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Managing aggression in Coturnix quail

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi all!

 

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!

 

Dana

post #2 of 10

8 sqft is fine for 6 cots, not for 2 or more males though. The female joining the bloodbath? What are you feeding them? (protein %?)

post #3 of 10
I'm fairly new myself. But what I do is seperate the boys as soon as you can tell you them apart. Once you take them off heat. If any birds get injured seperate them to heal as they will be attacked to death once they are injured. If you have a particularly aggressive hen she needs to be separated or even culled. Hope this helps.
post #4 of 10
Cull, cull, cull, & cull some more!
I run 5-6 hens with 1 roo in my breeder cages and cull for size and temperment. I've run colonies but like being able to identify the most productive pairs so it's 1 roo per cage now.
My Cots were full grown but small evil psycho birds when I got em, about 6-7 oz live weight. No matter how I paired them up I had about 10 hens that were so agressive they wouldn't get along with any other bird. Eating them was the best thing I ever did for my breeders. After 4-5 generations I've got fat docile birds weighing in at 10-12 oz full grown.
I run about 75-100 quail of both sexs in my growout cages, I pack em in like sardines and having tame docile birds makes things go much smoother.
If some is good then more is better and too much is just enough.
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If some is good then more is better and too much is just enough.
Reply
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eHuman View Post
 

8 sqft is fine for 6 cots, not for 2 or more males though. The female joining the bloodbath? What are you feeding them? (protein %?)


One female is joining the fight.  I'm feeding turkey starter at I think 25%.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UniqueQuail View Post

I'm fairly new myself. But what I do is seperate the boys as soon as you can tell you them apart. Once you take them off heat. If any birds get injured seperate them to heal as they will be attacked to death once they are injured. If you have a particularly aggressive hen she needs to be separated or even culled. Hope this helps.


Yeah, I figured I'd have to have a bachelor pad!

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenLegs13 View Post

Cull, cull, cull, & cull some more!
I run 5-6 hens with 1 roo in my breeder cages and cull for size and temperment. I've run colonies but like being able to identify the most productive pairs so it's 1 roo per cage now.
My Cots were full grown but small evil psycho birds when I got em, about 6-7 oz live weight. No matter how I paired them up I had about 10 hens that were so agressive they wouldn't get along with any other bird. Eating them was the best thing I ever did for my breeders. After 4-5 generations I've got fat docile birds weighing in at 10-12 oz full grown.
I run about 75-100 quail of both sexs in my growout cages, I pack em in like sardines and having tame docile birds makes things go much smoother.


Thanks!  I've ordered more eggs from someone who has really tame birds.  The one pair I've got now that is so aggressive will just have to become someone's gourmet dinner (I just can't kill any of my birds except for when they are dying anyhow!).  Thanks to all!!!!!

post #8 of 10
What does cull mean?
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Everlong View Post

What does cull mean?

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Everlong View Post

What does cull mean?

Get rid off, remove from the gene pool.
pkhunter posted our prefered method.
If some is good then more is better and too much is just enough.
Reply
If some is good then more is better and too much is just enough.
Reply
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