Buttonquail pair aggression


5 Years
Mar 18, 2014
Hi everyone,

I have a single pair of buttonquail that we keep as pets. They've been together for about 6 months now. She lays eggs regularly and usually incubates them for about a week and then stops, so I'm sure on their sexes :) My question is that about 70% of the time, they are fine together- they snuggle up at night, occassionally preen each other, etc. However, the last few weeks he has been chasing her around an AWFUL lot, and pecking at the back of her neck. There's no blood/injury, but she has a small bald spot there. She definitely seems bothered by him when he gets aggressive, but then in a few hours they'll be fine again. It does seem to be worse when they have a nest. I don't want to separate them, because they seem distressed when they are apart, and I don't have other quail to switch up the pairings.

So, is this normal? Should I be worried? Any suggestions on what might calm them down?
Either one of them has a sore spot you can't see or are missing, or something in their environment is irritating them. They're very nervous high stress birds so it can be anything from a cat bothering them to the TV.

Sometimes this sort of aggression becomes a habit and it is nearly impossible to break so stay on top of it utnil you figure it out.

Buttons mate for life so you should never switch their mate unless the previous one dies. Switching them around wouldn't really help anything anyway because all quail are protective of their territory so no matter what one quail in each cage would be ticked off.
You said she has tried to sit on eggs, this is why they are "fighting". He wants sex and she doesn't! simple enough. My pair do the same thing when she is sitting. Just let them be and they should be fine. silly birds!

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