Sunday, October 7, 2007

It's an exciting weekend!

The above photo is from Friday, October 5th. We moved the eggs to the hatcher on that date. We woke up the next morning and heard "peeps" coming from the eggs. Within about 30 minutes the first chick was pushing his way out of the egg.

Stephen and I worked on the brooder boxes all day Saturday getting them nice and cozy for the chicks. When we got up this morning there were sugar ants all over them! We just finished putting a barrier around the boxes that will hopefully keep the ants away (poison, but shhh don't tell Joshua or we won't ever get him in the backyard again!)

The chicks have been hatching out pretty steady today and we are anxious to see how many will hatch. We have guesses from 40 to 305 (40 seems to be winning so far).

We had our first "farm crisis" this morning when the boys discovered that the older chicks were pecking at the ones that were just coming out of their shells. One of the big problems with quail is that they can become very cannibalistic (yuck) so we immediately decided to hang some green beads in the hatcher (yes, we put Tek-Trol on them first) to give them something else to peck on. We also put a black plastic bag over the front door to make it darker in the hatcher (we read somewhere that this will help). We paid very close attention today when in his sermon Bro. Mark reminded us that God will increase our faith during a crisis :)

In the photo below, hopefully you can see the two chicks in the bottom corner all dry and cozy and then the chick that has just come out of the egg, wet and tired - he is located on the right side of the right egg tray, towards the middle. It is not easy to get a good photo of these tiny birds!

One neat thing about the way the quail hatch out is that they peck a ring around the egg, leaving a sort of "hinge" on one side. Then they poke their heads up like it is a submarine hatch. It takes them a pretty good while to get out and once they make it, they seem to be exhausted.

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