I just got a female Japanese quail, Nugget, so my other pet quail Pea has a friend.
Pea is of unknown age, but I presume she is mature, and probably beyond her egg-laying prime. (she was a rescue)
Nugget is about 8 weeks old.
So, compared to Pea, Nugget is smaller, of course, but she is also very bum-high, and is missing her tail feathers.
She also walks lower to the ground. Her hips are kind of crooked - she may be underweight which may be exaggerating this anatomy. The previous owner said all his females had been laying daily. Her cloaca is exposed (she doesn't have any feather covering it at the moment) - there doesn't seem to be any abnormality to it, besides the fact it is visible and she walks with the bum thrust up in the air. Her back feathers towards the tail is all fluffed up.
Is all this because she still has more growing to do, and because she has been mounted by the male recently in her previous home?
I'm not too worried about her hips being, deformed, for the lack of a better word, because she is not a show quail. I don't really mind if she doesn't lay eggs again, either. (the previous owner made a very unbiased pick out of his flock, so this was just the luck of the draw, and I don't have any negative feelings towards the previous owner - as a matter of fact I will probably go back to him for another bird if Pea dies of old age way before Nugget).
Pea and Nugget live in separate cages at the moment because Pea does peck at Nugget at times. I plan to just let Nugget eat lots without competition and see if she will just grow more and fatten up a bit. At how many weeks of age do they reach full size?
Both girls eat chick starter which they love, and some wild bird seeds as treats. Pea doesn't seem to like human food (grains and vegetables), but I will offer some to Nugget if it'll help her grow to be a beautiful bird that Pea is.