Hard to imagine that just three weeks ago, these guys were eggs.
They are really feathering out now. Should be fully feathered in another week. I've moved the light over and changed out the bulb for a lower wattage.
I have three different colors. If anyone knows enough about button quail mutations to identify their colors, I would appreciate the help. I am clueless. Maybe silver or cinnamon? Or both?
They don't really look like the pictures I've seen. Perhaps it will be easier to determine when they are older.
Also ... those wing feathers are not for show. These babies can FLY. Button quail are ground birds, but they will instinctively "pop" up in the air when startled. Combined with their already fully developed wings, they can already fly to escape danger. It is pretty amazing.
They are being kept in a low container, because if you keep them in a medium sized container, they can damage their neck or head from the instinctive jumping. Yet even in their brooder, I have seen them stretching their wings, exercising and flying in place! Have I mentioned how amazing these birds are?
Decided to offer the baby quail a dustbath. See if they would be interested in that. When I put the dish filled with dustbath mix into the cage, at first they were terrified. Wouldn't go anywhere near it. Just clustered together on the far side of the cage, hoping it would leave. I gave up waiting for them to overcome their fears and left for a while.
When I came back, I found this:
The cage is a complete dusty mess, but it is safe to say that the dustbath is a hit.
I definitely will miss them. They are such cuties.
Unfortunately, it is almost that time already. Button quail grow very fast and it won't be much longer before they will be able to breed. I need to get the males and females separated before that happens. From what I've read, they can start laying eggs as young as six weeks. I am already hearing the males crow and they don't even have all their feathers yet!
In the next week or two, I will either need to get them to new homes or into multiple enclosures. Now that they are past the early stages, they should be safe to transition to a new home. They are already past the point of needing a heat lamp, although they still like to sleep under it in a big fluffy pile of quail babies.