So it all started with my beautiful Marigold (RIRxSL) who at only 7 months old, and laying for barely a month, decided to go broody on me. After 2-3 attempts to "break" her broodiness, I decided to let her go. A co-worker told me she had an abundance of QUAIL eggs, so I asked if she would be willing to give me some for Marigold to try and hatch. I have no shortage of fertile chicken eggs, but I also have two other broody hens set to incubate 10 eggs between them.
So on June 1, we put eight tiny quail eggs under Marigold, in a plastic washtub, in her coop shared with 3 other hens. NOTE: The large white eggs are fake chicken eggs, for size comparison, and also kept with the others as a buffer from the full weight of chicken, versus a quail hen. My co-worker told me 30 days to incubate.
Anticipated hatch date of June 30.
So here is the lovey Marigold, settling in for her first incubation/hatch.
Over the first couple of weeks, I had to keep taking other eggs out of her box. I think when she was on her daily break, one of the other hens was laying her eggs in there (despite having their own next box.) Unfortunately, some of the quail eggs were broken with the extra traffic (or jealousy) and we were down to four.
A week ago (around 21 days) my co-worker told me her (incubator) quail eggs were hatching (around 21 days!) Yikes! I moved Marigold to personal quarters in our basement on June 20.
This morning (June 25), as the past few mornings, I went downstairs and greeted her and listened carefully for any extra sounds ... SILENCE. I turned the lamp on and went out to feed the other hens. When I came back in I heard faint peeps ... could it be??!!
Before I knew it a teeny-tiny little chick emerged from under her, then a second one!
OH. MY. GOSH. CUTENESS. !! These adorable little peeps came out of eggs that are barely an inch or so long, so they are soooo tiny! Marigold is a Mama!! Hopefully two more to hatch.
Had to get my daughter to day camp, and myself to an appointment ... do you know how hard it is to leave adorable, teeny, tiny peeps?
Later this morning when I came home I checked in on Marigold and her babies. It was very quiet, but I started calling out to them and heard them under her ... after a bit out they came, one ... two ... and THREE!! The third chick still quite sleek/slick looking - so likely hatched this morning!
|Here's "EENY" !!|
|There's a newly hatched "MINY"|
Chick Therapy. It's CHEEP (I so had to go there!) and it's effective! And I really needed it after the stress of losing my entire set of keys, with my collection of shopping tags, and two USB drives a couple days ago. Chicks ... chill... relax... repeat as needed!
And for size comparison to a chicken-chick, check this out ...
|Pharoah, a brother of Marigold, hatched last September|
One last pic of EENY & MEENY before I get back to work!
UPDATE: We have four out of four!
|And we have one "MO"!!|
|Marigold in her private brooder box ... her food/water is upper left in front of her, |
and I set up two bottle caps (lower right) with food water for the chicks to discover.
The extra water bottle with a nipple is overkill right now.