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Fleeting Wonders: Supermarket Quail Egg Hatches Chick

Sometimes, idealism (and incubation) pays off.

A king quail chick and some unhatched eggs.

A king quail chick and some unhatched eggs. (Photo: メルビル/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 4.0)

The cycle of life is generally cut short by supermarket shelves. But thanks to some curiosity and patience (and an incubator), one Dutch man managed to turn an ordinary egg purchase into a fluffy pet quail.

According to the Telegraph, the experiment was undertaken by Alwyn Wils, 45. After hearing that it was impossible to hatch a supermarket egg, Wils incubated a dozen quail eggs from his local grocery store. One of them quickly began showing signs of life, and eventually hatched into a chick, which Wils has named Albert.

Wils, of course, filmed the whole thing. In the video, you can watch Albert go from just another orb in a carton to a mostly-fledged chick. He peeps from the top of a cola can and snuggles into Wils’s beard. “Not everything is impossible if you give it a try sometimes,” Wils said, according to the Telegraph.

The vast majority of supermarket eggs are unfertilized. Birds hatching from supermarket eggs aren’t unheard of, though. In 2007, a nine-year-old British boy hatched a chicken from a free-range egg, and in 2014, a swim teacher found herself with a pet quail after putting some leftover eggs in an incubator. In Japan, enough people have managed to hatch quails that, according to Rocket News, there’s a rumor going around that “one egg out of every box of quail eggs… is fertilized.”

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.