Friday, July 1, 2016

Quail Chicks!

After much waiting and wondering, our quail chicks finally started to hatch! I had read so many things online of people saying that none of their eggs hatched, or only a few of them that it got me worried it would happen to us. I just wanted at least a few to hatch! When I took the eggs out of the turner a few days before they were due to hatch, I saw about four of the eggs move around after I set them down. They were alive!

Saturday morning I noticed some eggshell on the ground in the incubator, which meant that a chick was trying to hatch! So exciting! We checked on it throughout the day and we could hear it peeping, but it seemed to be taking so long. I finally couldn't take it anymore and wanted to see what was happening, so I opened the incubator (which you aren't supposed to do) and quickly turned the egg so that the hole was facing up instead of down. I think it helped the chick, because it hatched pretty quickly after that and we got to see it all!

Right after hatching:

Resting on the other eggs:

A few minutes after the first one hatched, Anthony got home from work and I went to the grocery store. By the time I got back, another one had hatched!

In the middle of all this excitement, we realized that Rett was acting strange after he got up from his nap. He was just sitting on the couch and not trying to bug us or anything. I checked on him and he was burning up with a fever. We tried to get him take some medicine, but before we could he vomited everywhere :( A little while later we tried to make him swallow some medicine which caused more vomiting. Poor guy!

That night after everyone was finally asleep, I woke up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach. I don't know if it was the same thing Rett had or just a coincidence, but I was awake almost all the night. On the bright side, I got to check on the chicks. By 5am we had seven more hatch out!

Rett woke up around 6:30am crying, so I set him up on the couch with some water and the ipad. Then I fell asleep on the couch and at some point went back to my bed. Anthony woke up a little bit later and went out on the couch to be with Rett, where they both fell asleep. When I woke up again at 10:30am, everyone else was still asleep in random places: James on the floor in our room, Anthony and Rett on the couch. It was a sickly Sunday!

Being home meant that we got to watch more of the baby chicks! Two more hatched on Sunday during the day, this was the first one of the day, #10. The cool hatching part is towards the end if you want to fast forward.

Since they had dried out enough, we got to move them to their temporary home outside of the incubator. We ended up with 11 healthy chicks that hatched! Unfortunately one died after about four days because we didn't realize that it had something called "pasty butt" where their poop dries up and blocks their vent and then they can't poop anymore. Since then we have been diligently checking all the chicks twice a day to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. So now we have 10 happy and healthy chicks, growing every day!

James holding them for the first time:

Look at how little they are in Anthony's hand! They are almost a week old now and have easily doubled in size.

James is really good at being careful with them and he was very serious about placing them gently back in their box. I was so proud!

The chicks are starting to grow their adult feathers, so in the next week or two we will be able to look at their feathers to tell which ones are male and which ones are females. We can only keep a few males (otherwise they fight), so if we end up with more than two we aren't sure what we are going to do with them yet.... All of the girls are going into the hutch Anthony is building for them on our back porch. They will start laying eggs by mid August and we will be eating quail eggs!  

1 comment:

Happy said...

That's so cool!!! You guys are such cool parents, ugh, my poor kids! I can't believe how tiny they were, they're sooooo cute!!! Are quail eggs different (to eat) from chicken eggs?