Learning curve

So these as-yet-to-be-actual-quail-chicks are keeping us on our toes. I sent J. to the feed store near his work on Friday, and it turns out that people don't generally hatch just four or five game birds at a time. How do I know this? Well, it's because of the size the brooder supplies come in. take a look.

That bag on the left is the food which is fifty pounds. FIFTY pounds! How many people can say that they own fifty pounds of game bird chow? So, if anyone needs some, I'm pretty sure we have some to spare. That bag on the right is the shavings for the bottom of the brooder box. It's not quite fifty pounds, but it is not light, either. We also have a heat lamp and a thermometer and grit. The thing we do not have at the moment is a brooder box.

At first I thought I would just clean out one of the many glass tanks that M. has stored on our back porch. I even brought one into the house to clean it. And then I thought, hmmm, maybe I should check on this. Well, so much for Plan A. It seems that unless the tank is very large, it is neither big enough or well-ventilated enough to house young birds. Well... what do people use? (Yes, I realize that this was probably a question better asked a week or so ago and not the day before the chicks could possibly hatch.) It seems there are several choices. Cardboard boxes are popular, as are large dog crates and large plastic bins. We have a large dog crate, but somehow I don't think Kenzie would appreciate having it taken over by small birds. I am also currently awash in cardboard boxes, so that could be a possibility, but we will have to figure out how to secure something over the top to keep the chicks safe. I do not trust any of the predators (or even some of the children) in my house to leave the chicks alone. They need some sort of lid. We do have some chicken wire on the back porch, so perhaps we (and by we, I mean someone else, most likely J., unless M. happens to stop by) could figure out something with that.

So, tomorrow morning chick watch officially begins, and if anyone close to me happens to have a large dog crate which doesn't have a large dog currently living in it, well, I'd be happy to take it off your hands.


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