Both Charley and Martha are doing very well now that they are getting the correct nutrition... Martha has been laying pretty much everyday as well. They're very in love
Every evening they like merge into one big quail with two heads. It's adorable to see. They use the sand bath together... Looking like they're having the time of their life!
Martha had stopped laying for a while - which I thought was normal, a bit like my bantams who only lay in the warmer weather, from March approx. So anyway I wasn't checking for eggs anymore until last Saturday when I was giving them a treat of mealworms and saw that there were at least 5 eggs in the little hut where Martha always lays her eggs. And then Sunday evening, my daughter pointed out that she'd not seen Martha all day, she'd been in her hut, looking big and in a nest like construction. There's some wood shavings, wood chips and sand in the bottom of the cage and she's made a well inside the hut. She's been sat on her eggs since then and has not come out yet... So in about 13 days, we may well have some tiny chicks... Charley has been calling her, but when he comes anywhere near the entrance she makes a strange noise, raspberries blowing like, and he goes away again. I feel a little sorry for him, as he must feel lonely. Bernard, our canary who lives in the same big cage comes often to the ground level and stays next to him, chirping away lol.
The possibility of having tiny chicks worries me a little, because I haven't got the faintest what to do! Do I need to protect them from Charley? From Bernard? How will they get fed? What do they eat?... So many questions!...
If she goes on sitting you should get a small bag of chick crumb, which has tiny granules, for the babies to eat. This is perfectly suitable for the parent birds as well because it's high in protein, so even if the chicks don't eat it all you can add it to the adult rations to use it up. And keep feeding the mealworms - you can crumble them a bit for the chicks. Also a very shallow little dish of water with some pebbles in it, to avoid the danger of the weeny little chicks drowning in a deeper drinker - unless you've already fitted a cage bird drinker with a little lip that projects through the wire, which is better as it stays cleaner and keeps the babies dry. Is the cage indoors? I was just wondering about overnight temperatures, what are they like at the moment? I wouldn't worry about Charley or Bernard - it sounds as if they're well under Martha's control - just keep an eye on the family.
It is quite rare for quail to hatch in captivity, so you will be very lucky if she does actually stay the course, but we shall be waiting for developments, good luck!
She came out a little this morning and did a little dance, a stretch, and a quick feed and back to the nest she went! So this day 4 at the moment.
The cage is indoors yes, so temperatures are ok - outside it goes to freezing or below freezing at night.
At the moment I use a mini drinker for them, but I do have a drinker like the one you described too. So I could switch back to this when the time comes.
Thanks again, and I will keep you updated
Well Martha is still sitting... That will be 18 days now, so 2 days overdue... I really don't think anything will happen on the hatching front. I am considering getting fertile eggs for her in case the ones she's sat on weren't actually fertile (no disrespect meant ro Charley! ). Would it be a good idea?