Weekly Diary 7 – Hatchings

It’s been a busy week in the incubator, 154 quail chicks hatched over a couple of days.  They are tiny little things and need constant warmth and looking after. After 24 hours in the incubator we transferred them to the brooder, basically a boxed in area with hay on the floor and food and water. An infra-red light keeps them warm, along with a sheet to cover the brooder and some warm water bottles. When we don’t have power we put a duvet around the brooder and tuck in hot water bottles.  You see them huddle together when they are cold and they are prone to over smothering and suffocating each other, thus the need to keep them warm.  We’ve had many an unsettled night checking that the power is still on, reminds us of when our own children were little!  Along with the quails we are also parents to 16 roadrunner chicks, can’t believe such small fluffy things can make so much noise and boy do they all eat!

Still in the incubator are more quail eggs, these are from a different source, so that we can mix males to keep the gene pool strong, along with 14 Duck eggs, 60 guinea fowl eggs and 28 more roadrunner eggs.

We are hastily trying to build up our stocks of poultry and livestock. Particularly the quails as we have regular customers now for the eggs and can’t keep up. In 6 weeks time the new quails should start to lay eggs also and our plan is to have a few hundred laying table eggs and another 100 or so laying fertilised eggs. This will bring in a steady income into the Trust.  We can then also start to sell the birds themselves because we have several people interested.

We’ve all heard the term ‘breeding like rabbits’ well ours haven’t it seems, but we have been told that now it’s getting cooler they should start to breed.  Also the pregnant goat continues to hold on, one day she will pop!  There is also some encouraging chirping coming from the pigeon coup.

Still experimenting with the aquaponics, plants are alive but haven’t really taken off.  Now draining the bed twice a day and filling up with new water from the fish tank, already seems to have had an effect and the plants are looking healthier.  The drained water is being used to help water the garden as still not happy that it’s ok to put back into the fish tanks.  The fish themselves seem healthy a month on, we are going to make a net so that we can fish some out and see what size they are.

So it’s all go in our growing family and its sure keeping us busy.

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