Bobwhite Quail Babies!

Out of Eden has new chicks! I mentioned before that I’d ordered Snowflake and White Bobwhite quail hatching eggs through the mail. That’s always iffy, because you never know how they will be treated in the mail.

This time, I was lucky. Out of the 12 eggs, 10 were viable, and developed into chicks. I only ended up with 7 chicks, because one didn’t hatch, one attempted to hatch (unsuccessfully) from the wrong end of the egg, and one died a few hours after hatch of suspected neurological problems. Seven are tremendously healthy though, and that’s a great success from shipped eggs.

Here are four of them, fresh out of the incubator.

They are the tiniest little things – even smaller than coturnix quail.

Also speedier than coturnix. Beware, if you hatch these…they WILL run at top speed out of the incubator, and freak you out just a little! But they are sweet, too. The other night, I put my hand in the brooder, and three of the white ones jumped in my hand together and went to sleep.

Two days later, the White ones aren’t yellow, but a silvery pale. And the Snowflakes are grey and brownish black. They also talk more than the coturnix: they have several sounds beside the standard alarm cry and cheep. One is a three note call like a songbird, and the others are assorted peeps and chirps. I’ve seen three of them just sitting together, having a conversation! It will be interesting to see what sounds the adults make. I’m only familiar with the male’s “bobwhite” call.

I cleaned out the big quail coop (it most recently held ducklings), turning over the ground with a spade, and putting in a few plantings of ferns and hosta. I hope the quail will enjoy hiding underneath the leaves, not just ripping them apart and eating them, like the coturnix would.

I also put in some logs and various other things for them.

The stepping stones are mainly for me. This big, walk-in coop always makes me a bit nervous, because quail are so still and camoflaged that I worry about stepping on one. The stones will make it easier to see where I’m putting my feet!

This coop is my roof garden coop; in this picture from last fall, I’ve filled it with straw for the quail to snuggle in through the winter.

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7 responses to “Bobwhite Quail Babies!

  1. I’m really wanting to do this but it’s the winters that i’m worried about. I see the straw you’ve put in but do you cover or protect them any other way? Bails of hay around the whole coop maybe?

    • I wrap the outside wire with plastic to keep out the wind, and that’s it. I get temps to about 12 degrees F, and they don’t seem to notice it’s cold.

  2. How cute!! Lovely pen!! I love to see quail kept in “natural” surroundings, it makes them so happy! 💚

  3. The quail environment looks really good and there will be loads of invertebrate life living in the mulch and drawn in by the nasturtiums. Nice set up! All the best, Sue

  4. Beautiful, natural surroundings for the quail! Do you raise bobwhites just as pets or for eggs and meat? I raise Coturnix for eggs but am unfamiliar with bobwhites.

    • I raise all my quail for eggs…although I do occasionally eat the extra males. Bobwhites are traditionally more for meat, but I just want a pair because they are so pretty. And I’ll eat the eggs, of course.

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