OMG!!! Button setting!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by spookyevilone, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. spookyevilone

    spookyevilone Crazy Quail Lady

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    Oct 5, 2008
    Minneapolis
    OMGOMGOMG!!!

    I had my first button egg the other day, from an adult female I brought home as a pity rescue from a breeder. She'd been plucked nearly bald. I put her in with my little blue-breasted male and they immediately turned into the cutest quail couple - he feeds her mealworms, he sleeps next to her with his wing over her.

    The egg was left just laying in the center of the cage, so I bought a HovaBator and set it up, keeping the egg in a 55F humid area (*cough - downstairs bathroom with no vent*) until it stabilized. The egg got warmed up and put in the 'bator the next day, because I had nothing better to do with my Friday than sit there futzing with it until it got to a consistent temp/humidity. (Yes - I bought a 'bator for ONE EGG.. though I then chucked a few Coturnix eggs in with it. I figured there'd be more button eggs eventually. I'm pretty sure this is why she started setting - to spite me.)

    Last night, when I did the nightly egg checking rounds, my little female was buried up to her neck in woodchips wiith only her head sticking out. Thinking she was just dust rolling, I put a mealworm next to her and she freaked and flew up and went dashing around the cage like a crazed thing. She's never done that - she's been hand tame since I brought her home. Then I looked, and she'd made a nest with another egg in it!

    The breeder told me not to expect any of the females to set, even if I paired them up, because they'd been raised in a cage with a bunch of others and had "forgotten how to be quail".

    Apparently she didn't forget totally! I put the other egg back in with her and walked away, kind of holding my breath and hoping I hadn't scared her off the nest for good. Then, for my next surprise, my little bitty roo went over, cocked his head at the nest, reached in and rolled the eggs, kicked sawdust over them, and walked away. The female came back a bit later. Last night, they were both sitting on the nest, him with his wing over her. When she's on the nest, he's standing on top of the little hidey-hole roof, vigilantly watching for predators. Or bringing her treats. He brings her all his mealworms and dragged over half a grape from the fruit scraps.

    She seems to leave the nest alot, but she always goes back to the nest. I draped that side of the cage with a towel to help keep drafts away. I don't know if this clutch will make it - I'm worried about that whole being away from the nest thing she's doing, but I figure if I leave her the heck alone, she'll get on with it and even if this clutch doesn't pan out, maybe now that she's learned, the next one will.

    The hen ruffles down into the sawdust up to her neck whenever she's on the nest. Do they all do this, or is mine just adding extra insulation to make up for her lack of feathers? (Which are growing back but only at the porcupine stage).

    Any advice on what I should do, other than make sure they have food and water and leave them the heck alone? That's the hardest part. I want to keep peeking at the nest to see if there are more eggs, but I don't want to make her feel less secure, so I'm staying away.

    I'm so excited! I hadn't had my hopes up on the setting aspect, but .. she did it! Maybe the others will when they're old enough to lay.. and if not, maybe I can convince my little hen to accept other eggs. EEEE!

    -Spooky
     
  2. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    [​IMG]
    I can't give any advice , but that is really exciting! I will be waiting for updates. Can you get pics without sending her into another frenzy?
     
  3. BirdBoy88

    BirdBoy88 Angel Egg

    Dec 26, 2007
    Maryland
    Congrats on the broody button hen [​IMG]

    i wish one of mine hens would go broody [​IMG]

    The best of luck to ya and keep us all updated [​IMG]
     
  4. spookyevilone

    spookyevilone Crazy Quail Lady

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    Oct 5, 2008
    Minneapolis
    [​IMG]

    She kept running off the nest - if I was in the room, she was anywhere but sitting on the eggs. I thought maybe she didn't feel secure enough, because she'd literally be as far away from them as she could get if I was in the bedroom. I did a bit of cage reconfiguration to see if I could make her a more secure nest. I grabbed one of the finch wicker nest thingies and put sawdust in the bottom, used a cotton face pad to move the eggs from her nest to the new nest, covered it with fake foliage, and left on an errand.

    This is what I came home to. She's in the nest, and up top is my little roo, guarding her. The green stuff in their food dish is wheat grass, and at the moment, my hen is out and scarfing it up as though it's spaghetti [​IMG] I can't get a picture of that because every time I put the camera up, she ducks down behind the bowl and stays there.

    So.. here's to hoping the eggs didn't get too cold earlier. If she doesn't go back in the nest on her own again, I'm going to transfer them to the 'bator. We'll see. She seems to have the general idea down.

    ::hope!!::
    -Spooky
     
  5. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    pretty nifty! I'm sure my hens will brood up once I let them have eggs (they both make nests and laytheir eggs in them but so far the eggs arent fertile my male isnt doing his job yet lol)!
     
  6. CrimsonRose

    CrimsonRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 7, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Wow you are so lucky!!! [​IMG] Keep us updated!!!
     
  7. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    I wonder if her frenzy is the "broken wing " trick they pull to get predators away from their nest? I've seen wild Gambel quail pull that trick, then gone to where they left from and seen quail babies hidden under a bush. It's pretty cool!
     
  8. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Los Angeles CA
    they are sooo cute! [​IMG]
     
  9. spookyevilone

    spookyevilone Crazy Quail Lady

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    Oct 5, 2008
    Minneapolis
    Well, so far.. she's laid 7 eggs. She kept kicking them out of the nest, and after a few hours, I'd take them away and put them in the 'bator. Last night, there were two eggs in the nest. I came home from work, and she'd kicked them both out. I had dinner, then came in to take the eggs out, and lo, she'd rolled them back into the nest and was setting on them again. Either she had rolled them out for reasons of her own, or she's learned that if I see the eggs, I will take the eggs. At least her instinct is there. My other button hen just started laying and stares at the egg like "Where'd YOU come from?!" and then abandons it.

    Of the eggs in the 'bator, two are due to pip on 12/5, with a Coturnix egg. Two of the later eggs - a coturnix and a button - had discoloured, so I water tested them and sure enough, they were floaters. [​IMG] They weren't due until 12/11. Brought them into the bathroom, put them in the toilet and cracked 'em. Quitters - Coturnix obviously deformed in the head. Button - no obvious sign but when the egg was cracked, blood POURED out so I'm assuming some sort of rupture.

    The others seem to be doing ok. I upped the humidity a bit in prep for the 12/5 hatch and plugged the brooder in.

    Y'all realize that on 12/5, I'm going to be a wreck, sitting out there, staring at the 'bator and waiting to see if any pip, right? [​IMG]

    Now, if my Tibetan male would heal up, life would be good.
    -Spooky
     

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