Good morning everyone. It's been forever since I've posted, but I've been following again recently and thought I'd jump in and say hi.
We got an inch or two of snow up here in Gunnison, but I imagine it will melt quickly once the sun starts shining.
So about 3 weeks ago I had my first encounter with a predator. A fox came into my yard early in the morning hours and dug a hole under my quail coop. I lost all my quail, which was a bummer, and definitely found out that I need to up my security. I've had chickens for over three years now, and live right in town. I've never had any issues with any predator (other than a falcon that hangs out over the coop in the summer, but I see him catching the sparrows off the feeder, so I just let him be at this point). I've been keeping a close eye out, and it doesn't seem that the fox has returned, but I know I'm on the radar now and need to beef up the quail coop defenses. Why, you ask?
I have 48 quail eggs in the incubator with a hatch date of roughly the beginning of May.This will be my third hatch. My first was in my styrofoam incubator, I hatched 4 eggs out of around 30+. My second hatch was under a broody, and despite some serious drama and adventure, still ended up with a 50% hatch rate. This, my third hatch, is notable for several reasons. First off, this is my first attempt at hatching quail. Second, this is my first time trying to hatch shipped eggs. Additionally, I am trying the dry incubation method this time. I know my humidity was too high during that first hatch, and in hindsight with consideration to the low relative humidity that we normally have, I didn't need nearly the humidity that I was maintaining at that time.
Anyway, I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about this current hatch, and am definitely hoping to hatch out at least enough quail to get the flock going again. Between the high altitude and the dry climate, hatching has been an adventure up here! It's always so fun, however, and I'm really looking forward to seeing some quail chicks. Fingers are crossed!!!!
I hope you are all faring well through the current weather system!