Daily Archives: December 6, 2010

To hatch or not to hatch?

I am thinking about getting some quail eggs for hatching again.

I do enjoy having quail and enjoy the whole selecting a nice looking egg seller and haggling over the price to get myself a bargain, setting up and turning on the incubator in readiness, then waiting for the postman to deliver my carefully wrapped package, running final checks on the incubator before marking and carefully placing each egg inside, the heart stopping moments if the temperature changes and holding my breath to hear half-heard or imagined cheeps before hatching finally takes place.

Then the childish excitement when hatching time arrives; waiting for each egg to show signs of hatching, is that a little chip in the shell I see?  Will this chick be strong enough to make it from its shell? Should I help it?  Is that another chick I can hear?  Is it coming from the incubator or the brooder?  Will lifting the lid to take a peek again be too many times today?

Then later comes the guessing game of who is male and who is female, the surprise of the first long-awaited egg and that lovely summers day, jungly call they make to each other.

Now for the but (and where my ‘sensible head’ takes over)… I no longer have an indoor, as in in-the-house, space where I could keep them with enough light and warmth to keep them laying through the winter months, I also do not have the type of housing I would ideally like to keep them in and their lovely little eggs so often go to waste.

I know all of my ‘sensible head’ thoughts can be over come with some planning and commitment… But I do sometimes, and more often in the winter than the summer, feel over committed and sometimes a little tied down by my animals.

I wouldn’t change what I have for a second, I couldn’t stand the boredom or loneliness, the loss of identity and, well… I know it wouldn’t last long at all. None of that changes the fact that it would be much easier to fly the nest and start building my own home if I wasn’t committed but committed is just what happily I am.

 So to hatch or not to hatch still remains the question?