This Mama bird has been solo parenting for the last week and a half while Dada jaunts around the French alps (aka. attends a friend's wedding and goes snowboarding). I had thought the difficulty in my inaugural two week solo parenting career with our three children would be the prospect of handling dinner, baths and bedtime by myself. Instead, adversity has been more in the form of emotional havoc, as our children endeavour to learn coping strategies to face their fears, frustrations and longings for their father. The actual day to day has been entirely manageable, but peacefully responding to their emotional outbursts has been altogether a different test, and one that I was not expecting.
New family members of the quail kind have been a welcome distraction. These six gorgeous girls have joined our six hens and made feathery nests in our hearts in no time. I had thought quails to be quite plain birds, but upon closer inspection I find them to be quite delightful and intricately patterned. They were rather baffled at their boxed car ride, and less than welcoming of their wing clipping in the bathroom. But when we introduced them to their run they joyously played in the dirt, their previous aviary having a concrete floor.
Each day they have gifted us with four attractive eggs, which has added a third business to my entrepreneurial children's portfolio, as they are already selling chicken eggs and Golden Apple water snails. Miss Five was horrified to learn that people eat such poultry, so eggs it is.
It was a toss up between quails and Muscovy ducks - as they are great homesteading ducks whose eggs are 1.5 times the size of a hens egg and they hiss rather than quack. I wonder if we have enough room....