, mealworms, berries and insects. 

For living quarters, Jenny says, “Housing needs to be safe and easy to clean. Most people who raise quail for eggs use stacked cages with roll-out spots for eggs. Metal, wood and wire are common materials used. I move my housing according to the weather. I like movable pens that are about 4 by 5 feet because it is easy to move them outdoors when it’s nice and onto a clean area so I can clean the previous place where they were. It also lets me add things for them to do such as sand boxes, clumps of grass and dirt, and places to hide.coturnix quailcoturnix quailJenny Ledlow

“I protect my quail from predators using small wire on the pens or hardware cloth. Or I move them indoors. I never allow them to free range because coturnix quail are not native to Oklahoma. Also, they would be eaten by cats or other predators. I’ve seen them raised with chickens, but I haven’t tried it. I house them separately from other birds.” 

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In winter, Jenny’s quail are in sheds, chicken coops and Will’s shop. In summer, Jenny keeps the quail in the shade and monitors for fresh water. One summer she kept them in the garage with a window air conditioning unit. 

The Value of Quail Eggs

Coturnix begin laying tiny, spotted eggs at 6 weeks of age. Jenny says they lay any time during the day and during all seasons, including winter (depending on the quails’ ages and housing). 

“The chicks hatch in 18 days but can hatch earlier or later,” Jenny says. “They are similar to baby chickens, but they need food, water and bedding changes a lot more often. There are special food and water…

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The Honest Truth About Marans, 3 More Chicken Breeds (Pt. 3) 

Looking to start or expand your backyard flock but not sure which chicken breeds to are the best? While I can’t tell you which chickens would be the perfect match for your particular situation—more than a dozen factors affecting your decision come to mind off the top of my head—I can share which chicken breeds worked for my family and which ones crashed and burned.

The following foursome comprise part three of my series (here’s part 2) honestly recounting my experience rearing these breeds of chicken.  

Dutch Booted Bantam 

My experience with Dutch Booted Bantams (pictured above) came about unexpectedly. These were amongst the adorable “mixed bantams” that I brought home from our farm-supply store as a result of chicken math.

There were only three in the entire stock tank, and all three came home with me. Sadly, two didn’t survive the first week. To this day, I’m unsure why they perished. They’d been active; were eating, drinking; and pooping; never experienced pasty butt; and were the same size and age as the other baby bantams in the brooder. P

erhaps Dutch Booted Bantams are delicate by nature. Perhaps it was just those particular chicks from that particular hatchery. I’ll never know.  

The surviving chick, Clarice, befriended the only lavender chick I’d seen in the mixed-bantams tank (and of course brought home). Edward and Clarice became inseparable, even as fully grown birds … which was all the more astounding since we discovered that Edward was not a bantam at all but rather an Easter Egger—and female at that. Another name change became imminent when Clarice began crowing.

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Edwina and Clarence were quite the pair. Clarence would ride on Edwina’s back, and the two would roost together at night, Clarence often tucked beneath one of Edwina’s wings.  

 I never saw another Dutch Booted Bantam chick amongst the bantams bin that year or in subsequent years, so I can only assume that the hatchery had issues with the breed. It’s hard to summarize an entire breed based on my experience with Clarence, but I will say he was a very gentle, affectionate and healthy little bird with beautiful feathering on his feet. Hopefully the rest of his breed follows suit.  

Japanese Bantam 

Japanese bantamJapanese bantamMarieXMartin/Adobe Stock

One advantage of getting to know the director of the local university’s poultry research farm is being alerted when hatching eggs and chicks were available for the many different chicken breeds being raised at the center. I carefully brought home one dozen of the tiniest bantam eggs I’d ever seen and watched them incubate with anticipation.

I was very disappointed when only one egg hatched. I learned soon after that Japanese Bantams, like Araucanas, carry a lethal gene that kills many of the embryos before they hatch.

The surviving chick, a gorgeous White Japanese Bantam I…

Google Ad Topics: Another Cog in the Surveillance Advertising Machine

Internet users are constantly surveilled—advertisers collect and purchase mass volumes of consumer data and then use that data to serve highly targeted ads back to consumers. Surveillance advertising not only harms consumer privacy and autonomy by using highly personal data in ways that consumers do not expect; it also worsens inequity by enabling predatory and discriminatory ad targeting. EPIC has long advocated for consumer privacy, autonomy, and equity by pushing for greater legislative and regulatory protections for consumers from the harms caused by surveillance advertising.

In response to public pushback to surveillance advertising, some companies are implementing their own changes. Google is rolling out Ad Topics, its new framework for targeted advertising on Chrome. Ad Topics is part of Google’s Privacy Sandbox Initiative. Ad Topics was preceded by FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), which would have organized users into groups based on their browsing history and served ads to users based on their assigned group. Google ended the FLoC project after facing criticism that the tool would harm user privacy and exacerbate discriminatory and predatory ad targeting. Google claims that Ad Topics incorporates feedback and criticism to the FLoC proposal, but the new system—like all “self-regulatory” approaches to privacy—fails to provide the systemic and reliable protections that consumers need.  

The implementation of Ad Topics plays a key role in Google’s plan to stop supporting third-party cookies on Chrome in 2024. Chrome will be the last major browser to stop supporting third-party cookies on its platform—Apple’s Safari began to block third party cookies by default in 2017, and Mozilla’s Firefox did the same in 2019. After falling behind its competitors and facing criticism for previous plans to phase out third-party cookies, Google now touts Ad Topics for its benefits to user privacy and transparency. But Google’s new tool is far from a perfect solution to the harms of surveillance advertising.

To implement Ad Topics, Chrome infers interest-based categories, called “topics,” by evaluating users’ browsing history. For example, some of the topics include Rap & Hip Hop Music, High Intensity Interval Training, Women’s Clothing, and Child Care. The Topics API assigns a topic label to websites based on the content of the website. Users are assigned a new topic associated with their most frequently visited websites each week. For example, if a Chrome user seeking a loan visited multiple online lending sites in a week, that user could be assigned the “Credit & Lending” topic. In the initial rollout of Ad Topics, only 469 broad topics are included, but the topic taxonomy could expand in the future. Google states that it “aims to maintain a topics list that does not include sensitive categories (i.e. race, sexual orientation, religion, etc.).” Chrome will automatically delete topics after four weeks. Google states that topics are selected locally on users’ devices and that users’ topic data is not shared to external servers. To use topic data to serve an ad, Chrome…

Sweet, Spicy Japanese-Style Teriyaki Beef Jerky Recipe

Sweet, Spicy Japanese-Style Teriyaki Beef Jerky Recipe | Homesteading tallest) { tallest = thisHeight; } }); group.height(tallest); } equalHeight($(“.dg-grid-shortcode .dg_grid-shortcode-col”)); $(window).resize(function() { equalHeight($(“.dg-grid-shortcode .dg_grid-shortcode-col”)); }); }); ]]> Sorry, this product is unavailable. Please choose a different combination. ]]>

Establishing Your Sales Channels As A Flower Farmer

The flower farming movement has been generating more and more momentum. And with that momentum, more farmers, market gardeners and entrepreneurs are opening up their flower farms for business. With so many new flower farmers entering the market, it can feel tough to establish yourself among the competition.

Flower farms are setting themselves apart with branding and marketing. But perhaps the most critical distinction a flower farmer can make is their choice in sales channels. Not all flower farmers target the same markets for their business, and here are just a few of the most popular and successful sales niches in the flower farming industry.

Cut Flower U-Pick

Flower farms across the country are opening their doors to guests. Agritourism is nothing new, but cut-flower u picks are becoming an increasingly popular choice. Some farms choose to focus on single varieties, such as mass plantings of tulips or sunflowers. Other farms are taking a more comprehensive approach and planting large varieties of flowers, allowing guests to pick and design their own flower bouquets.

Many of these farms also charge photographers for photo sessions and will often host special events and workshops  on the farm. These flower farm u-picks can greatly increase profits while also decreasing labor costs, as the end customer is also cutting the  flowers themselves.

Farmers Market

This is the traditional small-farmers sales outlet, but farmers markets can be excellent places to build a customer base for your flowers. Consider growing more spring crops and entering the farmers market earlier in the season, when there is less competition from other cut flower farmers.

A combination of mixed bouquets, a few arrangements and some single stem (buy by the stem) options would make a nice display and offer your customers variety.

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Flower CSA

Flowers CSAs, Community Supported Agriculture, are increasing in popularity with customers enjoying the “earthy” and “wildflower” aesthetic touch that fresh cut flowers bring to their homes. CSAs are basically selling a subscription service from the farm.

Supporters buy in at the beginning of the season with a lump sum payment. Then they receive a weekly, biweekly or sometimes monthly bouquet of flowers. These can be wonderful sales channels for flower farms as they provide investment capital at the beginning of the season.

CSAs do have some drawbacks and can lock you into fulfilling large volumes of bouquets weekly all season. While that may sound great, being paid for all of these bouquets upfront can cause some cashflow issues throughout the season.

Florist Sales

Florist sales can be an excellent sales channel for a flower farmer. Florists can take large volumes of flowers all at once, and they do not require designing time or bouquet creation. You simply harvest, process, and send the flowers to the florist. Retail florists often will take regular weekly orders, and event florists may have standing orders as well as large volume special request orders.

Florist sales may seem most intimidating to begin…

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Episode 62: Frank Hyman

Rodney Wilson, senior editor for Hobby Farms and Chickens magazines, is a writer, editor and hobby farmer. His family farm, the Kentucky-based Goldfinch Farm, has raised Berkshire pigs, Dexter cattle, meat chickens and laying hens, but these days focuses on self-sustenance and beekeeping. Rodney lives in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area with his wife, a whole mess of kids and so many pets.

The Record: Federal privacy legislation is the ‘foundation for any AI efforts,’ key lawmaker says 

The various state laws are problematic because of their “spectrum of strength,” said co-panelist Alan Butler, the executive director of EPIC. 

Citing a recently passed Washington health privacy data bill and the pioneering California privacy bill as examples of strong legislation, Butler observed that the myriad of other state laws in many cases raise as many questions as they answer. 

The McMorris Rogers-led bill that died last Congress was a strong enough bill to be worth the tradeoffs privacy advocates had to swallow, Butler said. 

He worries about the prospects for a similar bill passing this Congress, saying there’s a lot of “uncertainty” right now. 

Comprehensive federal privacy legislation is not meant “to cement the past,” Butler said. “It’s meant to change the status quo and we believe that the bipartisan federal legislation that we and many others gave input on last year did that in a strong way.” 

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5 Crockpot Freezer Meal Recipes – The Ultimate Guide to Crockpot Freezer Meals for a Busy Lifestyle


Crockpot freezer meals are a game-changer for busy individuals and families. They offer a convenient, nutritious, and time-saving solution for those who want to avoid the fast-food trap. In this all-inclusive guide, we’ll delve into five scrumptious and simple crockpot freezer meals, along with essential tips to elevate your cooking experience.

Benefits of Crockpot Freezer Meals

  • Time-Saving: Prepare multiple meals simultaneously and freeze them for future use.
  • Nutritious: You have full control over the ingredients, ensuring a healthier meal.
  • Cost-Effective: Bulk buying ingredients can lead to significant savings.
  • Stress-Free: Imagine coming home to a hot, ready-to-eat meal after a hectic day.

Essential Tips for Crockpot Freezer Cooking

  • Seasoning: Customize the seasoning to suit your palate.
  • Defrosting: Always defrost your meals in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking.
  • Cooking: Use high-quality freezer bags to prevent freezer burn. Label them with cooking instructions for easy reference.
  • Grocery List: A well-planned grocery list ensures you have all the necessary ingredients for multiple recipes.

Grocery List




  • 1 family sized bag of corn


  • 2 small cans of pineapple rings
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 jar of salsa
  • 2 cans of cream of your choice
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken
  • 2   15oz cans of blackbeans


  • Provolone Cheese
  • 4 cups cheddar cheese



  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Flour
  • Beef bouillon
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Steak Sauce
  • Steak Seasoning
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Cooking Sherry
  • Butter
  • Curry powder
  • Rice
  • Salad Supplies


1. Savory Pepper Steak

pepper steak


  • 3 pounds round steak, cut into ½-inch thick strips
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 16oz cans Italian style tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp beef bouillon
  • 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp steak seasoning
  • 2 tbsp steak sauce


  1. Mix beef bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Serve with rice and a side salad.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 400
  • Protein: 35g
  • Carbs: 20g

2. Salsa Chicken

Salsa Chicken


  • 6-8 chicken breasts
  • 2 15oz cans black beans
  • 1 family-size frozen bag of corn
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese


  1. Divide all ingredients except cheese into two bags.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Serve over rice or corn tortillas.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 350
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbs: 25g

3. Chicken Curry

chicken curry

  • 6-8chicken breasts
  • 2cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 1cup of dry cooking sherry
  • ½cup of butter
  • 8green onions chopped
  • 4tsp of curry powder
  • saltand pepper

Directions: Divide everything except butter into two bags evenly.  Add butter to crockpot when ready to cook.  Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice with a side salad.

4. Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches

Hawiian chicke


  • Cubed chicken
  • Pineapple slices
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Sandwich buns


  1. Mix teriyaki sauce and add cubed chicken and pineapple slices.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Serve on sandwich buns.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 350
  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbs: 40g

5. Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

scalloped potatoes and ham



  1. Layer Sliced potatoes, diced ham, and chopped onions in the crockpot.
  2. Pour cheese sauce over the layers.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 450
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbs: 50g


Crockpot freezer meals offer a convenient and healthy dining option for anyone juggling a busy schedule. With a bit of preparation, you can relish a variety of scrumptious meals that are both cost-effective and time-saving. Try these recipes and savor the simple pleasures of homemade comfort…

Warped & Weird Flowers? Could Be Aster Yellows Disease

Between more extreme weather than usual and an onslaught of head-clipping weevils, my butterfly garden took a beating this season. Usually I don’t have to do much to keep my milkweed, black-eyed Susans and other native perennials looking their best. But within a particularly dense planting of purple coneflowers, things went off the rails when aster yellows disease moved in.

The large, purple flower heads I expected to see were replaced with blooms right out of a Dr. Seuss book. Green, leafy “petals” ringed bright green cones. Weirder still, in some spots the leaf-like petals were replaced with additional flower stalks—also sickly green and badly deformed.

At first I thought it was just some genetic anomaly. Looking into it further, I realized the news was much worse—a classic case of aster yellows disease.

Aster What?

Caused by a phytoplasma—a special type of bacterial plant pathogen—aster yellows disease is transmitted by leafhoppers. According to John Bonkowski, a plant disease diagnostician at Purdue University’s Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory, “What typically occurs is the phytoplasma will be within the gut of the leafhopper. So, while feeding, a leafhopper pokes its piercing, sucking mouthpart into the leaf and sucks out some of the [the leaf’s] contents. They sometimes also push out saliva, and the phytoplasma comes out when they do that. It goes into the plant.”

A kind of parasite, phytoplasmas are bacteria that lack cell walls. As such, they cannot live outside on their own. “They need to be inside the host,” Bonkowski says. “That’s why they’re being moved around by the insects.”

Echinacea plants are among the most commonly affected by aster yellows disease. However, marigolds, zinnias, daisies and chrysanthemums are some other susceptible targets.

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Disease Symptoms

Once an infected leafhopper transmits the disease-causing phytoplasma to a plant, the entire plant is systemically affected. “It’s going to be throughout the plant,” Bonkowski says. “The phytoplasma can affect the hormone balance in the plant, which is why you end up seeing these very particular symptoms in coneflower and zinnias and these other aster plants.”

“Flower parts will start developing leaves,” he adds. “So, in the case of echinacea, you have the cone itself—the spiky part—and it actually will start developing bunches of leaves.”

In general, plant growth may be very stunted and small. “There might be more stems compared to what a normal plant would produce,” Bonkowski says. “You’ll have these offshoots that are very green and maybe smaller than you might expect on a typical flower. The big thing is that the hormone balance is disrupted, and you have these odd plant growths because of it.”

The Fix

When it comes to eradicating aster yellows in affected plants, there’s really no good treatment. What’s more, simply pruning them down to the ground isn’t enough. “The aster yellows phytoplasma will not survive in the debris of infected plants. But it can survive in the crown and roots of infected…

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Survival Archery: The Ultimate Skill for a Post-Apocalyptic World?

Survival Archery Practice

In a world where modern conveniences can quickly disappear in the blink of an eye, the ability to adapt and rely on your survival skills is becoming more apparent by the day. One such skill, often overlooked in favor of firearms, is archery. In a total all-out collapse situation, archery is a skill that can help you survive no matter how harsh conditions may become.

Picture a world plunged into chaos – a world where the comforts of modern civilization are mere memories. In this new landscape, food is scarce, threats lurk everywhere, and the ability to protect oneself and secure food becomes the ultimate currency.

It’s not a dystopian fantasy; it’s a scenario rooted in history and one that could be the future we are heading towards, thanks to the elites who wish to crash everything into the ground in some great reset fantasy. From natural disasters to societal collapse, numerous events could lead to a world where survival skills mean the difference between life and death.

But why should you learn to shoot a bow and arrow when firearms are readily available? Hey, no one is saying to give up your guns, but we like having options and having as many backups as possible. So here are five compelling survival-related reasons why mastering archery is worth your effort.

1. It helps Provide a Food Source

In times of crisis, securing food may become a challenging task. A bow is an invaluable tool for hunting game, including everything from deer to smaller prey like rabbits and birds – you can even retrofit your bow for fishing as well. Its stealth factor and ability to reclaim and use your arrows are what sets it apart from firearms. The quiet operation of a bow allows for stealthy hunting, increasing your chances of success without giving away your position.

The ability to hunt game silently could be a game-changer. Additionally, as we pointed out above, bows can be used for bow fishing, a versatile hunting method to catch fish silently.

2. Portability

Survival scenarios often demand mobility and adaptability. Traditional bows, mainly takedown bows, excel at this task. Takedown bows can be disassembled into compact pieces, making them easy to transport even when you need to travel light. A takedown bow can be your trusted survival companion when space and weight are at a premium.

3. Low Cost

In these turbulent times, budget-conscious choices are essential. You can acquire a reliable takedown bow or compound bow without breaking the bank. The affordability extends to ammunition – arrows are cost-effective and, with practice, reusable. Unlike firearms, where ammunition can be scarce, archers can even craft their arrows using readily available materials.

4. Less Paperwork and Less Strict Laws

Owning a firearm often comes with a maze of regulations and paperwork. Archery, in contrast, involves fewer legal hurdles. While there are some rules to follow, they are generally less restrictive than those governing firearms. Archery offers a more straightforward path to self-reliance.

5. Improved Fitness Levels

Survival situations demand physical fitness….

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