Thursday, August 4, 2011

Little Chicks = Big Problems

............Fresh from the shell...chicken on the right and quail on the left.
If only I knew then what I know now, I would never have bought the parents of the quail.
Who'd a thunk these tiny chicks could be so much trouble????
They are better escape artists than the great Harry Houdini.
And faster than The Road-Runner !!!

They have been escaping from my incubator either from the vent in the rear (which is now screened over) or leap from the door when we open the cabinet.  Either way means a injured chick which eventually expires.
I keep the incubator on the back porch on a stand so I can keep a close eye on it.  Sadly, so do my cats. Any chick that survives the fall and is not immediately found by me or Wifey doesn't last long.  I also keep my brood boxes on the porch.   And my dang cats figured out how to get into the one I had for the quail chicks. (second generation of the Quail box as they escaped from the first through tiny vent holes that I swore they couldn't fit through)

So now it's back to the drawing board to come up with a new solution.  (I think I need to get an ACME catalog from Wile E. Coyote).  Another problem is that regular feeders and waterers are too high for the chicks to use.  So jar lids must suffice and that means constatly filling them. Especially the water in this heat wave. 

My little quail hen has been laying an egg almost every day since we bought her, it is too bad that she has NO nesting instinct ( I was warned when I bought her that they have been bred in captivity so long that the nesting instinct was gone).  So far I have not raised a single quail chick.
But the cats are well fed.


Reddunappy said...

quail are very good escape artists! And they are so little, like you said impossible to catch!!
When I ordered chicks for the feed store I used to work for, we used a large cage that was clear plastic, so the little boogers couldnt get out! You could probably make one out of a large plastic box. Just have to be careful with the light.
Good luck!! They are very hard to raise!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh my! I had no idea that Quail chicks were such trouble. Might explain why they tend to cost more.

I hope your cats lose some weight soon and you have some growing quail chicks to show for all your trouble.


GreyWolf said...

Reddunappy: Thanks for the info. I have seen how to make those boxes online, but am worried about ventilation. I just finished a catproof, wood and screen box and have 2 of the little boogers in there now. However I also have everything handy to make one of the plastic ones if this doesn't work out.

Lisa: Yeah me neither!!!
But I am learning a lot about these fragile little birds.
I hope to get experienced enough to sell chicks in the spring.

The Chicken Keepers said...

Just stumbled onto your blog! But,
Wow! Didn't know they were so much trouble! But, good luck and hope you get some little quails. We currently have a broody hen laying on 16 eggs and are waiting for the chicks :) Seems like we have a lot in common! Come visit our blog, if you have time!
The Chicken Keepers

warren said...

You need to let them sleep under the covers with you so you can keep them warm at night! They need their daddy!