When my brother was discussing building a chicken coup in his yard, my curiosity and research brought me to the Coturnix quail, a small bird which I could keep on my apartment porch. Weighing in at only about 4.0oz when full size, these small birds do great when kept outside in a small rabbit cage. Growing quickly in only a few weeks, at maturity female birds will lay an egg on most days.
My venture began of course, with an internet order, of fertilized quail eggs – farmers from around the country have their eggs for sale on Amazon! These fertile eggs, along with an incubator and some time, produce a little baby quail in just over 2 weeks.
Being the first eggs I had ever hatched, by the end of the second week part of me was starting to forget about the incubator sitting patiently on the shelf. One morning I sat at my computer and had been working for quite a while before I noticed that the birds outside were chirping exceptionally loud today; except it was hatching day and the chirps were coming from the incubator!
After peeking inside the incubator and seeing the birds jumping around, I ran to turn on the heat lamp and warm up the brooder before moving handfuls of tiny birds to their new new home for the next few weeks.
With a heat lamp in the corner, a shallow plate of water, and some food scattered about – the quails were ready to start growing.
Grow they did, fast.
By the end of the third week I was rushing to get the birds into a bigger cage, finally settling on a rabbit cage.
After getting the birds situated in their new home, I took an old Wyze camera and threw it up in the corner; to check in and show off my birds – I wrote QuailCam – a simple web interface with a live-stream and information about the flock.