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A beautiful Collection of Eggs

We breed a variety of breeds and species to provide you with beautiful eggs and chicks.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Welcome to Goat Ownership

Welcome to Goat Ownership!

We acquired 2 goats last weekend; A beautiful Buck, named Pepe le Pew, and a Doe named Lily. These beauties are Nigerian Dwarves. Now before anyone tells us, "why did you get a stinky buck????" here's why. Nigerian Dwarf goats are great dairy goats. In order to get milk, the doe has to be pregnant and lactating afterwards. In order to get pregnant, well you know; The birds and the bees after all.

Living on a farm, everything has to produce. If it does not, it becomes food or gets sold. Nothing gets wasted. Goat milk is very useful here. We can make goat cheese, soap, and more!

Pepe le Pew the Buck
Now don't get me wrong, goats are not simple, at that. You need to make sure the Buck does not get grains as he can develop Urinary Calculi. Also, there are many poisonous plants to study since goats love to eat plants! One of our goats, Lily, is an escape artist, therefore we have to watch her carefully and make sure she doesn't get into trouble.

Our Experience Having Goats for One Week

Having goats for one week really has been a blast. Learning about them, having something other than birds for once with a personality, is really adding some fun to the farm. We decided to let the goats out and already notice some funny experiences. 

 Lily was crawling out of her pen within the third day living with us. I was wondering how, and watched as she did it one day. I put bricks around it. She is pregnant and got stuck in a tree today, so I ended up pulling her by the hind legs, the doe screaming bloody murder, under I could get her big belly out. The day before yesterday she played with the dogs and wanted in the house. The closest was on the porch. She jumped right on the couch and begged for attention.


I tied Lily to the fence so she could help weed the garden and she was more upset I left her alone. If I hold on the lead she is perfectly content and munches away. What a spoiled goat! Pepe le Pew is better at being tied up. He doesn't scream like someone is killing him at least.

Needless to say, the goats are bringing laughter to the farm. Stay tuned for more posts here on 5 Acres and Destiny!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Giveaway: The Photo bomb Betty Contest! Sponsored by Cruelty Free Feathers

Giveaway!!!! 7.15.2013

Let's start Monday Morning with a giveaway! Sponsored by Cruelty Free Feathers, we have some neat products to offer in this giveaway. Please read the rules to play! Happy Monday!

Sponsored by Cruelty Free Feathers!

This Giveaway is from 7-15-2013 (Monday) to 7-20-2013 (Saturday). Sunday we will announce our winners.

The Grand Prize is pictured above:
 In this gift package are an "I Brake for Chickens" bumper sticker, an "I Brake for Guineas" bumper sticker, a "Chickenstock" refrigerator magnet and an "I Love Feathers" book mark with a real Cruelty Free Feather.

You will also get photo bombed by Betty on facebook! 

To enter to win:

1) Like Photo Bomb Betty on Facebook
3) Follow our Blog
4) Leave a comment below as well as a way to contact you if you are the winner

Please make sure you share the post, the more the merrier!!

The winner will be chosen at random from all entries on Sunday , July 21, 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Eight Amazing Facts About Coturnix

Now you may wonder, Why Coturnix? They are just quail used for hunting, correct? You may be mistaken for other quail species, as there are quite a few. The Coturnix is a great dual purpose bird, however they are known primarily for their meat. In your 8 facts, you will find out why these birds are so valuable. Stick tight, and enjoy the fun in these fascinating creatures.

8. Coturnix are Cold Hardy

Photo courtesy Stoney Creek Farms

Coturnix are really well at adapting to different environments. There are many in Alaska and in Minnesota and thriving in that weather. They are extremely cold hardy and heat tolerant compared to other species of quail. Making sure their cages is away from draft is ideal, however, to ensure they do not get chilled but temperature should not be an issue but do what their behavior. Provide some more corn in their diet during colder months to help them with body heat. There has been cases of Coturnix doing well with 12 Degrees F but in every location, this can change. Do note, these are temperature tolerant birds but supplement lighting or fans may be needed at times.

7. Noise is not a Problem

The Coturnix Cock is not like a Rooster. He sounds more of an outside bird and it is hard for outsiders to distinguish what the sound is. Hens sound like crickets. These birds do make great apartment birds and can be kept in the house and garage. It is a great city limits bird. The Male stands erect and make a trill sound that is fun to hear.

6. Coturnix are Fast Growers.

What makes Coturnix so fascinating is that they mature in 6 weeks of age! This makes them perfect as a meat bird due to their fast turn out. They have a good feed conversion ratio to protein. Quail meat is a delicacy for the Asian culture and marketing is an option for those that want to get started. This is a dark meat bird and very tasty. There are Jumbo varieties of coturnix which contain even more meat on them. This is the perfect bird for the homesteader. A covey of a cock and 6 hens can feed a family of 4 with eggs and their offspring! I bet you didn't know that!?

5. Coturnix have a quick Sexual Maturity.

With the fast grow out rate, sexual maturity is also 6 weeks of age! This means that hens will start laying around this time. With artificial lighting in the autumn months, Coturnix can lay all year round. One hen can lay 300+ eggs a year!

4. Coturnix are not particular to Housing.

Coturnix require very little space! The rule of thumb is one square foot per bird! That is a very little requirement and with the birds fast producing rate, you can stack up cages and have your little quail farm in no time! Rabbit hutches, cages, battery cages, all work well for these guys.

3. Fast Incubation Period.

If you are planning to incubate your Coturnix eggs, it only takes 17 days to incubate them, compared to a chicken egg that takes 21 days. It only takes 6 weeks for them to mature and lay eggs or go to freezer camp!

2. Coturnix eggs are nutritious!

If you have allergies or illnesses, have you ever considered coturnix eggs? Did you know how nutritious these eggs are to your health? Their nutrition value is 3-4 times greater to that of chicken eggs! Now that is something to consider!

1. If you are not interested in Butchering, Coturnix make wonderful pets that can produce for you and your family. Coturnix are a valuable commodity and we need to promote them to the public on their many uses. We at Stellar Game birds, Poultry, and Waterfowl, strive to preserve these wonderful creatures and let others know Coturnix are not throw away pets or "just for beginners," but rather a bird that is perfect for the homesteader. When picking out your bird, consider the Coturnix. If you would like to learn more about the Coturnix, click here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

New Mailing Standards For Live Birds

As Many of you know, shipping live birds can be a pain! With the new standards coming out, I am unsure whether this will make the transition easier or worse. The link for you to view the proposed plan is here

Now when reviewing this plan, the first paragraph that striked me was:
"If this proposal is adopted, 
the Postal Service will require mailers purchasing special handing to either 
present their mailpieces at retail, or to include an IMpb, embedded with the 
appropriate service type code applicable to special handling and the mail class 
used, on their mailpieces. The Postal Service also proposes that shipments of 
live animals that include special handling must be accepted at either a USPS 
retail unit, Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) or a Detached Mail Unit (DMU)."

Aren't we already paying a high fee to ship the live birds. The last shipment of live birds cost me $55.00 and that did not include insurance! I am wondering what the handling fee is and what the handlers are doing at this moment to our live shipments that are properly labeled as quoted:

a. Protection of Postal Service employees and the public against harm
from diseased animals.
b. Protection of the mail and the environment against damage to the
shipping container or the live animal and offensive odors or noise.
c. Protection of animals against death, taking into account the expected
time and temperature in transit (weather conditions), and packaging
sufficient to resist impact, heat and cold, and to prevent suffocation.

Aren't we labeling with our NPIP status and letting the transporter know about what is in the box? According to this proposal, we will be needing to pay a special handing fee with each live animal we ship and certain species will have different standards than others. For instance, Quail and game birds can only be shipped April to August unless we pay extra on top of the expensive postage as is.

I suggest everyone to contact the email provided in the proposal and give you thoughts, let them better understand what we do, because we want to help each other, not make matters worse.

Protein for your Chicken and Calculating your Feed Requirement

Protein is important for all animals. But for poultry, in producing eggs and growing to produce meat, the protein part of their feed regimen is crucial. It is also expensive! Finding good quality, cheap protein is one of the challenges of raising and keeping chickens. This is where the small farmer can increase family health through ingenuity.

A List of the Protein Levels of Different Feeds


Dried fish flakes 76
Dried liver  76
Dried earthworms 76
Duckweed  50
Torula yeast  50
Brewers yeast  39
Soybeans (dry roasted) 37
Flaxseed  37
Alfalfa seed  35
Beef, lean  28
Earthworms  28
Fish   28
Sunflower seeds  26.3
Wheat germ  25
Peas & Beans, dried 24.5
Sesame seed  19.3
Soybeans (boiled) 17
Wheat bran  16.6
Oats, whole  14
Rice polish  12.8
Rye   12.5
Wheat   12.5
Barley    12.3
Oats   12
Corn   9
Millet   9
Milo   9
Rice, brown  7.5

Calculating how much you need:

Of course, you will want to use a mixture of grains, we hope! To calculate the protein content of a mix of grains, do three things:

1. Multiply each grain's protein content by the number of parts of that grain in the mix. 

2. Add those figures. 

3. Divide that total by the total number of parts. 
Say you make a mix that is three parts wheat, 
one part corn and one part oats.  You want to
know how much protein is in the mix. 

       GRAIN   PARTS  PROTEIN % (see list below) 
 Wheat 3   X  12.5 = 37.5
 Corn 1   X  9 =  9
 Oats 1   X 12 = 12
 TOTALS 5   58.5

 58.5 divided by 5 = 11.7% Protein
           in mix
After getting the protein percentage for your mix of grains, next use PEARSON'S SQUARE  to calculate how much protein concentrate to add to this mix. Where it says "Grain" in the Pearson's Square, just put in your amounts for the total mix. 

PEARSON'S SQUARE  From Colorado State University  For mixing a GRAIN and a PROTEIN CONCENTRATE to get a desired protein percentage (see diagram below) 
Draw a square and put the desired protein percentage in the centerExample: "finished feed 16%".  Put the grain in the upper left corner as a protein percentage . See the "Protein in Chicken Feeds" chart (below) to get amounts.  Example: "wheat 12.5%".  Put the grain in the upper right corner as parts to mix Example: "wheat_________ parts".  Put the protein concentrate in the lower left corner, as a protein percentage.  Example: "soybeans 37%". Put the protein concentrate in the lower right corner as parts to mix.  Example, "soybeans ________ parts".
wheat 12.5%     ________ parts
|       *     *     |
|     *        *       |
|   *  *       |
|   Desired     *        |
|   protein amount:        |
|      16% *        |
|   *      *        |
|      *    *       |
|  *        *       |
|      *            *     |
| *        *  |
Protein concentrate:===============Protein concentrate:
soybeans roasted 37%   _________ parts
Now subtract diagonally through the center, from corner to corner. Ignore changes of sign.  Going from top left to bottom right, 12.5 minus 16 equals 3.5. This number goes in the lower right corner.  Going from bottom left to top right, 37 minus 16 equals 21. This goes in the upper right corner.  The result is 21 parts of wheat to 3.5 parts of soybeans. 

Feeding your Chicken- DIY

WHAT CHICKEN NEED (It's simple!)
1. Grains
 (whole, living grains are way better than cracked, and a mixture is way better than pure corn)

2. Greens (grass! weeds! fresh veggie parings from kitchen!)
3. Protein (in summer, they get enough bugs -- but in colder weather they need protein supplementation, including perhaps the following: yellow-jackets from restaurant traps, soybeans -- see below, worms, milk, meat --- but sea fish is the very best)


Chickens won't always search far for food or water. They need water often, especially if they laying. 

If they're Fenceless Free Range, that's about it. But if you keep them penned up most or all of the time, even in a largish yard, you will also need to make sure they get . . . 

4. Hard grit (do not confuse this with oyster shell or calcium --- these dissolve in the chicken's digestive system, grit does not --- grit is used in place of "teeth"); quartz-based sand with angular edges (not rounded, as often is found in riverbeds) can be collected wherever you find it.

5. Calcium (crushed oyster shell, other shells, ground or hammered bone) (There's lots of calcium in greens, if they get to forage all day.) 

6. Vitamins A (and D if the weather is cloudy for long stretches) 

7. Salt (best given separately, free choice; kelp is the very supreme choice for this, if you can get it --- it supplies all the minerals in the world ) 

Examples of What you can feed your Chicken!


Scratch grain mix, from feed store, containing many kinds of grain

Extra yellow corn (cracked) --- it gives them warmth in the winter but try to refrain from summer time or hot weather as the bird gains wait- corn is a filler


Grass forage

Garden clippings
Kitchen trimmings (thrown in the compost pile near their coop)


For a small flock: 

Every morning (quantity for 12 chickens): 3/4ths cup of boiled soybeans ~~ (make a batch every week or so: SOAK 2 cups of dried soybeans in three or four times the volume of water overnight; bring to ROLLING BOIL in the same soaking water for 15 minutes; DRAIN; STORE in fridge) mixed with 1 cup of instant oats, some sunflower seeds, milk to moisten, warmed up. 

Every other afternoon, same thing, with some fish flakes, bits of scrap fish, or some canned cheap fish. 

This can be done for larger flocks too! Look around for inexpensive protein sources, grow your own sources, everything counts! 



This can be mixed in their feed or sprinkled on their ground. One can get a 50 pound bag at tractor supply for $9.99 a bag! This lasts a while!


Dried kelp fronds (the leafy parts, not the stalks, which are too hard to chop up and don't get eaten) can be kept in their coop on a sturdy clip. They can free-choose it, letting them adjust their salt and mineral intake. There are nearly 100 minerals on Earth. Only sea water and sea life has them in the ratios that animals need. All blood of animals contains these minerals, in the same proportions as in sea water!

Scientists have barely scratched the surface of understanding all the things that these minerals do in living bodies. For optimum health, it's best to get all of them.

Just gather a mess of kelp off any beach that is more than 50 miles from a city, sling it into a garbage bag and take it home. At home, set it out in the yard, and in a very short while, it will be dry and crisp. Take the flakey parts, and clip them about a foot off the ground where your chickens frequently go --- those document clips with a black "hinge" and two folding silver "arms" work best. 


Collect angular granite grit from trips to areas that have it. Tiny chicks need tiny grit, so get a variety of sizes. A little lasts a long time. The girls will pick and choose a few choice pieces now and then. Fun to watch them study and try out the different grains of grit. 

Protein is very important- visit our next page for information on Protein in chicken!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Genetics of Coturnix japonica

I admit, I love genetics, but it can be a tricky conversation starter. In my most recently published book Coturnix Revolution, I describe many of these genes and how they came to be. Most of these genes are only part of a variety that we see. A combo of two or three genes can get us one beautiful bird. Coturnix are such valuable birds, it is important to see the beauty among them.

Inherit: Autosomal Incomplete dominant
Linkage: Unknown
Characteristic: "this mutant color gene extends the distribution of black and dark brown pigment throughout the plumage. Both sexes appear the same"
Reference: Journal of Heredity, 1978 
Source: British Range. English White, and Tuxedo

Inherit: Autosomal resessive
Linkage: Unknown
Characteristic: "This mutant color gene produces a white bird with dark eyes when homozygous and a two-color pattern known as "tuxedo" when heterozygous. The "tuxedo" pattern  is white on the ventral surface including the neck and face while the dorsal surface is an intermingling of black and brown pigment."
Reference: Journal of Heredity, 1978
Source: English White, Tuxedo, British Range (since British Range can be in tuxedo forms)

Inherit: Autosomal Dominant
Linkage: Unknown
Characteristic: "This mutant color gene results  in the appearance of a rich, golden-wheat- straw colored bird. The general pigment distribution  is the same as in the "wild-type" Japanese Quail  except that the wheat-straw shafting of the back and hackle feathers is much wider and the wing bow and head feathers are also wheat straw yellow colored."
Reference: Japanese Journal of Zootechnical Science, 38: 163-166, 1967
Source: Manchurian Golden

Inherit: Sex-linked recessive; al^D, al
Linkage: Sex Chromosome
Characteristic: "This mutant pigmentation gene causes an overall reduction in pigmentation. The shanks are free of pigment, down is light in color as is the adult plumage. Eye color is NOT affected. It is also one of the alleles at the A1^+ locus."
Reference: Poultry science, 53:1908, 1974.
Source: Fawn/Cinnamon

Inherit: Sex-linked recessive; al^D, al
Linkage: Sex Chromosome
Characteristic: " This pigmentation mutant results in subnormal levels of pigmentation of the eyes and feathers of affected birds. Faint stripes on the backs of the adults is apparently due to structural color only. Viability is reduced both before and after hatching in birds homozygous for this gene."
Reference: Journal of Heredity, 57: 119-124, 1966

Inherit: Autosomal Recessive
Linkage: Unknown
Characteristic: "The underfluff of both sexes is smoky black, the base of the feathers are white with irregular bands of black and rust. Feathers are usually tipped in rust. The beak and shanks tend to be whitish color and eye color is unaffected. Females are generally lighter in color with the dorsal being darker. Breast is whitish with upper breast feathers tipped black and rust. Flanks and abdomen are white. Head is white with a black cap whose feathers are tipped with rust. Males are much darker overall. There is considerably more black in all feathers with darker rust tips. Breast tends to be light rust carried well down to the abdomen. Head is dark rust with a black cap or head streak.
Reference: Unpublished

Linkage: Definitely not sex chromosome
Characteristic: Working on it
Reference: Unpublished
Source: Scarlet, Red Range

Inherit: Autosomal recessive
Linkage: Unknown
Characteristic: "On brown feathered birds this trait appears as a small white beard-like patch of feathers under the lower beak in the interramal tract."
Reference: Canadian Journal of Genetics and Cytology, 1978
Source: Pharaoh (wild-type), Jumbo Brown varieties

Inherit: Autosomal recessive
Linkage: Unknown
Characteristic: "The dorsal plumage is similar to the wild-type pattern. White feathers cover the face to just above the eyes. the underside of the neck, the entire breast, and the sternum up to and including the vent area. The primary feathers down to most of the secondary feathers as well as their coverts are also white.
Reference: Canadian Journal of Genetics and Cytology, 1978

Inherit: Autosomal recessive
Linkage: Unknown
Characteristic: "A crescent-shaped band of white feathers extends across the breast of the brown feathered birds. This band is located at the junction of the ventral cervical and the pectoral tracts."
Reference: Canadian Journal of Genetics and Cytology, 1978

inherit: Autosomal recessive
Linkage: Unknown
Characteristic: Primary feathers are white on an other-wise colored bird.
Reference: Unpublished
Source: Pharaohs (wild-type)--> Shelleyd is exhibiting this in her stock

Inherit: Fawn (F) incompletely dominant to y+ and codominant to to yellow (homozygotes not lethal)

Homozygotes are cinnamon , heterozygotes are the fawn pigment...more to discuss.

BLEU, bl
Inherit: Recessive
Characteristic: This recessive mutation replaces the brown color of the wild-type with bluish grey an the cream-colored markings with white.
Reference: Perramon, 1988

Inherit: Autosomal Recessive
Characteristic: Egg Production of homozygote females is affected. Need to pair up Homozygote males and heterozygous females to reproduce normally.
Reference: Watanabe an Homma (1982)