Ballinteer Farm is fair game

The Christie family are devoted to rearing quality quail birds at Ballinteer Farm in Macosquin, Coleraine.

Diversifying from milking cows, they started quail farming in January of this year and interest in their products has been excellent.

“We spent a lot of time researching the market and discovered most quail meat and eggs were being imported from EU, mainly France, and that there was no quail producers in Northern Ireland,” said James Christie.

“Quality was what we were after in the meat and eggs, so we sourced good quality breeding stock in England. We brought them home and started to rear our own birds on farm.”

quail meat

Ballinteer Farms quail birds are fed on a quality game feed which adds taste and flavour

The quail birds are all housed in spacious aviary enclosures where they are free to fly with nesting boxes where they can relax for added comfort. Ballinteer Farm’s aim is to allow them to exhibit their natural behaviour.

“We have had great interest in the eggs and with them having more protein and four times more iron and potassium than a hen egg,” James added. “They are really nutritious – amazing considering they are a quarter they size of a hen egg.

“The first batch of meat birds will be ready in two weeks. All our quail birds are fed on a quality game feed which adds taste and flavour to the meat and eggs.”

Ballinteer Farm is now working with a top NI chef to establish cooking times and methods that will deliver a tasty, flavoursome and juicy meat bird for their customers. All meat will also be vacuum packed, adding to product longevity.

“Doing this also allows the meat to be cooked sous vide, a method of slow cooking in a water bath at a low temperature, locking in the flavours and juices, leaving a very tender and juicy bird,” James added. “We’re confident everyone will enjoy the taste experience.”


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