I'm new to quail, but not so new to chickens. This might have been discussed before but I thought ask BYC list how to minimize aggression in the Coturnix quail.
Background - I hatched Cot eggs shipped to me earlier this year. Had a pretty good hatch rate (8 out of ten), so far so good. Lost two at a couple of days of age, so we were down to 6. All grew and grew and at 4 weeks departed the brooder for a large coop outside (the coop is 45" x 25" about 36" high). Everything was GREAT until just before 6 weeks of age (a couple of days after crowing started) and then it all went south. One male and one hen took it upon themselves to try to kill any others of their own gender. When all was said and done, two males died and one hen was rescued and is recovering. It was a true blood bath - one I hope to never go through again.
So my question to quail breeders is - how do you avoid such a mess? Do you set up "bachelor quarters" and "girls quarters" when the crowing commences? If so, does that take care of the aggression? Or is it important to not use aggressive birds in your breeding program? Was my almost 4'x2' pen too small for 6 juveniles?
I THANK YOU all so much for any info you can give me - I just adore the eggs these little birds make but I'm not too sure I can go through the killing again!