Thursday, January 28, 2010

quail, I think

DebQ suggested that my mystery chickens could be Prairie Chickens and JadieLady thought maybe they were quail. I did a little poking around on Google and I think that they were likely quail.

Here's a link to a picture.

I could be wrong but the pictures of Prairie Chickens and partridges show longer necked birds.

I know that there are quail around here. Years ago when I was hatching chicken eggs in an incubator for a science unit at school, I got a call from a man who was involved in falcon repopulation (quail are an important food source for falcons). Someone on an acreage had mowed over a quail hen by accident, leaving a nest of eggs that she was brooding, and called him to see if he could save the eggs. He put the eggs into a cooler with a heat source and started phoning around to find an incubator. My chicken egg source told him that I had an incubator on the go so he called me to see if he could put the quail eggs into the incubator too. He came out to the classroom with the eggs and we started babysitting them in the hope that they were still viable. If they hatched, he would take the chicks to the falconer at the University of Saskatoon.

Unfortunately when it was time to candle the eggs, there was no sign of live chicks in any of them. We didn't throw them out just in case but none of the quail eggs hatched. It was an interesting experience for me and the students though. We learned a lot about the difference between chicken eggs and the time required to incubate them to hatch. We also were fortunate enough to get a visit from the falconer and his falcon while they were making a quick visit to Regina. Sometimes the best teaching units take on a will of their own and become so much more than planned.


Anonymous said...

Looks like your birds are likely to be quail. See 8(


Gloria Patre said...

The Gotland looks inviting! Hope it goes better than the last one! Although it's hard to tell from the photo I think the birds are too big to be quail. Out here the quail also have that tell-tale little feather that sticks forward from their head as I've seen them on our back 120. We also have prairie chickens that glean from the ground under our bird feeders. They are smaller than a Bantam hen but quite a bit bigger than the quail. They also have spikey feathers on their heads that stand up when they're peering curiously at something. They really look goofy. I don't suppose this has been much help but I thought I'd toss in my 2 cents! LOL!