Two siblings hatched TWELVE chicks from a box of quail eggs from their local Marks & Spencer shop.
Ray Moorhead, seven, and his sister Pearl, four, decided to experiment with a box of 24 by putting the eggs in an incubator to see if any would hatch.
Their mum Emily, 40, warned them it was unlikely any would hatch and was surprised when she heard chirping from the incubator two and a half weeks later.
To their amazement, twelve of the quail eggs hatched and now their home in Bromley, south-east London, is filled with a dozen chirping chicks.
In the heartwarming footage, young Ray can be seen beaming with pride next to the hatching eggs, telling the camera: “We are hatching a baby chick out of the incubator.
“It takes 18 days, and don’t worry, it’s worth it. Mummy thought none would hatch, but, she’s actually wrong.”
His sister Pearl informs the camera that “they came from the far-est away place that is Marks and Spencer!”
Later on, the little lad can be seeing watching the chicks in awe and said: “These are baby quails. They are adorable but you need to be careful with the new one especially – its only just been born today.
“We have been feeding them food, helping them to learn how to drink from that bowl over there. We’ve got more than anyone else in the world has ever had!”
Emily added: “I had seen someone online had hatched a quail egg in an incubator about five years ago so I thought it’d be a fun project to do during lockdown.
“I managed my children’s expectations and told them that the likelihood of these eggs hatching is really, really slim.
“On Friday the 13th, I heard this cheeping and I looked inside the incubator and there was this tiny, little chick that had just got out of it’s egg.
“I went on the school run and returned home to find there was three. By the end of that night, we had five and at the end of the weekend, we had 11. They just kept on coming!
“I was sleeping in the room with the incubator looking after them and then I had to help hatch the last chick who got stuck in his egg. We had to nurse him back to health but he’s fine now.
“I was worried the chicks would get stressed with two noisy children but I’ve spoken to a few quail farm breeders who said they’d probably be fine as they’ve not known anything else.
“Furthermore, they were going to end up in a salad so they’re doing better than they would have done!”
They put them in the incubator on October 27.
The first two chicks to be hatched were named Mark and Spencer after the shop they had been bought from as eggs.
The ten chicks that followed have all been named by Ray and Pearl – CutiePie, Death Chopper, Death Chopper 2, Elvis, Sophie, Honey, Rocky, Plucky, Chucky and Lucky.
Emily’s original plan was to give any hatched chicks to her friend, Andrew Jones, for his birthday as he runs a restaurant in Norwich which serves quail eggs.
A female quail can lay 300 eggs a year which makes the chicks a perfect gift but Emily will be keeping two of the chicks who are her son Ray’s favourite – CutiePie and Lucky.
Film producer Emily said: “The kids absolutely love that all these chicks have hatched, they’re really excited.
“Pearl isn’t as interested in them but Ray is devoted. I get out of the shower in the morning to do the school run and he’s just got all the chicks out on the floor!
“Ray loves them. My friend is happy to take all twelve but I think I’m going to have to hold on to a couple because Ray is so attached to them.
“The ones that are his favourites are really tame – he can hold three of them in his arms and they’ll all fall asleep, it’s very sweet.
“I didn’t know there were going to be so many and they do take up a lot of time but Ray is really, really fond of them, he’s besotted so it is what it is!”
An M&S spokesperson said: “Our farmers work incredibly hard to ensure our free-range eggs aren’t fertilized by separating the birds.
“However, on the very rare occasion it does happen the eggs remain completely safe to eat unless they are incubated.”