01.23.09

Second Egg on a Roll

Posted in Quails at 3:48 pm by Ravenshadow

Well, we were woken up this morning at 8:55am by the sound of Blackfoot crowing (something he’s not really done for a while now) and Reckless scrabbling around in the nest box (claws on wood, a wonderful sound, honest…).

Reckless had managed to scrape up all the hay so that a nice little circle of wood was left bare in the middle of the nest box (I have since put some sawdust in the bare spot). This continued on for around five minutes and then suddenly stopped and was shortly followed by a “thunk” sound as an egg hit the wooden base and then rolled to one side. Was quite an amusing sound to be sure. Everything was quiet after that.

So. That is now the second egg that Reckless is laid. Hopefully it will not take her long to get into the swing of things and maybe even start brooding an egg herself; that would certainly be interesting to see.

01.21.09

A couple of updated photos

Posted in Hamsters, Quails at 6:50 pm by Ravenshadow

Have taken a couple of pictures today, so thought that I would post them up to keep things a little fresh.

Rem. The older she gets, the balder she gets. Bless.

Rem. The older she gets, the balder she gets. Bless.

 First up we have Rem. She was in the first batch of Roborovski that I ever brought (actually, the only batch I ever brought, since the others were born here). She was born on the 24th of April 2006 and is the last surviving Roborovski from the six originals. She may be getting old and quite bald, but she is still powering on.

Blackfoot and Reckless

Blackfoot and Reckless

Next up we have a photo of Blackfoot and Reckless, taken today. Clicking on the photo should bring up a larger version of the picture… This thumbnail version seems to have cut off Reckless’ head (she still has a head, honest!).

Reckless first egg.

Reckless' first egg.

And last but not least, Reckless’ first egg! I still have to keep reminding myself that ‘he’ is actually a ‘she’ and ‘she’ has laid an egg… It is all quite strange still!

Serves me right for convincing myself that the only two eggs that hatched out for me were both male. Ah well, you know how the saying goes… Don’t count the chickens before they hatch. In this case don’t count out the unexpected, that’s for sure.

 

If all works well, clicking on the images above should link to their page on the gallery site…

Edit note: Why oh why won’t the text formatting work how it is supposed to work… The text block for each photo is supposed to be to the right along side the photo, NOT underneath it… Waaaaugh!

01.20.09

A Pleasant Surprise

Posted in Quails at 3:46 pm by Ravenshadow

So, after convincing myself that I have two male quail I was starting to consider where to get some females from for when they finally go into their outside accommodation. Woke up today, did my usual check around of the hamsters and the quail and come across a very odd sight. There was a little white egg sat in the middle of the quail’s nesting box.

 

At first I thought that someone was playing a joke on me, or that it was just something that had fallen into the nesting box. After having checked with Doug and actually taken out the suspect object and given it a closer look … It was actually an egg! Quite confusing since I was convinced that the two quail I had were both male. Turns out that Reckless is actually a she and that Blackfoot did actually know what he was doing when he was mounting ‘her’, rather than just getting confused or trying to show who was boss … Well, colour me surprised.

 

For now I have left the egg in the nest box just so that Reckless can get used to laying in that area (rather than random locations in the cage – was actually quite impressed that the very first egg she laid (that is still very odd to type) was laid in the nest box). Hopefully after a few more eggs she’ll start sitting on them … That would be quite interesting to see. Am of half a mind to see if she can successfully incubate an egg herself, since I have no plans on actually incubating anything else in the foreseeable future (sadly).

 

Now to get used to calling Reckless a she rather than calling them both he … How confusing!

12.20.08

An Overdue Update

Posted in Hamsters, Life in General, Quails at 5:53 am by Ravenshadow

It has been quite a sad time since my last post. My only remaining Russian hamster is looking rather sorry for herself; Autumn has an eye infection that causes both her eyes to fill up with what can only be described as “gunk”. I have tried giving her various medication to hopefully clear it up, but nothing seems to work. I have been trying to keep her eyes as clean as possible, but she is not the best patient in the world and tends to struggle every time I try and pin her down long enough to wipe the gunk out of her eyes. With the fight she puts up, you would think that she enjoyed being unable to see…

The quail are both doing well, although keep fighting against my attempts to put them outside in the hutch (yes, the shed is still not finished yet … We still need to put together the shelf and the inner doors). They just stand there against the bars all fluffed up and shivering at me. I have given up for the time being and hope to be able to put them out sometime in the new year. With all luck, they will get the hint and stay out there; not to mention the fact that they will have more room to move about out there.
On a side note; Blackfoot seems to hate me. Doug lets him out in the mornings and he jumps out of the cage and charges over to the bed where I still am, jumps up, and attacks me. Even if I am under the blankets and hiding at the time. I am not too sure what I have done to deserve such treatment, but he really does seem to hate me. That and feet. He seems to have a thing for attacking feet…
Reckless is doing well, even through his foot never straightened out. It does not seem to bother him too much. When he is let out he generally goes for a bit of a fly around the room before finding some high up spot to land on. He has gotten much better at landing now and barely crashes into things any more.

Managed to get some Christmas shopping done today in Milton Keens. I am happy to have been actually able to find some things, and have just about enough money to buy a few bits and bobs. Although it was nice to be able to get out of the house and have a walk around a fairly nice place (I enjoy the shopping center in Milton Keens) I really hated the crowds and the amount of people walking around laden down with numerous shopping bags; all of which looked expensive. Okay, so maybe that part is jealously and wistful thinking, but still… Some of the people I expected to see walking around with butlers or something. There’s shopping, and there is over doing it.

On the way back out of Milton Keens we stopped by the Pets at Home store. They have an adoption center at the back of the store with a few animals looking for new homes. It is a good idea really, but the staff do seem to faff around a lot in regards to it.
In residence was a rather large rabbit, and a young-ish looking Chinchilla. There were also two rather fat ten month old Russian hamsters there that seem to have come from the same place, although they were living in separate display tanks; one above the other. After talking a little with Doug we decided to give the pair a home for Christmas.

We managed to find a member of staff pretty quickly and asked if we could have a look at the two hamsters since we might be interested in giving them a home. She quickly vanishes off out back and doesnt come back for around five minutes. So we stand there waiting, and waiting, and waiting… She finally emerges again with paperwork, saying something about “wanting to be ready”. She kind of jumped the gun a little, considering we only said that we would like to have a look at the hamsters, not that we were definitely interested in taking them home. So, she finally gets the first hamster out and is standing in front of the cage, pretty close to it in fact, making me have to stand on my toes in order to peer around her shoulder. She just stands there fussing the hamster and really not giving us much of a look at him at all. Then puts him back in the cage. We had to ask if we could actually look at him before she actually picked him back up again and handed him over. Having a look at the second boy was a lot easier than the first one.
Both of them were pretty tame, although one is a little more skittish than the other. So I guess they were handled at some point in their life.
The staff member then had to go and find some boxes, taking her away from us (and the now unlocked and open tanks) for another few minutes. When she comes back she starts saying how these animals are ‘brought’ with donations, rather than actually having a price tag on them. Which, considering that they are adoption animals, is a good thing. As she gets me to fill out the stupidly large forms (a full A4 piece of paper that she insists I read sections of before signing) she asks how much I am going to donate. Keep in mind at this point the two hamsters are in their boxes and scrabbling around. I check my purse and dig out some money and tell her £6, £3 each (our reasoning for this is that they sell new stock there for £7 each, and since these are already 10 months old we thought that £3 would be pretty fair). She mutters something about having to check to see if that is okay and vanishes off out back again! Me and Doug exchange looks, shrug, and wait for a few more minutes with two scrabbling hamsters wondering what on earth is going on.
She eventually comes back out again saying that a £3 donation for each would be fine, although goes on to remind me that I do not have to pay in cash since it has to be taken through the till any how. At this point I was about ready to scream at her. Donations are supposed to be just that… Donations out of the kindness of your heart. Hamsters in this country, even more true with those brought from pet stores such as Pets at Home, are lucky to make it to two years old. These boys are already ten months old and are well into their lives. Although I really wanted to give them a good home for Christmas I was almost ready to tell her not to bother.

So, a note for the future… Never again go to the Milton Keens Pets at Home store in order to get adoption animals… Or at least find a different staff member!
On the bright side, the two boys (Now called Pazu and Boma) have settled down into their new homes and seem to be enjoying the fact that they have wheels now.

08.05.08

Quail Update : Week 7

Posted in Hamsters, Quails at 7:37 pm by Ravenshadow

Well, it is official, the quails are now a while seven weeks old (just another three before they can go outside). I’ve gotten around to taking some photos today to keep track of their growth throughout their first few weeks, and have also gotten around to taking a few previous photos off of the phone and getting them uploaded to the gallery.

As always, I shall only include the thumbnails of the photos here, and the full sized ones can be found at the gallery page.
Top Row: Blackfoot and Reckless, Blackfoot, Reckless
Bottom Row: Blackfoot, Reckless

  
  

Gave the pair of them a little run around the room today. Can always tell when they enjoy being out of the brooder cage because Blackfoot starts doing pirouettes from standing (he’ll hop upwards, flutter around a bit, and generally land facing the other way), it is quite funny to watch. They also seem to enjoy foraging in the carpet, pecking up any seeds that the hamsters may have thrown out from the cages (or I have accidentally dropped whilst feeding the hamsters). I guess they do not realise that the carpet is not actually grey grass…
Either way, they must have worn themselves out since they were fairly easy to catch again and as soon as they were back in their cage they have gone and nested in the corner.

And just because the picture was just too quite to pass up … Here is a non-quail related bit!
Mitten, now being the oldest remaining hamster, has been giving pride of place in the cage on my computer desk that was recently vacated by Smudge.
I caught him the other day flumped out in the sand bowl that I gave him, it was just too cute to pass up! I mean, really, how cute is that?

07.11.08

Quail Update

Posted in Quails at 6:28 pm by Ravenshadow

Well, it has been some time since I updated this and I will put that down to it being an odd couple of days (and the fact that Ultima Online has sucked my soul, again). I do apologize.

Both Blackfoot and Reckless are doing well. They are 23 days old today. We have upgraded their little cage so that they now have the entire shelf space (which turns out it is a good size for a brooder). We used a plastic box from ASDA as the base of the unit then used mesh wire to create some sides. They seem to enjoy jumping up and sitting on the slightly slanted mesh, I guess it gives them a good view of the ‘outside world’.
We were going to put them downstairs in the large hutch that I have set side for them, but I’ve grown attached to them and did not really fancy hiding them away in the shed. Sure, they will have to go outside when they are off the heat, but until then they are keeping my company in my room. They are not too noisy, although they have started taking regular dust baths in the sawdust and have decided that pecking at the plastic flooring once they have cleared the sawdust away is a good idea.

And now, for some updated photos!

  

As always, more photos and larger ones can be found in my photo gallery which can be found at the following link:
Quail Gallery

06.22.08

Quail Photos

Posted in Quails at 12:36 am by Ravenshadow

As promised, here are the photos I have taken thus far. I was finally able to sit down and sort though them, getting rid of all the blurred photos and keeping only the better ones. I am not going to say that the quality is great – I take photos through my mobile phone, so there is no crystal clear quality like you might expect from a proper camera. But, hopefully it’ll be good enough to see how they look.

The photos can be found in their own gallery album here:
The Quail of 24/05/08
(Scrabbler, Blackfoot and Reckless)

 
Scrabbler


Blackfoot and Reckless

06.20.08

And then, there were Quail.

Posted in Quails at 3:13 pm by Ravenshadow

Officially it is now day 25 since the eggs were first placed in the incubator. I have had some mixed success with my first set of eggs, although admittedly not as much of a success as I would have liked; but it is all good learning experience and hopefully the next time I do this things will go better.

On the 18th at 5pm we had the first quail hatch out of its egg (as mentioned in the previous blog posting). Sadly ‘Scrabbler’ did not survive and passed away yesterday evening. It was sad to hear about (we were travelling back from Epping at the time, and received a phone call half way back) but it was expected due to Scrabbler’s problem with standing (seemed that he had a hip out of place, thus flopped about all over the place … You could see that he wanted to stand and was trying to stand, but just could not manage it). I am at least happy that he went naturally rather than having to have culled him … The idea was on the cards, but it was something I was certainly not looking forward to.

Second to hatch was ‘BlackFoot’ at 10pm on the 18th. This chick was up and about within minutes of hatching and was quite funny to watch running around the incubator. At first he seemed very protective of Scrabbler, keeping watch over him as he tried to stand. Sadly after we put them both into the mini-brooder Blackfoot started to peck at Scrabbler. We put a divider in the mini-brooder whilst we were out of the house, some how Blackfoot managed to jump this.

The third, and last to hatch out has been named ‘Reckless’ (and I will note, I have not named a single one; Doug has been giving them all names as they have hatched) and he hatched out at noon yesterday just before we left for Epping for the day. Reckless is now in the mini-brooder with Blackfoot and they seem to be getting on just fine. In fact, Reckless seems to follow Blackfoot around where ever he goes, and starts calling out for him when Blackfoot has wandered off to explore the rest of the mini-brooder. It is quite lovely to watch the two of them walk around the mini-brooder together.

Today Blackfoot and Reckless are both doing well and have had a relitivly quiet night; which it good because it meant that we were able to sleep!

Once I have sorted out the few photos I have taken I will post them up here. I also have a couple of little videos which I will put up here as soon as I figure out how to transfer them from the phone and have them viewable.

06.17.08

Eggs : Day 22

Posted in Quails at 11:44 pm by Ravenshadow

The first egg to start pipping.

A day early, but none the less a very welcomed sight – one of the eggs started pipping today. It started off with a hairline crack and before I knew it the chick inside this egg had started to crack around the midsection of the egg.

I have a feeling I will be up and watching this one all night.
Fingers crossed!

06.06.08

Eggs : Day 11

Posted in Quails at 2:40 pm by Ravenshadow

Those that were Clear

I decided that today would be the day I took out the clear eggs and disposed of them. I carefully checked all twelve of the previously clear eggs in the incubator; none of them had any sign of life still.

Their final resting place was outside in the garden behind where the hamsters go to their final rest. There was a nice little hollow under the bush (which surrounds the entire back garden), so hopefully some form of wild life will have a good meal tonight.

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