Quails a hit at Huntleigh Home

Huntleigh Home resident Bronwyn checks on the quails with recreation officer Melissa

Three Japanese quails have brought life and excitement to the courtyard at Huntleigh Home in Karori.

Huntleigh Home recreation team leader Annelize Steyn says the quails have been at Huntleigh Home for about a year, and their presence has been great for the residents’ wellbeing.

Having animals, like the quails, is part of Enliven’s philosophy of care, which is based on the internationally recognised Eden Alternative.

One of the principles of this philosophy is around maintaining close contact with nature and animals. Another is about “giving and receiving”, which recognises the importance of residents not only receiving care, but also giving it.

Caring for others, in this case three little quails, helps elders feel valued and useful.

“It is beautiful to see the residents lean in to touch the quails or pick up the eggs. They can get right up close, so the residents just love it.”

Annelize says the quails can motivate residents as well. On afternoons when getting up to go for a walk might not sound enticing, saying ‘why don’t we visit the quails’ has the potential to put a pep in the resident’s step.

The quails are housed in a rabbit hutch in the home’s internal courtyard. Annelize says it gives them a bit of space to move around, but she is hoping to create an area where they have room to run freely.

The eggs are collected and sold for $5 per dozen. The proceeds then go back into caring for the quails, allowing for the purchase of hay and food.

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