Are my quail stupid?!!!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by kuchchicks, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,025
    118
    161
    Apr 8, 2015
    I don't really know too much about Coturnix quail... I hatched out a couple of batches just for fun this past spring. I now have 8 quail that I have decided to keep primarily as pets. My daughter loves to eat the eggs but I don't plan on increasing my flock size.

    Anyway up until yesterday they had been raised in a bird cage in my garage. My husband built an AWESOME quail coop. It has a house in the center surrounded by a pretty good size run on both sides. There is a door in the side of the house that allows them access to one side of the run. They access the rest of the run by walking under the house. I put some straw in their house along with their food. Yesterday afternoon we moved the coop down towards our chicken coop (far enough so they wont transmit disease). When I put the quail in I placed them in the house part and let them take it upon themselves to move out into the run. Within a few minutes all 8 were out enjoying it.

    Last evening when I went out to close up my chicken coop I noticed that the quail were still in the run. I tried to grab them and place them back in the house so they would roost for the night but just as fast as I put them in the house they ran back into the run so I gave up. This morning when I went out to let my chickens out, I saw the quail still in the run. It is now raining and cold (about 45*) outside. I again opened the run and tried putting them back in their house and again they would run back out. They kept running up to me like they do when they want to be fed and looking at their food in their house it was obvious that they did not eat... I don't think they ever went back in their house last night. I ended up moving their food out of the house and placed it out in the run with them so they would eat. They immediately started to scarf down their food like they were starving.

    So my question is, are they going to figure this out? Or should I lock them in their house for a couple of days without access to the run until they get used to eating in there? Also the house is up higher than the run. There is a little ramp for them to get up and down... they use it just fine to go down but have never seen any of them walk up it to go into the house.

    Am I worrying too much?!!!
     
  2. Lozuufy

    Lozuufy Pigeons are nutty Premium Member

    1,785
    240
    201
    May 20, 2012
    MA/VT
    In my experience coturnix quail are not the smartest of creatures, especially where ramps are involved... but I have heard of them figuring it out eventually.
     
  3. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    They're doing what ground birds do naturally in the wild. Hide on the ground. Coturnix are old world quail and barely even related to the quail from north America which are referred to as new world quail. They aren't even in the same scientific family. Old world quail don't perch and they don't go vertical unless something is trying to kill them (or they think someone is trying to kill htem. New world quail like valleys and bobs will use ramps and perches, old world quail like coturnix never will. Unless you force them by putting their food at the top of the ramp but thats pretty rude if you ask me...
     
  4. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,025
    118
    161
    Apr 8, 2015
    We get pretty cold winters, -20... What about shelter? There is no way to alter this coop now. Ugh!
     
  5. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    There is another thread going on the subject now. Search 'winterizing' and it should come up. Its been covered a few times this last week if you look around.
     
  6. room onthebroom

    room onthebroom Overrun With Chickens

    1,989
    2,413
    276
    May 4, 2015
    My Coturnix don't like straw. They seemed really awkward in it so we took it all out & put dirt in. Its messy & doesn't look nice, but they LOVE it.
     
  7. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,025
    118
    161
    Apr 8, 2015
    Update: So I did take out my straw after reading this post. It has not been very cold here yet so I figured I had time to try to figure something out with my quail. I have left them in the same coop with food and water on the ground level. But to my surprise they all have been going up and down the ramp and chilling out inside the coop house! I am so happy because I would have worried about then when it got cold. Since seeing them I go up the ramp I have been putting food and water up inside the coop too so it will stay dry during the winter.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by