July 22, 2012

Let There Be Quail Eggs

First eggs from the Pharaoh quail

My quail are laying! This morning when feeding, I found the first egg lying in the pine shavings. A few hours later, I found an egg in each of the two cardboard hiding "houses". What good birds!

I was not expecting this quite yet. They are a few days short of 6 weeks, when laying usually begins. Surprising, too, that all three started laying on the same day.

We don't have a quail rooster, so these eggs are infertile and will be eaten.

July 18, 2012

The Pharaoh Quail

Peep(L), Luke Groundwalker (R), Princess Leia (in house)

Hard to believe the Pharaoh Quail are already 5 weeks old! It looks like we've got three hens, which is okay because we want the eggs. They don't need a rooster to lay non-fertile eggs for eating. So that's their next milestone.

Our little chicks have grown into really sweet birds. Peep enjoys being petted and likes to sit on top of their little box house. Princess Leia thinks the house is her personal space, but sometimes shares with Groundwalker. These two have been very close since they both hatched at the same time.

July 17, 2012

Twenty White Coturnix Chicks Hatch Two Days Early

I was expecting these eggs to hatch Saturday, but the little pranksters began hatching Thursday evening, almost simultaneously. Sixteen hatched before midnight and three more just after. The last one hatched about 5:00 am.

Two days early and the mischief did not stop there:

"Psst! When you hear the lady coming, play dead!"

"Ah-ha-ha! Good one, Fluffy!"

"Okay, now when she walks away, start peeping really loud -- then stop before she gets back!"

July 9, 2012

Button Quail Chicks At 12 Days

Yes, we love our salad greens!

My little button quail chicks are putting on feathers of many colors. There are quite a few silver, a couple of cinnamon, and some I-don't-know-what. Each one is beautiful.

Their diet is expanding as they are now having some salad greens. They are eating ground gamebird starter with a small amount of ground kitten food added. (1/4 c. kitten food to 2 c. gamebird starter)

Feathers grow first on the wings.

And what a surprise: they can fly even this young! I learned the hard way when my precious Quailito flew out and was killed by one of my chihuahuas. A couple days later it happened again while I was feeding. And I was trying to be very careful! The chicks are now in a dog-proof area.

The chicks started avoiding the heat light, so I changed the light bulb from 60 watt to 40 watt and they now seem comfortable. Soon they will need a larger brooder as they become more active. (sigh) How quickly they grow!

Pretty babies

July 8, 2012

July 3, 2012

Three New Silver Chicks

Quailito (L) watches as Rocket runs with the new silver chicks.

Saturday brought three darling silver chicks. They are fitting in just fine. I cannot tell them apart, so they don't have names yet.

Quailito naps in his favorite spot.

July 2, 2012

Button Quail Hatch

Quailito - First Button Quail Hatchling
My button quail eggs began hatching last Friday. First out was Quailito. I couldn't believe how tiny and perfect he was! About five hours later, Rocket hatched. Rocket got her name because she met every new challenge -- drinking water, pecking her food, running around -- as if there was zero learning curve. Clearly she is a very smart little quail.

Rocket - Quail Genius

Quailito was very happy to finally have a buddy.