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Bad button quail mom?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
My 6 month old button quail recently hatched 5 eggs and they all were with her the first night. When I got back from school today, I found 3 of them on the ground outside of the cage with their bodies all bent in awkward positions. The drop is about 2 1/2 feet. I picked them up thinking they were dead, but they all started to twitch as I held them. I gave them water and held them on a heat pad. Soon they were back to normal and running around so I put them in a brooder with food, water and light. One of the quail was acting very spastic so I put him back with the mother who has been taking care of the 2 others by herself. I wrapped bubble wrap about halfway up the wall hoping that might prevent her from throwing the reintroduced one out. Is it normal for them to throw her chicks out? And if so, why do they do that? Thanks for any help. [IMG]
post #2 of 22

Honestly I don't think she has thrown the chicks out. She might have accidentally kicked them out while scraping for food for them in the bedding or they might have wandered through the wire themselves, unless there is a border of 3 inches or so from the bedding to the wire - I think the problem is the cage, not the mother.

I have picked up dead-looking button chicks several times and they have revived and I have put them back with the parents. But where as they might be just fine the next day, in every case where I have done this, there has been a dead chick within 2 days after I picked a dead-looking one up and 'revived' it. My chicks are wild colored, so I can't say for sure that the dead ones were the ones I 'revived', but it seems more than likely. Placing them in a brooder rather than back with the mother might help, as they don't have to be able to 'keep up' in a brooder, which I think is what kills them when I put them back with the parents.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your insight. I was able to put one of the chicks back with mom and he's doing well. I am currently keeping my male in a separate cage. He is always trying to get to my female(his mate) and I'm worried he might hurt himself in the process. Is there a preferred time that males are usually reintroduced to the chicks and females?
post #4 of 22

I don't separate my male, he is a wonderful dad and helps keep the chicks warm and find food for them. But not all button roos are. However, as I don't separate my roo, I don't know how to expect him to respond to a reintroduction. Id just try it at some point when you will be able to watch them for at least 3 hours afterwards. If he shows any aggression, I wouldn't reintroduce him again till the chicks have been removed. The hen might chase the roo, but if he has room to get away and isn't aggressive with the chicks, she's likely to calm down relatively quickly.

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
What are the demensions of your cage?
post #6 of 22

Small aviary ^^ About 4 or 5 ft by 7 ft or so. If you simply don't have 3x3 ft or so, then just try it in less space. They might just become one big happy family right away, in particular if they have been able to see each other the whole time. And if they don't, and it looks dangerous with one or the other chasing or being chased or pecked - just separate them again.


Actually, I do have one example of a reintroduction - it wasn't the roo though, it was a hen(not the mother) I'd separated because she showed too much interest in the feet of the chicks. I just placed a wire cage over her, so she was still in the aviary. After a couple of weeks, I removed the cage. She still showed interest in the chick's feet, but they just stepped back looking down, thinking she'd found food around their feet and she soon realized their feet weren't worms. Anyway, the chicks couldn't tell her from their parents, so they chased her around for heat - she ran away when they tried to hide under her. It was really cute ^^ But their unhappy chirping seemed to get to her, and eventually she realized they stopped chirping if she just let them stay under her. So she did. And the chicks gained an additional mother :) Their real mother weren't too happy about the other hen though, but she stopped trying to chase her away from the chicks after a couple of days.

Edited by DK newbie - 2/16/16 at 5:01am
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok. I'm planning on reintroducing him to them sometime soon. Hopefully all will go well.

That story is really adorable though😂 Button quails are great.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
How do you catch your quail? That has always been a problem for both me and the quail that needs to be caught.
post #9 of 22

I use a net. I have two - one for the aviary and one for my smaller cages, because I need one with a shorter pole for the cages. Place the net over the quail and put my hand under the net and around the quail. I have a small hamster cage I use temporarily sometimes, I can't use a net in there. So there, I just use my hand. Darkening the room first so they can't see me might help, but sometimes I can't see the quail either and that makes it kind of hard :D I have to be very precise when grabbing them, just a little bit off and I can't hold them without squeezing so hard it would hurt them.

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just bought a net and used it for the first time. I'm never going back to using my hands. 😂
I've been wondering about this for a while.
Does it mean anything if button quail blink at you? Does it have to do with stress or communication?
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