1.10D observe and record life cycles of animals such as a chicken, frog, or fish
Mr. Wessendorff used to hunt quail on his land. Quail is considered an indicator species which means that their presence indicates a healthy ecosystem. Quail has disappeared from south East Texas mainly due to loss of habitat (although there are other contributing factors). Perhaps if we continue to reintroduce quail, we can slowly begin to rebuild the population.
Click on names for links to items.
Quail Eggs From Tim's Bobwhites
Brinsea Mini II Incubator
Chick Brooder Warming Plate
Approx. 70qt Storage Container
Game Bird Food (must be 24% protein or higher)
In addition, you will need water, a very shallow container for food and some sort of bedding-- preferably paper towels or fine pine shavings. DO NOT USE NEWSPAPER. These super tiny birds need something to grip and paper does not work!
Check the calendar!
What day is today? Count 23 days. This is when the chicks will hatch. Is this the day you WANT them hatching? Adjust accordingly.
Setting up your Incubator
Hold the "-" and "+" to unlock
Hit "OK" to set the temp (use the - and + buttons) to 99.5F
Hit "OK" to set the days (use the - and + buttons) to 23
*You do not need to change any other settings except to make sure the "T-Mode" is set to AUTO
Hit "OK" until the end where it says "SAVE"
The screen should have the current temp inside the incubator and the countdown with a spinning line next to it. If you have any letters FLASHING, there is something wrong. Call for support or use the manual below to fix the problem.
You are ready to go! You can unplug the incubator until you are ready to use it. There is an internal battery that stores the information you just programmed.
Starting- Day 23 (1st day)
Did you check the calendar to make sure the eggs will be hatching when you want them to? Plug your incubator in, load up the eggs, fill up the water reservoir and you are ready!
You do not need a fancy light to candle eggs. In fact, the flashlight on your phone works fabulously since it is so small! But your students might find a candling flashlight fun.
Removing Infertile Eggs- Day 17 (7th day)
After the eggs have been in the incubator for about 7 days, it is time to remove those that are not growing. Most likely, these are unfertilized. Go through and candle EVERY egg to make sure you see some growth in it. Those that do not have any veining can be thrown out. (Be sure to put them in a plastic bag and tie up before throwing them away.)
Lockdown- Day 4 (20th day)
This short video talks about how to prepare your eggs for hatch day! You will need to remove the turn plate and add something for the quail to grip when they come out of their eggs. You also need to add more water to keep the incubator humid. This is also lockdown day. Please do not open the incubator until after the quail have hatched! It is important these last few days they have a very consistent heat and humidity.
Hatch Day- Day 0 (23rd day)
It is hatch time! You will notice a pip about 24 hours before the quail hatch. After the first one comes out, the rest will soon follow. The others can hear in their eggs and know when it is time to hatch. The eggs will hatch over about 2 days. If a quail unzippers the egg, then just sits there for a day, it will most likely NOT be strong enough to survive. You can try and help it out, but this usually results in weak quail.
Moving to the brooder
Once the quail hatch, you will move them to the brooder box AFTER they have dried in the incubator. This might take an hour...or a few hours. They will be fine without food and water for a while. Make sure to warm the plate up before adding to the brooder box. Use paper towels to line the bottom. Sprinkle some food on the paper towels and also add it to a shallow dish (lid). Do the same for the water.
Care- feeding and cleaning
Quail are sleeping, eating, pooping machines! You will notice after about a day how much they eat and poop! For the health of your quail, it is a good idea to change the paper towels in the bottom of the brooder box every day. You can purchase pine shavings for about $6 at TSC and that will keep the smell down and you do not have to change their bedding as frequently (about every 3-4 days). You will notice the quail LOVE to scratch and will kick out all of their food. Let them eat it off of the ground. The water will need to be changed pretty frequently. Be sure to give them vitamins the first few days (1 dropper full in a quart of water). Then just clean water every day-ish. When they are in the wild, quail do not have nice water containers. They drink the dew that forms on leaves in the morning.
Returning your equipment and chicks
When you return your quail babies, we will have a bigger brooder set up for you so the quail can join their new friends. All of their "stuff" needs to be cleaned and ready to go for the next year. It is VERY important to wipe everything down and get any remaining poop off of the brooder/ incubator/ food bowl/ waterer/ etc... Vinegar does a great job cleaning! It cuts right through that poop. Once everything is clean, you will put it in the brooder box...minus the food and vitamins (we will take that and use it/empty it). We have a checklist that will go in your box and you will be all set for next year!