3 hens pecked to bloody!!

sajimnkim

Chirping
Feb 27, 2017
36
34
66
What the heck!? Went out yesterday morning, checked the flocks....no issues. I have 5 cages with numerous birds. Some did not get food yesterday because today is culling day. Anyway, checked in on my 2 flocks of fertilizing layers, and 3 of the hens were all torn up! In one day! I only have 1 male with 7 hens in my 2 fertile layer cages. They are about 6 months old (July 21). I took them out and will add them to the culling group today as I've said I'm not in this for pets, but....

Any idea what happened or why? Plenty of food and water. Pleatny of space 24 X 36 X 11 cages. No issues with anyone else. and I was kind of expecting it soon from the new hatch as they are 7+ weeks today. Weird.
 

le_bwah

Crowing
May 1, 2018
1,085
2,754
296
Boise, ID
My Coop
My Coop
Your sex ratios seem good but those cages are inhumanely small. Of course the hens got injured: they were trapped in a tiny room with nowhere to hide.

In my experience, quail sometimes chase each other no matter how their cages are set up. But in a cage with plenty of space (read: greater than 2 square feet per bird) and frequent breaks in line of sight, the chaser soon loses track of their quarry and everything is fine.

Please consider rethinking your cage situation and acquiring or building more housing if you are able, or thinning your flock to a sustainable size if not. It doesn't matter what you raise them for, you owe it to the living things in your care to avoid easily-preventable harm.
 

sajimnkim

Chirping
Feb 27, 2017
36
34
66
Hmmm. I got these cage plans from Corturnix Corner and IIRC that is about what he has in his cages. They have been fine for months.

I thought 1 square foot was for chickens. My chickens have a huge house now, and a fully netted yard.
 

Sammi_0411

Crowing
Jun 20, 2020
2,458
5,772
341
England UK
No u need 1 square foot per quail unfortunately the others are right they have no space to hide and attacks happen anywhere but when in small areas like that makes it worse as others said even if u are not keeping them as pets you should make the life they have got comftable sorry if harsh but my opinion
 

sajimnkim

Chirping
Feb 27, 2017
36
34
66
OK, well culled about 25 birds today and got the rest down to 4 cages of about 5-6 each. still 8 total in my one group that is fine with it. I guess I heard the math incorrectly somewhere. No worries. Dinner in the fridge works just as well. Thanks.

Oh, BTW, I asked a question on the internet for the whole world....I don't get offended by opinions.
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
Premium Feather Member
May 15, 2019
9,248
59,544
1,046
Sonoma County, CA
I go by the 1 per square but as you said I have seen both Coturnix Corner and Myshire say more birds per square.
Commercial producers will often overcrowd their cages (just like commercial chicken producers) in the interest of getting more birds and eggs. It's not particularly humane, which is why I decided to start raising my own livestock.
 

NY Coturnix

Songster
May 12, 2020
396
549
146
New York
all I know is that it seems like I could add more but its so hard to add to an existing flock and when a bird gets beat up it causes major stress on my wife that its just not worth 2 more eggs. I have 6 10 square pens and have one with 3 and another with 4 just because they all get along so well I don't want to mess with it. Most I have in one pen is 7 and they were all born in the same hatch
 

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