Bumblebirds

I have heard quail chicks being described as looking like bumblebees. They really do remind me of bees, being so tiny and having brown-and-yellow stripes. Also once they have recovered from the effort of hatching, they zoom around the brooder like busy bees! 🙂

My quail hatch wasn’t a very good one, but I had expected that. We had only two males left and one of them had just died, so I suppose fertility wasn’t very high. I had set 11 eggs and ended up with only three chicks. These are four days old now and seem very happy. They eat wet pellet crumbles and mashed egg and make a big mess. It’s very funny to see them discover how to eat.

Something funny is going on with this hatch, though. There is one egg still left in the incubator. Yesterday, I took all the unhatched eggs out and checked them. This can be done by candling: shining a bright light into the egg, so you can see through the shell what’s going on inside. Most were clear (infertile), a few of them were dark (development). Those went on to the float test: floating them in warm water and seeing which ones move and which ones don’t. Eggs that start rocking are alive, eggs that are motionless are dead. 

Of the few eggs I floated, one rocked. That one, I put back into the incubator, expecting it to hatch very soon. But it didn’t. Nothing is happening and it is now a full four days late. I candled and floated it again today and got the same results. There is a live chick in there. But for some reason, it refuses to hatch. I can’t figure out why! Quail should hatch at 17-18 days. They can sometimes hatch late at day 19 or 20, but this one is now at the end of day 21 and there is no sign of hatching. Very curious!! We will see what happens! 

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About tarnegolita

Dutch expatriate, mother of 3 boys, freelance translator and pet zoo keeper in a kibbutz in Israel.
This entry was posted in Animals, poultry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Bumblebirds

  1. They are so sweet, fingers crossed these babies stay healthy and thrive :)x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So cute!! And they totally look like bumblebees! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They are adorable. They really look like Bumblebees. Glad they’re doing great.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. aheikkinen says:

    They are so cute 🙂 and yes, they do look like bumblebees 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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