Kestrel has sent us an extra-special bit of adorableness.
I raise quail – these are Japanese Coturnix quail. On Easter morning I woke up to this sight in my incubator:
After the main crush was out of the incubator, one little late-comer to the party hatched out right into my hand.
This was my Easter basket, but none of them ever turned into chocolate, or marshmallow.
Hanging out at the water cooler in their new digs. The marbles are to stop the tiny little things from drowning themselves. Like all little babies they can get themselves into all sorts of trouble. Most of them are underneath the brooder plate, that black and yellow thing to the right. The underside of it stays warm, about 100F, but that is just not hot enough to start a fire, so these are much safer than heat lamps. The other benefit of the brooder plate, besides safety, is that since it does not work by a light, it gets dark at night, allowing the chicks to sleep like they naturally would. With a heat lamp you have to keep that light on all the time.
Now they are one week old, and much bigger. They are even starting to get feathers, just like real grown-ups! The feeding frenzy is over very finely diced hard-boiled quail eggs, full of important nutrition
This is the one that hatched into my hand on that first day a week ago. (I can tell, because this one has two white toes.) They grow very fast! By the time they are 3 weeks old they will be ready to leave the brooder and won’t need any heat to survive. These quail will be fully mature by the time they are 6 to 8 weeks old, at which time they will start laying eggs of their own and the whole thing will start all over again.