There’s nothing like new life to lift one’s spirits. Some people find it in gardening, others find it working with kids. For me, this lift comes from incubating Button quail eggs.
My breeding couple are Edwin and Zooey. Edwin, on the left, is 4 years old, and Zooey is about 18 months. She lays a little, cream-colored, spotted egg every other day, but isn’t very interested in sitting on them. Sometimes she and Edwin eat them! Last week I got inspired to incubate 5 of her eggs, and when I mentioned my plan to a local pet store owner, he offered me some of his eggs. Soooo, my clutch of 5 grew to a clutch 20! The light one’s in the photo are Zooey’s, the dark ones are from the pet store.
Before putting them in the incubator, it’s very important that I don’t handle the eggs much. They can’t be washed or wiped off because they have a special coating, required for them to hatch. It’s not anything that one can see, but it’s there.
This image shows the eggs on the Rotator, inside the incubator. The Rotator turns them very slowly throughout the day. Without it, I would be turning them by hand at least five times a day, potentially damaging the magic coating. So, yay for the electric rotator.
Okay, now that they are safe and sound, they will sit in the incubator for 16 days. The temperature must stay at 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity must remain between 40 and 60%. Underneath the rotator there’s a screen floor covering a plastic tray, which holds water to keep the humidity just right.
Now I have to wait 13 days while the Hoverbator does its magic. After 13 days, I will remove the rotator and place the eggs on the screen floor. Stay tuned!