quail are destroying everything

mountainmoma's picture

I saw this last season a bit, but slipped my mind. I set out 6 broccoli, 3 kale and 24 potato starts yesterday afternoon, before todays storm set in.

And people wonder why I like to grow potatoes and tomatoes - the birds do not eat the plant leaves ( and I like them an awful lot of course)

I went out this morning to do chores and they had eaten all three kale starts and eaten enough of the broccoli we will see if it takes. I got a piece of lightweight remay and hopefully have it weighted down enough. But broccoli want to get tall and the rain is going to really weigh this down

There were just a few I saw this morning, but we have some serious flocks of quail here after the fires, like groups of up to 100 individuals, more than one flock I think roaming around too.

I bet they know I use remay to cover the good stuff. The thing is besides being difficult to keep things covered, and birds rip it up, it is synthetic and so not a sustainable solution, and plants outgrow it in height

I am wondering if the only real solution is to kill quail, and how to do so safely in a neighborhood must mean trapping of some kind and hand killing. -- I'm vegetarian so this is not appealing, but then again, I need to eat too

Sweet Tatorman's picture

Sounds like you need to reclassify quail as vegetables.
Varmints! At least in your case you know the identity of your adversary. This Winter for the first time ever I have something eating my leeks. The whole plant gets eaten. I lost at least 2/3 of them over time. I suspect a rodent of some kind but do not have conclusive proof.

mountainmoma's picture

yeah, I have thought of that, I am so overwhelmed right now, don't have time to try and make a quail box trap, kill and process them.... and I of course have no experience doing so and don't think I could kill a quail by hand, and it would be many of them to take out of a box trap ... and.... it may end up that way once I have time, I really need another person who wants them. I have never killed an animal, I do know how to pluck and process. One of the reasons I am vegetarian is that I personally cannot bear killing. swaddling each susceptible raised bed in bird netting is also problomentic, but is quicker for the moment. The issue of course is that they want the veggies that I want to access and pick daily.

lathechuck's picture

If it keeps them in, it should keep them out. I'm thinking of the steel wire with roughly 1" diameter hexagonal holes. I put steel wire arches over some of my plots (the wire, salvaged from the signage of defunct political campaigns). The wire mesh is 3' wide, so I knit the edges of two pieces together with twine or wire to make a panel 6' wide, which drapes over the arches. The bottom edges are "sewn" to bamboo poles (cut from a local park, where they are invasive) so the lower edge stays on the soil. It's pretty easy to lift a pole and fold the mesh back when I want to plant, mulch, weed, or harvest. Patching the ends shut is actually the hardest part, but not too hard.

mountainmoma's picture

a weighted bottom edge that holds it but I can lift up might be the idea I need.

But, my beds are 4 ft by 12feet long, so such things do get awkward. And I have 14 beds

Anyways, start a thread with photos of your critter proof beds please