The area's leading online source for news!
Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

In God We Trust - Established 2008

Menu

Will match $500 in donations from public

UPDATE: APRIL 7, 2016

A generous anonymous donor has contacted us with a challenge and is willing to make a $500 donation to the shelter if we can get other donors to give a total of $500. 

This doesn't mean everyone has to donate $500.  Just a total amount from all donors that totals $500 or more over a certain period of time will get the $500 matching donation from this person. 

This challenge will run through the end of April 2016.  Any donations can be made through our PayPal account at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by sending a check to the Lawrence County Humane Society, PO Box 1331, Louisa KY 41230. 

Please note in the donation that this is to count towards the $500 challenge.  Any questions can be directed to Kim Perry by comment or PM on this page or by calling (606) 483-2959.  Thanks for your support as always and lets get the shelter $1000!

Tané Woods

Quail can bring in fast cash...

What began as a hobby for Aaron Halcomb has become a potential moneymaker as he is using the Internet to sell quail eggs all across the nation. Halcomb, 21, is pictured with a dozen of the eggs.What began as a hobby for Aaron Halcomb has become a potential moneymaker as he is using the Internet to sell quail eggs all across the nation. Halcomb, 21, is pictured with a dozen of the eggs.

What began a few months ago as a new hobby is turning into some extra income for a young Letcher County man.

While surfing the Internet late last fall, Aaron Halcomb grew interested in raising Coturnix quail — tiny fowl that are raised for both their meat and eggs. After building a small cage that he keeps in his garage, Halcomb ordered enough of the birds, also known as Japanese quail, to get started. For the past four months, he has been shipping dozens of the small eggs all across the country after finding buyers through eBay and other e-commerce sites.

Halcomb, a 21-year-old National Guardsman and college student from Whitesburg, said buyers of his quail eggs — which carry both the “Appalachian Proud” and “Kentucky Proud” certifications on their packaging — use them for eating and for hatching (quail eggs and quail meat are considered delicacies).

Quail eggs sold by Aaron Halcomb, 21, are stamped “Appalachian Proud” and “Kentucky Proud.” Halcomb also sells the eggs locally. One local buyer is Chris Caudill, who said he, his 14-year-old daughter Laken, and two of Laken’s cousins who were visiting from Indiana, Reece and Ava Pruitt, had a memorable time recently boiling 24 of the speckled brown eggs and making them into deviled eggs.

“It was fun as heck, I’ll tell you,” said Caudill, maintenance director for the City of Whitesburg. “Those girls loved it.”

He said the deviled quail eggs were no harder to prepare than regular eggs, but warned that it only takes two minutes to boil them.

“Forty-eight bites of heaven,” is how Chris Caudill described these two-dozen quail eggs he made into deviled eggs recently. “It was 48 bites of heaven,” Caudill said. “They are just a little bit sweeter than a regular egg.”

Gourmet restaurants often top deviled quail eggs with caviar or serve them hard-boiled as a salad topper. In addition to boiling them or serving them as deviled eggs, quail eggs can be served scrambled, poached, fried, baked, or any other way a regular chicken egg is cooked. They can also be pickled.

“I’ve yet to eat any of the eggs myself,” Halcomb said Tuesday as he looked in on about 100 Coturnix quail chicks that were hatched just a few days ago.

According to Halcomb, the chicks will turn into laying hens in about six weeks, at which time they will lay an egg a day for the rest or their lives (the life expectancy of Coturnix quail is only about three years).

A quail egg furnished by Aaron Halcomb (right) is compared to a regular chicken egg. “ Younger birds make smaller eggs,” Halcomb noted.

He said he “wasn’t really trying to make any money” from the quail when he first obtained them, but has since learned that they and their eggs can be turned into extra income.

“ They’re small and they’re real easy to take care of,” said Halcomb, a Jenkins High School graduate who attends classes at the Whitesburg campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College when he is not working at the City of Whitesburg’s water treatment plant.

Coturnix quail are native to Europe, Asia and Africa, and have been raised in Japan for hundreds of years.

Referred to as “Bible quail” by early American colonists, the Coturnix quail have often been praised for the ease in which they can be raised in small spaces, both in the city and in the country.

“Coturnix quail require no more care than do chickens, but they mature faster, produce more eggs, need less food and space, and have more uses than virtually any other kind of domestic poultry,” Richard Buchholz wrote for Mother Earth News back in 1981 after raising a covey of the birds on the balcony of his high-rise apartment in New York City.

Halcomb said he already has earned more from selling the quail eggs than it has cost him to buy and care for the birds. “I’ve made more off them than I’ve got in them,” he said, adding that it costs only $12 for the 50-pound bag of food his quail go through every six weeks.

Halcomb, a psychology major who hopes to someday find work in probation and parole, has applied for a $5,000 grant that would enable him to expand his quail farming operation.

In addition to bolstering his Coturnix quail operation, he would like to be able to purchase incubators and other equipment needed to farm Bobwhite quail, which, while indigenous to the United States, are in great demand because they have lost so much of their native habitat.

“The main thing I want to do it breed Bobwhites,” said Halcomb, who lives in West Whitesburg with his wife, Kristiana. “They sell like hotcakes.”

Halcomb said that while no permits are required to breed Coturnix quail, which are considered an exotic species, he would have to obtain captive wildlife and transportation permits from the state of Kentucky to breed and raise Bobwhite quail, which are considered native wildlife.

While the economy in Letcher County and elsewhere in southeastern Kentucky remains extremely challenged by drastic cuts in coal production, Halcomb found that it wasn’t too difficult to do the research required to come up with a way to supplement his income.

“I just read up on some stuff on the Internet and got interested and figured I’d give it a shot,” he said. “I really wasn’t trying to make money off it — just as a hobby. Now I like it.”

By Ben Gish
The Mountain Eagle



Bunny time of year...

Special to KyForward

It’s hard not to love Eastern Cottontail Rabbits. They are adorable. To bad-talk cottontails is like slandering the Easter Bunny, and who wants to be on the bad side of the Easter Bunny?

But as cute cottontails are, they face trials and tribulations that few other species endure.

When you’re the favorite food source of just about every predator out there, you better be able to reproduce – often and quickly. And cottontails do just that. To “breed like rabbits,” is an understatement. An extremely high reproductive rate is what ensures the cottontail’s survival, up to six litters in a single season producing about 35 youngsters.

In the 1700’s, Pennsylvania Dutch German immigrants grew the Easter bunny story.  They told their children about the “Osterhase,” (Easter hare), who gave only good little children gifts of colored eggs in nests made of children’s caps and bonnets each spring at Easter time (Photo Provided)In the 1700’s, Pennsylvania Dutch German immigrants grew the Easter bunny story. They told their children about the “Osterhase,” (Easter hare), who gave only good little children gifts of colored eggs in nests made of children’s caps and bonnets each spring at Easter time (Photo Provided)

In the 1700’s, Pennsylvania Dutch German immigrants grew the Easter bunny story. They told their children about the “Osterhase,” (Easter hare), who gave only good little children gifts of colored eggs in nests made of children’s caps and bonnets each spring at Easter time (Photo Provided)

 

Young bunnies grow quickly and are weaned and independent in less than a month. They are sexually mature in three months or less, allowing populations to grow with staggering speed.

That said, you’d think our yards would be full of cottontails. Think again. Known as the protein pill of the animal kingdom, they are one of the most heavily preyed on species, suffering an astounding 80 percent mortality yearly. Average longevity is less than two years.

Eastern Cottontails are found throughout the eastern U.S. They browse at night on grasses and herbs. Winter fare is bark, twigs and buds. They get most of the water they need from the foods they eat. Optimal habitat includes open grassy areas for foraging; with shrubs, thickets and hedgerows for cover.

Cottontails are seldom found in deep woods. And they’re fast. When pursued by a predator they run in a zigzag, reaching up to 18 mph. They can leap distances of 10- to 15-feet.

Right now cottontails are busy “cavorting,” a term used to describe their courtship behaviors. Usually occurring at night, cavorting includes a great deal of running, racing, hopping and fighting by bucks and does. It is thought to weed out the weak and enhance the reproductive pool. After mating, the doe builds a nest in a well-concealed depression and lines it with fur from her chest. Kits are born about a month after mating.

So how did the legend of the Easter Bunny get started? The ancient European pagan goddess of spring was called Eostre, hence the name “Easter.” According to folklore, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen in the bitter cold, so she turned it into a hare. The hare, having once been a bird, could still lay eggs.

In the 1700’s, Pennsylvania Dutch German immigrants grew the story. They told their children about the “Osterhase,” (Easter hare), who gave only good little children gifts of colored eggs in nests made of children’s caps and bonnets each spring at Easter time.

Gayle Pille is a naturalist and nature writer who many know through her work to establish the five-mile network of nature trails at Highland Cemetery in Ft. Mitchell. She created the cemetery’s popular 25-year-old Wildlife Enhancement Program and works with a small team of volunteers to maintain the cemetery’s wooded walking paths. An avid birdwatcher, Gayle also builds custom wildlife nest boxes for businesses, parks and residences through her business, www.woodlandhabitat.com

Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(35, 177, 93); text-decoration: none;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Gayle Pille

Special to KyForward

SOMEMRSEP