Originally Posted by amyschickens1
Really a male quail should have at least 2 females
(I learnt the hard way because I kept a pair and the male mated to much with the female and she got her neck brocken and died)
Well.. At the pet shop where my original buttons came from, the owner said the males can kill the females by over breeding. So I got a male and 3 females.
On this forum, however, people usually say buttons should be kept in pairs.
So I've been trying to experiment on my buttons - the original group hatched about 25 chicks last year and I've kept 3 females and bought two new males.
One male has two females, the other has one. Unfortunately I don't really have enough 'data' to conclude anything yet.
The male with two females live in my room and they seem to be doing good in general, though I did notice one of the females chasing the other a few days ago, despite them being raised together. I think both the hens are laying.
The male with one female, however, lives outside. As in freezing temperatures from time to time. I haven't even seen them mate and the hen is not laying. The male is quite small too though and doesn't appear too healthy - I gave them a worm today, he pecked at it a couple of times without calling the hen, then stood still and completely ignored it while the hen spent several minutes trying to peck it into smaller bits right beside him. At least he has been completely and utterly non-aggressive this far. Anyway, until it gets warmer and those two start entering breeding mode, I can't really begin to conclude anything.
I will say though that the male with 3 hens seemed to be able to fertilize just about every egg. But again, the usual advise on BYC - from people with waaaaay more experience than me - is pairs, not trios or groups with button quail.
With regards to the broken neck, it might be the males fault - I have seen my original male chase the hens around from time to time (so that happens even if the roo has 3 hens) - but unless you actually saw it happen, the hen could also have boinked for some reason unrelated to the male. I think the usual advice on here is to avoid breeding males that will chase the females - apparently most roos don't chase the females.