Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

My dirty secret... OR .... My little mate

Late at night, I sneak downstairs into the garage.   It’s fairly isolated so I can turn the light on.  I creep across the carpet (yes, my garage is carpeted) and check the young quails.  Occasionally, they’ll need water or food, but usually by night they are asleep.  Then I look in the other, smaller box.  My special little mate usually gives me a chirp.  It has no use of one leg and the other appears only partly useful. 

I’ll pick him up and help him drink some water.  I check there is plenty of food lying around the box for ease of access.  Then I sit in a single seater lounge chair and put it on the hollow of my throat.  I gently place a hand across its’ back.  Within about 3 seconds, it is warm, cosy and fast asleep.  I try to stay for at least a half hour.

You see, when it was born, I figured that it would die within a few days.  I couldn’t put it with the other birds but I wanted it to have experienced something nice in its’ tiny little life.  So I began to let it have skin contact.  We will continue the routine until the inevitable probably happens. Tonight, I noticed his wings have sprouted tiny feathers.  My broken baby is now a broken teenager.  But, he has known love.  

Views: 169

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Brisbane Local Food to add comments!

Join Brisbane Local Food

Comment by Lissa on May 6, 2016 at 4:56

So sad. You made his short life as happy as possible.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on May 5, 2016 at 22:25

Thank you folks.  You are wonderful supportive people. 

Comment by Jacqui on May 5, 2016 at 22:23

My respect Andy for your loss. I am a great believer in the old saying ‘it’s not the quantity but the quality that matters’. Your little fellow’s life may have been short but it was certainly filled with love

Comment by Rob Collings on May 5, 2016 at 20:54

Your existing and future Quail are lucky birds Andy, to have someone with your calibre  of responsibility and compassion looking after them.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 5, 2016 at 20:15

Sometimes you need a heart of stone to allow animals to be a part of your life; it can be tough. Even if he had been euthanised he would have been loved and buried with respect. That is the nub: respect for personhood. Those breeders who toss out babies for the crows are not treating them with respect.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on May 5, 2016 at 20:09

I'm so sorry Andy....

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on May 5, 2016 at 20:01

As expected, he died today.  He had an especially big cuddle last night.  I'll miss the little guy.

Comment by Susan on May 5, 2016 at 19:55

:( Poor little guy

Comment by Christa on May 5, 2016 at 8:57

You are a caring soul, Andy, but in the wild, something else would have happened. But they are not in the wild, so you are their mother to make the decision about their care. 

Our puppies are a handful, more than we expected, we have scarred legs and arms from their sharp feet and teeth, but when we see them running so happily around the garden, picking up sticks, eating fungi from composting trees, eating garbage and grabbing a dried up old rat and playing with it, we know they are happy.

Comment by Lissa on May 5, 2016 at 6:05

Oh god Andy. That is so touching. I'm sitting here with watery eyes after reading that. You are a gentle person.

To play devils advocate though, is it the kindest thing for your little bird? Would it be better to end it humanely? Does it have much chance of leading an adult life under it's own steam without your constant assistance?

I have a Cockatiel called Bob. Originally Baby Bob, but he grew up. Bob can't fly and there is something a bit wrong with his little feet. He falls off his perch all the time. Bob used to be gay as well. All his loving attention was focused on one of the other males for a long time. The other birds deigned to be social with him for a long time but he's now about 10yrs old and part of the little group of old birds left over from my daughters bird breeding days.

I got Bob because someone threw him away for the crows to finish off - a cruel habit some breeder have when they could just have wrung his little neck and finished it quickly.  A friend of my kids found him, gave him to my daughter, who inevitably gave him to me as I have an aviary. 


  • Add Photos
  • View All


  • Add Videos
  • View All

Organic Farm Share

Ads by Google

© 2018   Created by Farina Murray.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service