Button quail going crazy at night

Purin

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 10, 2013
24
0
22
Hello,

I have two button quails at the age of around 2,5 months that I'm keeping as pets at home. We hatched them at home and I think they are two females because we had some eggs some time ago, plus none of them crows, but for the past two days one of them is going crazy at night.

For about 20minutes 3-4 times at night It jumps every 10 seconds quite strongly as if she was trying to escape at any cost... (the ceiling is softened so at least it's not hurting itself) There are two of them, but it's definitely not the fighting/teasing problem as the other one is sitting still at that time, plus they haven't fought even once as far as I know. They have food, water, clean cage, vegetables, sand bath, plus nothing changed suddenly, so I have no idea why it's been going crazy for two nights in a row. What can be the reason?

The other thing I wanted to ask is the egg thing. They started laying eggs at 7th week of age (2 eggs appeared the first day, and for the next 5 days one egg a day) and them stopped. I don't really know if it's been both of them laying or just one, but the eggs stopped after about the first week. It's been two weeks since then and they haven't laid anymore so far... am I doing something wrong or is it normal for them to have such breaks?

Apart from the eggs and the jumping problem, they behave normally, are active during the day, eat normally. Am I missing something?


Sorry for the long post and thanks for any suggestions!
 

SavageChick

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
206
18
83
Savage, MN
When you have a bird jumping around at night like this, my first thought would be either a predator near the cage or a mite infestation. My first suspicion would be the latter. When you turn out the lights at night, drape a white cloth on the cage floor, and also cover the top of the cage with a white cloth. If you see tiny black or red specks appear on the white cloth, then you know you are dealing with a mite infestation. Mites come out at night, bite on the birds, and then hide away during daylight hours. Also, if there is a mite infestation, there will be a drop in egg production (hen is stressed.)
 

Purin

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 10, 2013
24
0
22
Thank you for the suggestion. I would never think about mites.
However, I'm pretty sure we keep the cage quite clean, to be honest. We use pet sheets (is that how you call them? the ones for little dogs that absorb water and odours) + there is always some sand from the sand baths. We change the sheets and the sand approximately every 4-5 days sterilizing the cage at that time with alcohol disinfectant. I changed everything and cleaned the cage the next day, after the first night when the quail jumped like that. Can this be the problem even if we clean the cage regularly and definitely thoroughly?
I will of course not rule out this option and will try to use a white cloth tomorrow night. Today (00:00 here) they've been sleeping soundly so far so let's hope it was just a temporary state.
If IT IS mites, what can I do about them??

Edit: Plus, it was only one of the two birds. The other one was only looking at him like 'what the..?'.
 
Last edited:

SavageChick

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
206
18
83
Savage, MN
Do you have any climbing branches or greenery in your quail habitat? Mites can hide in crevices like wood bark, under greenery leaves, basically anywhere not directly exposed to light. There are sprays that will treat a mite infestation, but you will need to remove the birds during treatment. Diatomaceous Earth can also be used (spread around the habitat). Before you start fumigating everything, I would make sure that mites are indeed the problem you are dealing with. Mites are just one possibility. Some birds just get more easily spooked at night than others. You could look at possible noises at night (a timer, a clock, even an ice-maker running at night), a nightlight bulb that goes on and off. If you keep them in a cage, try covering them at night with a large towel or bedsheet to see if that keeps the one from getting spooked.
 

GrandmaBird

Songster
7 Years
May 28, 2012
1,280
56
161
Colorado
Sounds like she is getting spooked. Try covering the cage completely every night. Do they have a box to sleep in or some sort of plant to hide under? They need something like this to be happy. And if you have 2 females they will not lay everyday. Just be sure they get plenty of oyster shell and they will be fine.
 

Purin

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 10, 2013
24
0
22
Thank you both for the advice.

Yesterday I noticed that they jump like that ONLY (and I mean 100%) when it's 100% dark. I have them in my room and whenever I turned on just a very little light after a jump, they calmed down, sometimes even going at that very second to their bed where they usually sleep (sometimes they kept walking around though)
I wonder, if it were mites, would they start preying and biting the birds when it's completely dark, or even when it's very dim?

I'll try to put in a white cloth today, take out all the sand (with the sand there's no way to distinguish between any possible mites and sand grains..) after disinfecting EVERYTHING, except for the birds;)
 

KonQuail

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
23
0
22
Can't you also put the Diatomaceous Earth into a pan and let the quails bathe in it for a day? if you do have mites it should solve the problem quickly.
 

Purin

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 10, 2013
24
0
22
First night clear! :)

When disinfecting the whole cage I rearranged it to create more hiding places. At night I covered them with a black cloth and they didn't jump at all. That way I don't really know what was the actual problem, but at least they calmed down. I hope it'll stay that way!

As for the Diatomaceous Earth, I'll remember the name just in case, although I'm living in Japan at the moment so I don't really know where I could get it.

Thank you all!
 

Purin

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 10, 2013
24
0
22
Thank you all again for the advice! I would probably struggle with the situation for much much longer if it wasn't for you guys. I'm soooo glad I found this forum in the first place because it's such a valuable source of information! And hopefully my quails are happier thanks to that too :)

Thanks!
 

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