The common quail belongs to the partridge subfamily of the chickens order. The weight of the newly born quails is about 6 grams, during the first month of life their weight increases by about 15 times, and at the age of one and a half months, the females already begin to lay eggs. During the year, the number of eggs laid can reach 300 or more. The incubation period is only 17-18 days.
11 interesting facts about quail
- Quails are migratory birds that winter in Africa and Southeast Asia. The famous Russian writer, a subtle connoisseur of nature, Sergei Timofeevich Aksakov, argued that no one was able to see either the autumn departure or the spring arrival of quails. They appear in Russia, as they fly away, imperceptibly.
- Since ancient times, quails have been an object of hunting. They hunted them not only for the sake of meat, many birders highly appreciated quail singing, especially since the quails took root well in captivity. In this case, a pipe or a net was used for hunting. Quails with a beautiful voice did not come across often, therefore, they were highly valued. For example, in Moscow in the 19th century, the price for a "singer" could reach up to one hundred rubles.
- Outwardly, quails give the impression of peaceful birds. But, quail fights were popular in many countries, the first information about such fights dates back to Ancient China, where birds fought in glass containers, and such a fight ended with the death of one of the opponents. Quail fighting is more humane now. In some regions of Tajikistan, they are still popular today.
- Quail domestication first began in Japan. First as ornamental birds, and since the 16th century already for obtaining eggs and dietary meat. Now Japanese schoolchildren eat two quail eggs before the start of classes. According to doctors, they improve vision, strengthen memory, and are an excellent means of preventing colds.
- In 1990, quail eggs were sent into space to the Soviet Salyut-6 station. It was quails that became the first living creatures from planet Earth that appeared in space. It happened on March 22. The chicks were kept there in a specially prepared incubator and felt good. In August of the same year, four adult quails also visited space; after returning to Earth, they safely gave offspring.
- During the mating season, which occurs in late May - early June, males lure females with a cry that can be heard from several hundred meters away. Females respond with light whistling sounds. A clutch usually contains from 8 to 20 eggs. Quails make nests right on the ground. males do not take any part in hatching eggs and raising offspring.
- Quail eggs are about 5 times smaller than chicken eggs. But, their benefits for the human body are enormous, it is not for nothing that quail eggs in Ancient Egypt were called "ampoules of health". It is simply impossible to list all the useful properties. Suffice it to say that they neutralize the adverse effects of the environment, which is very important in the 21st century: they help the liver to remove toxins and poisons from the body, and fight "bad" cholesterol.
- In 2015, the Chinese Pan Yejong won an unusual record: a 46-year-old gourmet in just 40 minutes was able to eat 160 boiled eggs, of which 150 were quail, and only 10 were chicken. With his appetite, Pan Yejong is simply amazing, earlier he consumed 147 dumplings in the same 40 minutes, and another time 40 servings of noodles.
- The shelf life of quail eggs is quite long. At room temperature, it is about 30 days, and in the refrigerator it is twice as long. This is due to the fact that they contain lysozyme, an antibacterial agent that prevents harmful bacteria from growing. Before the advent of refrigerators, our ancestors used a proven method of storing eggs - they put them in a container and poured cold water with the addition of salt at the rate of 1 tablespoon per liter of water. In doing so, the spoiled eggs floated to the surface.
- Images of quails are found in heraldry. For instance. these birds can be seen on the coat of arms of the city of Livny and the Livensky district of the Oryol region. A native of the Oryol province was the classic of Russian literature Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev, he repeatedly mentioned quails in his works. in 1881 Sofya Andreevna Tolstaya turned to Turgenev with a request to write something for the magazine "Children's Rest". Turgenev fulfilled the request by writing a short story "The Quail".
- Quails are mainly terrestrial, preferring not to fly away from enemies, but to quickly run away, hiding in the dense grass. Quails fly quite quickly, low above the ground. Flights to the south and back are not easy for them, as they have to overcome long routes over the Black and Mediterranean Seas. There is evidence that during such flights, quails sit down to rest on the backs of large waterfowl. For example, geese.