Well, my latest batch of quail eggs are finally hatching. They were supposed to hatch two days ago on day 17, which is what I’m generally accustomed to seeing.
My previous hatch was a few days early and I had a small percentage of chicks born with spraddle-leg or splayed leg who all ultimately had to be euthed. Not good, and means it was a little too hot in there that time around.
This clutch was later to hatch than any I’ve ever had, so I was worried I had botched it somehow. I figured out eventually that the likely reason was that I was opening the incubator three times a day to manually turn the chicken eggs. Normally I have everything in the automatic turner and there’s no need for that. Interesting right? All those little cooling off sessions obviously had an impact.
I’ve also noticed that the automatic turner generates a lot of heat. I have to adjust my incubator if I add or remove the turner by at least a couple of degrees.
Anyway, this is a very healthy-looking batch of chicks, as usual. Very vocal. For some reason, one silver chick was born with abnormally large, bulging eyes. It was very obvious when he was hatched but he’s looking gradually better. I have a lot of faith in the magical self-healing powers of quail. I’ve seen badly scalped adult birds recover with almost no trace of injury.
I’ve heard anecdotally that the silver gene in quail can be lethal if two silvers are mated together and I do have both sexes in the same cage, so maybe this chick could be a result? I have no idea. I will be splitting them up after this regardless and had been planning to anyway once I had the cage space.
Another interesting article I read about silver Coturnix quail is that the silver mutation causes a dysfunction in the quail’s ability to maintain its body temperature. This makes them more susceptible to illness and bullying from other quail and also means that they consume more feed. I’ve personally witnessed a lot of silver quail in my coveys get targeted for abuse. They are the most popular color of quail I sell though.
Personally, my favorites are the wild type quails whose genders are easily distinguished at an early age by coloration and who provide the most colorful display of plumage in my opinion.