Pets and Other Animals

Pheasant/Quail Update Plus Videos

It has been over a year (close to 2 years raising coturnix quail), so here’s my update. If I could get my pheasants to lay year round, I would exclusively raise pheasants (we are thinking about doing that anyway and letting the quail run around the enclosed garden when we move). I am loving having (pretty much) no care sources of food and a little income.

  • Since the pheasants are on dirt, they do not need to be fed as often as the quail.
  • Neither birds need special treatment (like chickens) but the pheasants will eat anything (just like chickens) while the quail are picky (they didn’t even like peaches).
  • While both birds are easy to harvest, more quail are required per person (which takes up a lot of space in our fridge while they age).
  • I receive more money per pheasant chick vs. quail (my local feed store prefers 4-6 week old quail over chicks).
  • The biggest downside (so far) with the pheasants is they require more square footage.
  • Both birds eat the same high protein food, so that makes feeding them simple and you do not have to switch up their food based on their age.
  • 2 pheasant eggs = 1 large chicken egg
  • 5 quail eggs = 1 large chicken egg

I have a few really bad (and one that is a bit more edited and not handheld) videos of my bird setups. My quail hutch I built based off a design by Slightly Rednecked on YouTube. Mine would be much lighter and easier to manage if I would have used similar materials but I reused the lumber and wanted as few cuts as possible.

My feeder is different but it’s basically the same concept. I now am using a plastic ice cream container with 1-inch pieces of PVC pipe hot glued around the base.

And here are the two videos of my automatic waterers for the birds. The first one allows you to actually see how the bird cups are attached to the PVC Ts, the second video is me rebuilding the quail setup due to algae buildup.

This was the last video our dog appeared in. He was such a good boy!
Dinner, Lunch, Recipe

Bear Carnitas


Yes, you read that correctly. My son was gifted with some bear meat, so I volunteered to cook it for him (none of us had tried it). My mind usually goes to Mexican when I think of cooking meat and I was really leaning toward carne asada or colorado but I wanted to be able to taste the meat. So, I settled on this simple already-loved recipe.

Here’s the link (for those who do not know, if I post a recipe, I only post the ingredients. You have to visit the link to read their instructions).

Bear Carnitas


Bear Carnitas
  • 18 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (skin-on picnic shoulder is a good choice, too), cut into 2-pound chunks
  • 1/2cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2cup salt
  • About 4 gallons lard or vegetable oil
  • If using vegetable oil: 1pound piece of slab bacon, cut it into 6 or 8 pieces
First: I did not have 18 pounds of bear meat. I had maybe two. So, all quantities were adjusted accordingly (just sprinkled with salt). Second: I used lemon juice because that’s what I had. I also cooked it in beef fat (with about a cup of bacon grease) because I just rendered a bunch a few months ago. Third: I used my crock pot on high for the first step of cooking. For the final step, I got lazy and just tossed the meat under the broiler to crisp up.
I let the meat cook in the crock pot for about 5 hours, until the meat broke apart with a little force. I drained it on paper towels, transferred it to an old pie pan and threw it under the broiler for a few minutes.

I was surprised by the flavor! Hank Shaw described bear’s flavor as beefy pork or porky beef and he was right! I love it! I did not add any other seasoning to this meat and it’s perfect. So, If I could eat all of this (it’s going home with my son after he gets off work), it would be in a bowl with grated cheese, salsa, diced onion, cilantro (see? Fruit AND vegetables), and sour cream.

Dinner, Recipe, Soup

Venison Goulash- Ozpörkölt

2 lbs. leg of venison, cut into 2″ chunks
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1⁄4 lb. smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 1⁄2 tbsp. hot paprika, preferably Hungarian
1⁄4 tsp. dried ground thyme
1⁄4 tsp. dry mustard
4 whole allspice
4 juniper berries
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small tomato, cored and chopped
1⁄2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 cup red wine, preferably merlot
6 medium yukon gold potatoes (about 2 lbs.), peeled; cut lengthwise into wedges
1⁄4 cup butter, cubed
2 tsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
6–8 slices crusty white bread