Aggressive male

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Rabbitapril, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Rabbitapril

    Rabbitapril New Egg

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    My male and three coturnix hens have lived together happily for months, but tonight he has them all cowering in fear. He is crowing madly, he has always mated with them previously and they accepted this, but suddenly he is terrifying them and has them stressed. I have removed him until I can think about this in the morning. Any ideas why he is acting like this and what I should do?
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Some quail are docile as youngsters but become more aggressive as they age. Males especially, although females can get this way too. I had a male quail that at 9 months of age decided it was time to kill all the hens off and become king of the aviary! LOL I had to cage him for a few YEARS before I trusted him around hens. I am not sure if the solitary confinement helped him or what. He remained a tad aggressive even to me. But it is common for some birds hormones to explode in them and they can go whacko.

    I would separate this male out for a while. Let him burn off calories by himself for a few months. If you aren't interests in fertile eggs, you might permanently separate him. They don't often change their personalities. If you do want fertile eggs, you could put him in with the hens for a couple hours a day, then remove him.
     
  3. rita2paul

    rita2paul Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sorry to hear that, i hate it when they become aggressive to the girls.
    i had one male who was a real gentleman with his group but i did keep more girls with him then 3. you could up the girl status by adding another 3.
    but if he still being horrible i would move him out or in the freezer. The girls are the one's who will be giving you eggs whether he is there or not. good luck.
     
  4. Rabbitapril

    Rabbitapril New Egg

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    Jan 27, 2014
    Thank you for your interesting reply. My quail are about 6 months old now. This morning I put male back in with females and observed he was picking on a particular female. I took her out and all was peaceful again. I then extended thier area and put more things in so they had more privacy. This worked for only a short while , then he found her, and soon she was jumping up the walls trying to escape. I now have her alone, but I now wonder if it is the male I should remove[​IMG]. I am starting to realise there is no easy answer to this and how complicated thier little lives can be. I am not interested in fertile eggs and got the male as he was part of the package. I would never cull as these are my pets and I am prepared to try and work this out. I also have another small group that I got from the same person a month later and a female started to bully the females and the male of that group. I have a lot of juggling and sorting to do,as I don't like the idea of keeping them alone as I presume they are happier with company, but at least I now know these things happen [​IMG]. So reading of other experiences help me.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Males can be hard to keep and I never recommend people keep them if they are only wanting to keep birds for the eggs or pets. However I understand he may have come with the entire package.

    BUT...all this having been said, you can't let other suffer because he is scaring the hens. So I would remove him from the group. Maybe for a little while? Always remove the bullies, not the ones that are being bullied.

    You can keep him next to them so he can see and get next to them, just no contact. I have kept lone quail before and honestly, they adjust and do just fine. If he were mine, I would put him in a pen right next to the hens so that he can see them but can't get to them. Maybe they will calm down and not be so scared of him and maybe he will calm down being alone. But I wouldn't keep him in there if he is scaring the hens. Hens are way more sensitive to being alone. Males can tolerate alone time much better.

    You could make a house pet out of him? Just a suggestion. Lots of people have done this with birds that don't fit in. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Oh and another good reason to remove bullies is that if a bird is trying to get away in fear, they can injure themselves. I have seen this happen many times and the last thing you want is a hen hurting herself trying to get away from another bird. It makes more sense to remove the one scaring the others. :)
     
  7. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just throwing this out there in case they don't have sexually dimorphic feathers - are you sure the bullied female isn't a male? xD

    Partitioning the cage/having them in cages side by side for a few days/weeks can help, when trying to reintroduce always supervise and provide plenty of hiding places and things to break up lines of sight like a tall walled sandbox (other than the door they hop in) or try tying up a few handfuls of hay together and stand it upright, soreading apart the top and bottom of the hay cluster so it stands like a hay tree - they love those and extra effective a few inches away from a corner. Very cozy and safe and also they like to feed on the hay a bit lol.
     
  8. Rabbitapril

    Rabbitapril New Egg

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    Jan 27, 2014
    UPDATE on my ' aggressive' male ( I call him Joe) . After having the female separated, I took the advice and put her back in and took Joe out, but I then saw the other two females giving her a hard time. I replaced her with joe and they were happy again. Next day weather was quite pleasant outside so I put them all in a pen together on the grass. They were a bit overwhelmed by the great outdoors for a while but soon seemed to enjoy it. I later put them back in to indoor enclosure together and they were ok together again. I have taken points from your replies and made changes so I am hoping they will live together ok now. Ps she is definitely female BINKI, she laid an egg while she was kept alone.
     
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Some times the lowest in the order of the flock can get picked on. Make SURE you have extra food and water stations because they can run her off from food and water. The number one cause for egg binding is dehydration and if they don't let her drink, she will become egg bound at some point. They can starve her out of eating too.

    Also, sometimes a bird is sick and the flock knows it. In the wild, sick birds are run off so as to protect the flock. So make sure she is ok as well.

    Good luck and I hope they all settle in for a peaceful atmosphere! :)
     

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