Today the baby quails have hatched and the big clucky chook has become a mother! There are six babies altogether. There were 7 this morning, but that's a sad and rather funny story.....basically the little quail was sitting up in the nest box and was chirping away. It then got excited and jumped giddily out of the nest box, bounced off the ramp, landed on the floor and was promptly picked up in the beak of hungry chook who thought it was a scrap of food. We tried to rescue it, but it was too tiny to survive such a trama. But at least it got to have a near flight experience in it's short little life.
We moved the rest of the babies along with the mother hen to a completely separate house from the rest of the chooks, especially if the other ones are prone to eating them when they are so small...but i don't know if that chook would have eaten it...i think she just thought it was food we were throwing down for her.
Anyway, we have put the plastic on the glass house, and that's where the new quail and chook family are residing. The little quails all seem very content with their gigantic mother and she seems a wee bit confused about why her children are so small. Olmec thought she might not know they had hatched because they are too small still. But they have been interacting a bit and she talks to them, and they've come out from under her to drink water and peck around on the ground. She seemed a bit confused...probably wondering why her babies are all 'premies'....or wondering if she maybe got really fat overnight. It seems her instinct is telling her that her babies are TINY and that something isn't quite right, but hopefully it will all work out.
It's been a very fun day.