Meet Joseph Jacob Schmidt: Family Man, Home Improvement Contractor, Political Candidate, and Quail Owner

Joseph Jacob Schmidt holds a quail

Joseph Jacob Schmidt, political candidate for Member of the Board of County Commissioners of Middlesex County, New Jersey, keeps quails in his backyard. In this interview we learn about quail care and how keeping quails has brought him more understanding of nature, including the nature of humans.

Q: How long have you had quails?
A: About 2 years.

Q: How do you care for quails?
A: They are similar to taking care of other poultry but do have differences. One is they cannot be let to roam free because they will run away, they don’t have an understanding of having a home. Chickens tend to lay their eggs in one spot, with quails it becomes an egg hunt to find the eggs because they just drop them where they are at the time.

Q: What do quails eat?
A: Quails are omnivores. They eat seeds, fruit, bugs, leafy greens. They like bell peppers a lot and dandelion leaves and spinach.

I did read in the book “The Dental Diet” that if poultry eat leafy greens with vitamin K1 they convert it to vitamin K2. I was wonder if humans can do that too, like I know primates cannot make vitamin C and can only get that vitamin from the food we eat. So I asked a doctor I know if humans can convert vitamin K1 to K2. He responded humans are not very efficient at converting vitamin K1 to K2.

Q: Do you eat the eggs of the quails?
A: Yes, we eat their eggs.

Q: Can you tell us about the home that you set up for your quails?
A: We had a play set someone was getting rid of that I was putting together in our yard, and my wife suggested I make the bottom area a quail cage.  So I got various scrap wood I had lying around and wood from the original play set (my daughter did not want the roof put on) and built a quail cage.  I got 1/2″ hardware cloth for the spaces to use as a screen.  I also used one of the old rabbit cages we had gotten as a place for the quails to take shelter from the rain and other elements.  We can put the quails in that cage and detach it from the main cage when I have to clean out the main cage (it is on wheels).  I made a second story for them to fly from using the old roof from the playset as a ramp (my wife’s idea) as a ramp to climb, and also for shelter underneath.

Q: Why are you running for County Commissioner?

A: I am worried about the world my children are growing up in and how they will get along with life in the current world.  A lot of the negative changes are coming from the government. The United States has a governmental system to change the current establishment in a peaceful manner.  I plan to use that peaceful manner to help out my children and our community.