Button Quail Questions

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Anonymouse, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. Anonymouse

    Anonymouse In the Brooder

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    Hello, I am considering getting button quails as pets. I do not want to breed them, so I was hoping to just get a group of females so their eggs will not be fertilized, but I've heard from some sources you need to have a male with 3 females, and can't house females without a male? Is this true? I'm really confused about this.
     
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  2. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

    Quail, like chickens, can be housed without a male and still lay eggs.
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  3. Anonymouse

    Anonymouse In the Brooder

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    Yes, I don't care about unfertilized eggs, I just don't want fertilized eggs, because I am keeping them as pets and don't want to be overrun with a bunch of babies.
     
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  4. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

    I understand.
    You should be fine keeping a group of hens. :)
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  5. Anonymouse

    Anonymouse In the Brooder

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    Ok, not having a male won't negatively affect them? I heard that they call for a mate and get stressed without a male. Thanks! :)
     
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  6. vixie-daisy

    vixie-daisy In the Brooder

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    From everything I've read, button quail ideally are kept in pairs of 1 male and 1 female. I can't see why fertilized eggs would be a problem, you definitely wouldn't be overrun with baby quail as long as you remove eggs regularly (and of course don't put them in an incubator lol)
     
  7. JaeG

    JaeG Free Ranging

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    I'd be inclined to keep males as a group as they are more likely to get along, especially with no girls around (plus they are usually prettier). Females could get territorial when laying (males fight over females, females fight over territory). Their eggs aren't large enough to eat (unless you have a lot of quail). Overall they are happiest as a mated pair and not really suited to being kept in a colony situation.

    Females often die from becoming egg bound and some are desperate to be mothers (they can be very good at hiding their eggs and nests). Removing eggs would mean they would just keep laying which is a huge drain on their little bodies and it would severely shorten their lives. You would need to make some polymer clay fake eggs to replace the real ones and let them brood them if you really don't want babies.

    Pairs need 5 sq foot so base your cage size on that. They are very active quail and shouldn't be kept in small cages. They are escape artists, able to squeeze out of small gaps, they fly and jump very well too, and are pretty wild, even when brought up with a lot of handling. Japanese/Coturnix make much better pets unless you are happy just to watch them from a distance. They can be kept as a large group, don't go broody (except on very rare occasions) and need a lot less space.
     
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  8. Anonymouse

    Anonymouse In the Brooder

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    Thank you for all of the info. I am just really confused right now with all the different information I am getting. I watched lots of videos and read lots of websites to research them. I saw plenty of people keeping them in 40 gallon tanks with a special "nylon mesh" lid so they don't injure themselves when jumping, and I was planning to do this as well, is a 40 gallon large enough? I have an empty 40 gallon just lying around and I would love to use it to give some little quail a good home. See, that's weird, I was seeing people saying housing 3 females and 1 male was best, others saying M/F pairs were better, and some saying they were fine in groups of 3 females and no male, so I really don't understand. I really don't want babies, because I don't have the room to house them all, especially if they all end up males having to be housed separately. I have heard they multiply quickly and can go from a pair to dozens in no time if you don't do something about it.

    Would they not realize a clay egg is fake? What will they do if they realize the fake eggs never hatch, do they sit on them forever? What should I do with a fertilized egg? Will it grow and hatch if I leave it at room temperature?

    I was interested in the button quails because they are smaller and can be kept in tanks, I'm guessing the larger quail types would need a barred/wire/mesh cage and more space, correct?

    I live in a town where there are lots of feral cats, so I was planning on keeping them inside because it is safest.

    I see, thank you! I don't want fertilized eggs because if I'm not going to hatch them, I'm not sure what I am supposed to do with them. My family wouldn't eat quail eggs lol, and I would feel bad throwing them away or something :( Is it not a baby if it's fertilized? Would you be killing baby chicks if you take the eggs?
     
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  9. JaeG

    JaeG Free Ranging

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    The eggs aren't 'alive' until they have been incubated for a full 24 hours and the cells have started to divide and grow. The female will sit on eggs until she realises they won't hatch, then she will abandon the nest and take a break to molt and recover. Females will still lay in the absence of a male and they will often just keep laying, rather than laying a clutch and then sitting on them. It takes a lot of energy to lay eggs so always offer oyster shell grit so they don't deplete their calcium stores.

    They won't notice you've replaced their eggs - just try and make them about the same colour. If you get a pair that was parent raised they will breed like rabbits. Sometimes artificially raising them means they have no interest in nesting, though the female will still lay eggs. You could try restricting their daylight hours as it's that more than anything that tells them it's the breeding season. Only giving them 10 hours of light will mean they think it's winter, but that requires them to be in a room that can be darkened.

    I have one trio that's working. Others I have tried have ended in one female being harassed by the male because he's chosen the other one as his mate. They tend to be monogamous.

    They can be horrible when they want to be and I had one female I tried to introduce to a male who, in the 2 mins that I left them alone together, pecked the males head bloody. They'd seemed fine before I'd left them. Try to get birds that were raised together as it makes it easier.

    I think a lot of people fall into the trap of assuming that, because they are only small they don't need much space. There's also a lot of confusion over different species of quail. Japanese quail have been bred to tolerate 1 sq/ft per bird (or less) so people assume that's fine for Buttons too. But they are always on the go, pacing and picking and dust bathing. They are busy little birds. Mine are in large indoor rabbit cages and they use the whole space, whereas my Japanese quail are happier just to laze about and snooze. Some of my Button pairs need finer mesh over the bars but some I trust not to try to escape.
     
  10. ButtonquailGirl14

    ButtonquailGirl14 Free Ranging

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    The reason you are confused is because their care is often confused with that of other quails, and some people are full of baloney…. they HAVE to be kept in pairs of 2. it sound like a male pair would suit you best. I would give them no smaller than a 50 gal aquarium., I have a 55 and I feel it is MUCH to small, and I would upgrade if I had any more room, but my room is tiny.... also they must be kept inside or in super warm dry climates. they are very loud, so mind where they are in your house, mine are right next to my bed, and If I weren't so in love with my animals I would probably kill them with rage when they wake me up OVER AND OVER AGAIN!:lol: (I am joking, I would never kill them... but the rest of my family might:lau) seriously... they are loud. ill give more infor after dinner:D also @JaeG is super right, and an expert:thumbsup
     

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