Behaviour

Kneedles

Songster
6 Years
Jul 22, 2014
254
108
186
Wellington, New Zealand
Just a few hours ago I bought my first King Quail; a wild-type adult male. I would have bought a pair, but there were no females available and they are apparently difficult to buy anywhere for the time being.
I am keeping my quail in a cardboard box until I bleach its actual cage (it needs to be bleached because my chicken had been in it a few times when it was very young), and two attempts at handling it have resulted in me having to play a game of hide-and-seek with it in the living room. Fortunately it has seemingly not had any fatal collisions yet, but I do not want this to happen again.
I have read about King Quail being confiding enough to follow people around their houses. Is there any way that I can make mine more confiding? If not, would it be better not to handle it at all?
Thanks in advance.
 

Sill

Songster
6 Years
Dec 30, 2013
1,555
292
226
Tempe, AZ
I think you would have better luck with a chick. As an adult it knows you are not a quail and he is not a human. You probably seem like a large predator that might eat him, which in fact you are. This can cause a great deal of stress to a wild type bird. With a chick it can imprint with humans, see you as part of its covey and be friendly.
 

dc3085

Crowing
7 Years
Jan 6, 2013
3,288
356
251
SF Bay Area, California
In all honesty it is best for king quail not to be handled at all. They really aren't that type of pet. They will always be nervous when you approach the cage and will often flush. You will pretty much always be just the food monster to them. Trying to make them a pet is really forcing something on them that they will never care for.
 

Kneedles

Songster
6 Years
Jul 22, 2014
254
108
186
Wellington, New Zealand
In all honesty it is best for king quail not to be handled at all. They really aren't that type of pet. They will always be nervous when you approach the cage and will often flush. You will pretty much always be just the food monster to them. Trying to make them a pet is really forcing something on them that they will never care for.

Does he at least have a chance of becoming less scared when I put my hands in his cage to change his water, etc. over time?
 

Sill

Songster
6 Years
Dec 30, 2013
1,555
292
226
Tempe, AZ
Does he at least have a chance of becoming less scared when I put my hands in his cage to change his water, etc. over time?

Yes but it will be just a degree of tolerance. It might help if there is something in his cage he can hide behind to feel safe so he doesn't panic with the big bad predator coming into his domain. A basket, a sprig of greenery or maybe a box with quail sized holes in the side can all serve as hiding spots.

If you want one to be friendly get a newly hatched chick. Like all galliformes (chicken, quail, turkey, grouse, pheasant etc. the chicks will imprint on the first thing larger than itself that moves and think that is it's mother. This is called filial imprinting. Google it for more information and how this works to raise all kinds of chicks that are friendly toward humans. They will also imprint on dogs, other species of birds or whatever. So if you want a friendly pet of this species you need to raise it as soon as it hatches, as in probably will have to incubate some fertile eggs if you have access to them for the best chance at success.
 

JKav

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 29, 2014
72
16
48
Long Island, NY
I'm new to this but here's what happened to us.. We incubated a dozen bobwhite quail eggs and only one hatched. We tried to release her last week. Well, she followed us out of the woods and ran after us squealing. She does this when we first go to bed and bin the morning when she's lonely, but only until we talk to her. She is very sweet. Loves to be held and will sit next to us on the couch for hours while we pet her. It seems the first/only hatchling do imprint.
 

Dragons4u

Songster
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
479
31
108
Ohio
Hopefully you brought it home. Trying to release a bird, especially one acting like that is usually a death sentence. If it's not scared of you, there's a good chance it won't be afraid of predators.
 

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