Kidsday reporters Patrick Cunningham, left, and Rishabh Dholakia with equipment...

Kidsday reporters Patrick Cunningham, left, and Rishabh Dholakia with equipment used to raise quail in their classroom. Credit: Veronica Weeks

In our class we do many different things for nature. One of them is to hatch bobwhite quail. We hatch bobwhites because their favorite food is ticks. Each year we check the tick population in our area, and each year we see that the tick population is going down.

In the spring, we get more than 100 eggs and an incubator. We put them in the incubator and put a live webcam above the incubator to watch the eggs hatch. After the chicks hatch, we put them in a playpen. The kids get twigs and leaves to keep them busy. When they are three weeks old and have the strength to fly, we take them to Caleb Smith State Park in Smithtown. We keep them outside in a special pen so they can get used to the outdoors. In the summer, we get to see them get released into the wild.

To hatch bobwhite quail, you need many different things. First you need a license for hatching them. You also need the eggs and an incubator. After they hatch, you need a place to keep them, so you need a playpen. It can’t be a regular playpen because it needs a red light or the quail will fight among themselves. You also need to crush their food and put marbles in their water so they don’t drown themselves. Then you should start introducing them to white light and sunlight.

Bobwhite quail are interesting. There are 44 species of quail and more than 22 subspecies of northern bobwhite quail. A bobwhite quail can lay more than 100 eggs a year. The eggs are white and take about 25 days to hatch. Full-grown males are up to 10 inches tall. They are called bobwhite quail because the call they make sounds like “bob-white.”

If you are planning on hatching bobwhite quail, we hope we helped you get motivated and taught you some things you may need to know. Before getting started, search for websites to find out the work involved.