Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Martian Quail Have Taken Over!

Last night before I went to bed, I noticed that 3 of the quail eggs in the incubator had pips! The chicks were determinedly pecking away, trying to shed their little shells so that they could meet some honest-to-goodness Martians.

It was a dark and stormy night and the wind howled incessantly, keeping me awake for hours. I was determined to sleep in this morning, but a steady peeping awoke me at 7:40. Our first quail had hatched out and was determined that no additional sleep was to be had in our house. I captured some of the hatching activity on video and spent the remainder of the day watching quail tv...It's quite entertaining. There are lots of re-runs, as each chick is determined to repeat the mistakes of their brethren. Someone told me that baby quail come into the world with a suicidal streak. I have found it to be true. I also learned how resilient they are, since none of their antics actually killed any of them.

By dinner time, we had a total of 6 chicks. I believe that 4 of them are Texas A&M quail, one is a chocolate quail and one is a golden quail. Not bad considering that these eggs were shipped through the postal service. Here they are:


fullfreezer said...

Ooo! Congratulations on the newest additions! They're adorable little balls of fluff.

Ryan said...

Awww . . . so cute!

What plans do you have for the quail?


Milah said...


They look so sweet.;D

Patrice Farmer said...

They look so very cute.

Aimee said...

hooray for quail! congratulations.

TheMartianChick said...

Thank you all! At this point in time, I believe that the quail have more plans for me than I have for them! They have kept me running ragged. I am so glad that there are only six of them at the moment.

Just before I snapped that photo, the chicks were fighting and wrestling and screeching at the top of their lungs. Apparently, they didn't like their new accommodations after I moved them out of the incubator.

I lost quite a bit of sleep last night worrying about them. I had put them in another room, but there was still one town crier that refused to stay settled down.

I believe that the quail have made it their personal mission to make sure that I never get any sleep again. So far, they have succeeded!

As for my future plans with the quail... I am planning to do some breeding and play with the various color genetics and see if I can come up with an unusual variety of my own. Of course, they will have to earn their keep by providing eggs for us to eat and sell and we will probably sell some of the various colors that they come in to people who are backyard quail hobbyists.

Brad said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of quail. As a new mother you will dote on them and worry yourself to death if your not careful. They are incredibly tough little guys, but they will wallow in all the attention they can get. You'll be amazed how fast they grow.
I had my first town crier in my last hatch. I really thought something might have been wrong with it since out of over 500 chicks I'd never had one before. After watching him eat and drink and interact with it's siblings I realized it just like to hear it's own voice! Well, actually it liked for me to hear it's voice.

Congrats Again!

TheMartianChick said...

Thanks, Brad! I'm enjoying every second of it. I am actually on vacation this week so I will really get to sped some quality time with them.

Jennifer said...

What cute chicks! I love that you created a budget for different projects in the post above this one. I really need to do that better ahead of time before we start a project.


How very exciting! I just got permission from the landlord to put "a bird cage" in the yard and will be picking up a rabbit hutch and incubator from the brother in law in a few days. I'm hoping to have enough eggs to not need to buy any and supplement meat as well with the culled males.

How long did you leave them in the heated brooder before dumping them in the yard? Do you have a heat lamp outside? It's upstate NY here... not freezing but chilly at night.

TheMartianChick said...


Believe it or not, the quail are now 4 weeks old and are still inside. Although I have a good cage built for them, I don't like the security in my carriage house and I am afraid that a raccoon or a stray cat may try to attack them. The quail cage will be located inside a chicken pen which will be inside the carriage house. The chicken pen has not yet been built because of an old truck that my hubby, TheMartianMan has been working on. The truck is in the way of building the pen. It should be out of the way and running in no more than 2 weeks, so the quail are stuck inside my house in rabbit cages. They don't seem to mind much, since they get lots of treats.

During the day, I move the cages outside to try to get them acclimatized to the cooler weather. They seem to enjoy going outside, but I can't wait until they have more room to be able to really enjoy it.

Someone that I met through an online forum puts her birds out at 3 weeks and she lives in Pennsylvania. Quail are pretty hardy. If you live in New York State, make sure that you get a bird breeder's license from the Department of Environmental Conservation first.