Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sunday 19th September

Quail Diary
After nothing more than just some crackage during Saturday, we awoke early Sunday morning to find 4 chicks in the incubator, all excited, all cheeping and clambering on top of eachother, desperate to get out. They had to stay put for 24hours so they could gather their strength and their bodies could absorb the egg yolky stuff. You can tell I know all of the techy info re rearing quail chicks.

They are ADORABLE!! But, the excitement grew as, during Sunday, around lunch time, another egg started to break, and after a struggle, out emerged chick number 5. So far we had an all golden chick and 4 stripy like little bumble bees - gold main with thin dark stripes. I guess these will be the traditional coturnix colours and the all gold may be a white laddie. As the afternoon wore on, yet more excitement befell the household as chick number 6 emerged....exhausted and a tad weak. We were concerned that it wouldn't make it through the night with the other 5 all pounding on it's little head. We hoped it would be okay as this one was nearly all brown with just pale stripes. It was christened by wicked step daughter as Eleanor, as it has lazy teenager attitude as it appeared to be the last of the brood. No signs of life from egg number 7.

After 24 hours, the little family were moved from incubator to brooding tank where their comic antics make us all coo and ahh. They are eating and drinking machines and are all now looking strong, even Eleanor. Of course, as soon as the family were moved into the brooder, 7 more eggs entered the incubator. Well, bringing new life into the world is a precious thing, and the babes are soooo precious!
We left the last egg in the incubator for another 36 hours, but nothing. I opened it, and sadly, there was a little brown chick in there. Natural selection...survival of the fittest...he who has the strongest beak tooth laughs last.....

Our egg count is now mid 600's, but we are down to just 2 or 3 eggs a day as the light levels are so low and days are so short.


Anonymous said...

I think those stripey ones are goldens, you know? They are lighter still than my golden was in his chick feathers. And the non-stripey golden might be white. So gorgeous!
And all fertile! Well done those boys! Sad for #7 - had he died in the shell?
Anyway, hope you've got some ladies there - can't wait to hatch some more here but going to leave it until spring now and get a new cock in.

Emma Jane said...

Number 7 was dead in the shell. :( But we are delighted with the 6. Fingers crossed some of these chicks are chicks! :)

You incubator, did it turn all of the eggs properly? I don't know if it is the fact that some of our eggs are small, but they don't all turn, so every day, before I go to bed, I give them all a turn, just to be sure.

Anonymous said...

We watched it very carefully and noted that there was always an egg or two that didn't turn properly BUT it was a different egg every time so they all got turned properly at least four times a day which is fine I think. Certainly the ones that failed to turn most often (middle and far left) hatched live chicks.

Just moved my babies to the shed with the big birds - but separated!