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Free range quail not adapting to cage. Advice?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello. Thanks in advance for your advice.  I just bought 15 Bob White quail.  They're about 2 months old.  They were from a fairly large group of quail in a decent size free range pen.  I brought them home where I had a difficult time moving them from the transfer container into their cages. I left them overnight, checked them this morning, tried to transfer one from one cage to another, reached in and they went nuts. One escaped, I was able to catch her, tried to move another and the same thing happened. Mass chaos with another escaping then captured.  This happened 3 times.  I'm not sure I'll be able to adapt these quail to cages.  I can't reach into the cage without the horrible fracas. My cages are not the type where the eggs roll forward such that I can get the eggs without opening the cage.  I also have to open the cage to put in new crumbles.  I'm very frustrated.  Any advice for a discouraged quail raiser? Help!

post #2 of 4

Bobwhite quail are wild birds and act accordingly.  With that said, you might want to put yourself in your quail's position.  Just imagine you are in your room and a huge hungry tiger (or the boogeyman) was reaching inside your room to grab you.  Obviously you won't stay still and let it get you.  Same for your quails.  In their eyes, you are a predator trying to eat them.  Not only that, because they are wild birds, the larger their cage the better (because in reality, your quail would prefer no cage at all) and it would be more healthier for them too. If you want a quail that has minimal fear of people, try coturnix (they've been dumbed down through domestication).  Another option would be to hatch your own bobwhite quail and handle them often from young to adults (conditioned from when it hatched).

post #3 of 4

You could always try the meal worm (or other special treat) way. If the boogeyman left a muffin for you every time he reached into your room - and he didn't try to catch you or even looked at you - you might just get a little less scared of him as time goes by. You might even start to look forward to his visits. Not sure it'll work with bob whites, but it can't hurt to try.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Good advice. I should have researched the Bob White breed a bit more.  I expected the same behavior as my Courtinix (spelling?) breed. I'll give this a go. Worst case is I return them or let them free as did the previous owner with some of his Bob White birds.  Thank you for the helpful advice.  I'll try be less boogeymanish. 

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