Sometimes my efforts to do something that may lift my spirits backfire. That’s what happened with my recent attempt to incubate quail eggs. At first I thought it was because the temperature in the incubator fell below 100 degrees in the last 3 days, but then I found out that a minor decrease would just delay the hatch. So I waited four more days. Still no hatch.
What went wrong? Were the eggs even fertile? The only way to find out was to open them up, but I was scared to look. Would I find partially developed embryos? Or deformed little chicks? Did I really want to see that? Not really, but I gathered my courage and broke each one open. My fear subsided as I discovered one after the other, that they weren’t even fertilized. All I found was old yokes and whites.
I was relieved, but my hope of being transported to a magical happy place by tiny hatchlings had been crushed. Disappointment like this plunges me into a very dark place. It doesn’t help that our oldest dog, Dixie, who has survived cancer and three major surgeries, is wasting away, and every time I look at her I want to cry. But I know, after many years of living with this disaster thinking, that my reaction to the failed hatch is inappropriate and irrational.
Sooo, I did something I’d never done before. I impulsively went online and ordered some fertile quail eggs. I’d never considered doing this because I usually have plenty, but I only have one female now, and, as it turns out, her eggs may not be fertile.
When I Googled “fertile quail eggs,” Amazon popped up with a good deal on a dozen, and I placed my order. But the name of the company wasn’t given, so I don’t much about them. When tracking the package I could see the place of origin was Hazel Green, Alabama, but that was all I could find.
They arrived on Friday, very well wrapped. Each egg was swaddled in facial tissue and securely placed in a miniature egg carton, which was wrapped in several layers of paper towel and put in a little cardboard box, inside another little cardboard box. The boxes were in a bubble wrap envelope with “FRAGILE – EGGS” written in large letters on the front and back. As I carefully cut through the tape and cardboard, and peeled off the tissue, I was pleased to find that only 2 had broken. I was also surprised to see they had sent me 24, not 12.
I very carefully put them on the rotator inside the incubator and crossed my fingers. Hopefully on May 20th I will witness the hatching of some Button quail.