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Cull this male?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have one male and three female Japanese quail. Within the last four days the male has scalped one female and nearly put another's eye out while breeding. Right now he's sitting in a pet carrier waiting for me to decide his fate. This is so discouraging because The whole point in keeping these through the winter was to incubate eggs this spring. But I'm not putting the females through this crap.
Have male quail had courtship bred out of them? Is this just what i should expect? Or is it like a rooster where you can find a good one and there's no reason to tolerate this?
post #2 of 9
Just leave him with them for 5 to 7 days. Theyll be fertile for 2 or 3 weeks after they mate. I used to only let mine stay a few days to breed then put him in isolation. I also had 7 females. Males are just very demanding on breeding they can breed the hens to death.
post #3 of 9

Three hens is not enough for a coturnix roo, especially a young one.  Four is minimum.  Seven is better!  BTW I won't keep a rooster that scalps or rolls a hen. Ever. No excuse for it. If I see that he gets the scissors immediately.  Pulling a few feathers is one thing, it can happen.  But scalping or rolling is out of the question. A lot of their behavior is inherited.  Don't breed mean roosters, he will pass that on to his sons.  My roos are good to their girls and usually call them over to food before trying to mate.  (Quail version of dinner before sex?) Also, some roosters can be over exuberant upon first being introduced to hens, but he shouldn't hurt them and they should settle into domestic bliss in a day or two. Once put together and co-existing well I never separate a covey.  They are together for life.  Less stress that way. Also if you raise the chicks together and set up breeding groups from those birds you will have way less trouble with aggression.  It's just easier on the birds, especially the hens.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help with this. Sill, everything you said made perfect sense.  With my chickens I culled roosters until I ended up with a gentleman and I'll expect this with the quail too.  I just didn't know if quail were so far domesticated that a well-behaved roo was asking too much. The level of abuse to the hens was insane. Part of this is probably my fault as the guy I got them off of told me that the ratio was an ideal one and I didn't research it further. 

Well, live and learn.  The verdict was carried out by kitchen shears and I swear I heard the hens breathe a sigh of relief as I was dry-plucking him.  This was the first quail I butchered and I was really happy with how large he was and how easy the dry-pluck went. 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Oh, the irony. One of the hens has now made a tidy nest and is laying her eggs in it. And pecking me when I ger near them. *smacks forehead*
Probably no chance they're still fertile. ..
post #6 of 9

Maybe for a larger project, rotating the male to a different cage of females each week would work? I'm going to build up a larger scale breeding project (25+), and this concerns me. From what I had read before now, I thought 1:3 was an acceptable ratio, and a friend of mine recently bought four quail of this ratio too! :( Goodness, I hope this doesn't happen to her hens!

 

But my theory is that maybe if I have something like four cages of six hens, I could rotate a male or two between each cage for a week. Then, after a couple generations, I could cull and get a new male(s). 

 

Does anybody have any input?

post #7 of 9

oh, I wish I had seen this post before I posted my question a few weeks ago.  I had no idea this happened until we had it.  My poor hens. they are healing now, thank goodness, he is by himself until freezer camp day.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
If it makes you feel any better
"freezer camp day" is as easy as snipping a pair of kitchen shears. It really is instantaneous. I had NO idea a quail roo could do thay much damage to a hen 😞
post #9 of 9

Very glad I read this. I have 1 young male that breeds with anything..... My poor white male has NO feathers on his neck. I separated him with 2 females and he's doing much better. But the other male still gets "mated" by this bully even tho there are 4 females with him.  I had NO idea they would rape other males.  I think I'l separate him until he's ready for the freezer. He is 7 weeks. Is he ready now? 

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