So first of all, a little administrative business: thank you for your patience while I traveled and I apologize for the short posts. It is a burdensome for me to travel as I am sure it was to keep reading haikus.
Now on to business: eggs!
(or rather to start out with, egg).
I got up yesterday morning (after the aforementioned travel) and was rushing around to make sure that all was accomplished prior to leaving for work, including checking in on the mob. I have a small litter pan in the large quail cage with wood shavings (quail love to give themselves dust baths) and saw what looked like a rather large pile of brown in there. I thought is was a large pile of bird droppings; I was wrong. The even better part was that when I got home last night, there were an additional two eggs there as well.
This is fairly exciting. I had thought that we were not going to get any eggs - after all, we have had the quail since September and nothing. Turns out (I think) that the two Coturnix quail we have are females - why they started now, perhaps we will never know.
Quail eggs are small - about three of their eggs are the equivalent of a chicken egg - but the size of the egg in relationship to the size of the bird is much more impressive than the size of a chicken egg compared to the chicken - one wonders how those little birds can do it.
We are not going to be setting any egg records, of course - even at two eggs a day for 7 days a week divided by 3 we are getting 4 full chicken eggs or so, which we easily eat in a week. But the excitement of having something like this happen - good heavens, of having something like this work out once - is very gratifying indeed. It makes me believe with enough planning and foresight, one could actually approach a higher level of protein generation even within the confines of an urban environment.
Now if I just had an incubator to hatch more quail...