Homestead Bird Choice Made Simple

One) Moscovoy Ducks
Two) Pharoah Quail (Japanese Quail)
Three) Hybrid chicken (quietest meat & egg chickens)

I love when they put the answers right at the top, don't you? Ah. Instant gratification.

Here's everything you need to know to select the right bird. Especially if you intend to raise them in as little as 5 minutes a day on your neglect-based homestead.

#One) The Moscovoy Duck

The smallest, easiest micro-"cattle" you can raise for beef on your homstead is the Moscovoy Duck. That's right. Beef.

Not everyone can have a cattle ranch on their property. But lots of suburbanites and others can easily raise a duck. They're significantly quieter than roosters, for example, making them welcome in the city.

Cities that ban the keeping of chickens may not have any restrictions on ducks.

The male Moscovoy produces more than twice as big as much meat as a mallard, eats grass, slugs, and duckweed. It's the closest thing to free range, and are kept indoors at night, can come in at night through the doggie door. Grass-fed moscovoy tastes and cooks up a lot like grass-fed beef.

Bird #2: The Japanese Quail

Unless there's a strict poultry ban AND regular inspections, this bird can be grown just about anywhere. Even your roommates don't need to know you've got them. They make significantly less noise than birds a tenth their size. The only way to detect them is the smell of their droppings, which should be cleaned daily.

Caged up over a wash tub in the garage is fine. Over a compost pile is fine. In a shed is fine. They're quail. They don't give a damn. They do like to flutter around, might not want to be picked up and held very much, and younger chicks may stupidly plummet to their death if they're allowed to wander off of anything.

But it's a ground bird. When you scoop it up to put it back in its cage with everyone else, it will just say, "What? Where am I? What's going on? What's all this about? Who are you?" They're dinosaur descendants are delightfully stupid, and this makes them even easier than chickens to work with.

Pharoah quail take about 10 times less space than chickens, can even be kept indoors in a rabbit cage or 12" tall, like we've been doing for thousands of years.

Though they warble if alarmed, even the males are relatively quiet, and you could even keep them close to your bedroom at night, as listening to them coo is soothing. They apparently have to stand up to their full height to audibly assert their maleness, and short ceiling will stop them from doing that.

Under stress-free conditions with plenty of protein in their diet and ample light, hens produce 300 quarter-eggs per year, so if you're like 2 eggs a day, you want about 8 females. They reproduce, grow, and mature rapidly. They're adults at 5 weeks, same as rats.

When they're laying, it's good to give them some kind of source of calcium. They need it for the egg shells. They're messy eaters, but give them a food trough of rabbit feeder and it should limit the waste.

For the Liftwaffe, these birds are very high in protein, and do require a higher protein diet to grow fast, mature early, and lay plenty of eggs.

These birds slaughter easily in about 90 seconds with no plucking from chop to frying pan. About 6 minutes later, you're digging in to some cooked quail. The guts and such can be fed to other animals.

They're cold hardy, tolerate heat and thrive on neglect. Like gremlins, you do NOT want to get them wet, because they'll die. And also keep them out of the wind and away from predators like your otherwise loyal dog.

Low-maintenance, small, care takes as little as 5 minutes a day for a few birds or hundreds. It's an ideal first bird.

Sub-species come in a variety of colors and sizes. The proven and popular one is the Pharoah.

Bird #3: Chicken

As a Nazi can tell you, not all sub-species are created equal.

Some dual-purpose (egg & meat) chickens have been bred to be quiet. This is important in the city. Unlike the Cornish cross, which is a drumstick-making meat bird.

There aren't many quiet breeds of chicken. You'll end up choosing the black or the gold one if quiet matters. Like pigs, they're pretty much a garbage disposal, eating at two to ten pounds of kitchen scraps a day, and whatever worms or larvae pop out of your compost heap.

Black Australorp are quiet and sweet, disease resistant, and tolerate a range of temperatures, and they're a dual-purpose breed. Meat and eggs.

Buff Orpingtons are slightly bigger, quiet, but chickens need shade in hot climates and this breed doesn't tolerate high heat.

Chickens and ducsk do NOT mature in 5 weeks like the Japanese quail, need lots more space and good protection like a guard goose, and maybe a scarecrow, so do your research and plan accordingly.

Chickens will eat almost anything. But almost EVERYTHING will eat chickens.

Since I get a lot of weird questions from urbanites, the answer is no, you cannot milk a chicken. Miniature goats are the smallest animal you might want to milk.

On noisier breeds, roosters can be fitted with a velcro collar to muffle their morning cock-a-doodles.

And the best way to silence the males of these species is, of course, to butcher and eat them. You only need one male for every four or five females anyway.

There you go. Everything an Aryan needs to start the selection process.

Update: After running a spreadsheet, I've
figured out that it's apparently possible to have very high-quality, home-grown food for walmart grocery prices or less. But the experiment continues. Don't count your chickens before they've hatched.


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