1833 – Early maturing, high producing Coturnix coturnix

2014-04-26 - No 18 - 5 2014-04-26 - No 33 - 12014-04-26 - Eggs from No 33 - 2

Following the phenomenon of exceptional early maturity experienced in two of my Coturnix coturnix birds, and many research projects that support a positive correlation between early sexual maturity and total production, I have decided to commence with a new breeding line i.e 1833. The reason for the name is that the Male, No 18, commenced crowing as early as 18 days of age and the Female, No 33, laid her first egg  at 33 days of age and repeated it on days 34 and 35, where we are at now. The family tree of the two birds, include Italian, White and Tibetans on the Male side and Pharoah and Tibetan on the Female side – so a real out cross would result from this mating with hopeful maximal heterozygosity.  The male also comes from a group of Italian females that produced exceptionally and at one stage produced 100% for 18 weeks in a row.  All these Italian hens are still producing at the 90%+ level and is in excess of one year of age. It would be the intention to continue to select for early maturity and total production as primary selection criteria.  The Male and Female respectively weighs 170 and 185 g at five weeks of age, and I shall guard to breed this line too big, aiming at females of 220 – 250 g and males 200 – 230 g. Very early days, but exiting times and I cannot wait for the first progeny of this mating, and as No 33 is already laying eggs, it wont be long.


Hen lays egg at 33 days of age

2014-04-24 - Egg by 33 day old hen

Coturnix coturnix Quails never fail to impress. Today I have had a hen laying an egg while she is only 33 days of age.  What the reason or significance of the early maturity is, I do not know. This hen is also from the same batch that produced a Male crowing at 18 days of age.


Bad Weather in the Vegetable Patch


2014-04-22 11.49.20

I wish I had taken a “before ” photograph to prove that my (still green) tomatoes were looking great, and my zucchini were producing bountifully and ……We had massive winds and heavy rain this week and unfortunately our lovely sunny aspect also means that there is very little wind protection for my garden.  Dunedin weather strikes the uninitiated gardener again! I have uprooted all the broken and drowned plants and will start anew next week.  The things that did survive were the artichokes and the cardoons, even though the cardoon in the picture looks very sorry for itself, along with some lettuce, rhubarb and cavalo nero.

No damage to the chicken houses fortunately.

Limoncello – Home Made

2014-04-21 20.38.38

My home made still in full flight!

How to make Limoncello

1. Collect 1 Liter alcohol from the still (about 97 % Alcohol)

2. Peel the rind (no pith) from 8 organic, unwaxed smooth lemons and cut it in fine strips. Now put the alcohol and lemon peel in a glass container, shake, close and put in a cool dark place. Turn / shake the bottle once a day for about six weeks

3. Filter through a double muslin cloth and discard solids. Then filter the alcohol through a carbon filter as it results in a cleaner end product, if you do not have a carbon filter, just proceed after the muslin filtering

4. Dilute the alcohol with cool distilled water (made with the still) to a alcohol content of about 40 % (Use Pearson square).

5. Mix 1 Kg of sugar in the alcohol mixture and stir to dissolve well. Start with about 700 g sugar and taste the end product and keep adding small amounts of sugar, until you are happy with the sweetness of the end product

6. Bottle, label and store