Buttons, pros and cons with community vs. pairs

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Bettacreek, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    A lot of people apparantly pair up their "special" birds (splashes, whites, etc) and then community breed their "normal" birds. I'm wondering what the pros and cons are for each breeding method. I have my two oldest "pairs" (not sure of the genders on the whites) in pair setups, but still have yet to get eggs. I'm seriously thinking about splitting the pairs and doing a community breeding setup instead. Hopefully I can get more whites and do a white community, then do a community for mixes (cinnies, RB's, slates, etc) and then another one for anything else that I get (one for pies, one for splash and one for curlies once I finally get them). I figure I'll have less mouths to feed (less males) and less cages to clean and care for. Anyone have any input on the pros and cons of each breeding method?
  2. citalk2much

    citalk2much Twilight Blessings Farm

    Dec 22, 2008
    GR MI: TN bound!
    In nature they live in pairs
    If you want to work with color and genes pairs give you better results
    You get a better fertility rate from pairs
    They are safer
  3. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Most of the time I keep mine in pairs to at max 3 females to 1 male. There's more chance of fights between buttons when you have more birds together and often they get more stressed in larger groups. A larger pen though is always beneficial to health provided it isn't overcrowded so if you have a pair in only 1sq ft but by putting them in a big pen they get 2sq ft each then you will likely see healthier birds, more natural behaviors, more possible natural brooding, etc...

    Good luck splitting pairs and mixing them though. Buttons often won't stand for it. Despite the fact I cull any buttons that show agression while maturing I still often run into trouble breaking bonded pairs to mix them with others. I tried to take a cinnamon red breasted male that I'd paired with a cinnamon red breasted hen and put him in with a blue face cinnamon and double factor blue hens. Even 2 weeks of him seeing them through the mesh while calling nonstop for his mate he still tore up my df hen when I finally introduced them. Put him back with his hen and he was happy. They instantly went back to how they were before. I ended up temporarily putting a slate red breasted male in with those hens and am waiting to see if I have any male offspring amongst the few cinnamon red breasted I've hatched from that pair so far to try instead.

    I wouldn't do a community pen unless I raised all the chicks together. I've had to put down 2 buttons now from injuries caused by other buttons. Pairing up is more natural to them and any intrusion into their bonded pairs seems to have the potential for very serious injury.
  4. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    I agree with what citalk2much and akane both said when I did groups it was normally just trios.

    The breeder I got them from though, she had them in tiny pens in mass groups...and somehow she had no issues. I assume maybe the flocks were raised up together and that made a differnce? I'm still unsure. However i do know that her birds started waying off on laying and i bet it was due to stress?
  5. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I have mine in 2 groups of 8 each, 3 females to 5 males. I have no place else to put them at the moment, and they were getting really crabby all being together. A lot of the females were looking like they needed saddles, and I had quite a few bald-headed males. I seperated them into groups with the ones that didn't fight too much, like my redbreasted, wild, and blueface males, they seem to all get along fairly well. Once I get my 'coop' built, I will seperate them into smaller groups (and hopefully have more girls).

    Now a friend of mine has 2 pair in a 2'x4' reptile tank, and one of the males is always dominating the other. I think they would just do better in pairs period, as my friend got hers from me at 1 week old. They were hatch mates, and have been together their whole lives. Plus they have plenty of space, it's just the one wants to be a bully.
  6. Sunny the Hippie Chick

    Sunny the Hippie Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2008
    Brookings Oregon
    I stopped keeping mine in trios.. My extra female kept getting scalped by the male.. I only have one male that has two females.. Those two females get along.. And the male wouldnt be quiet at all if one of his females went missing.. But the rest, I had problems with.. One of my females was so badly scalped that she almost lost an eye.. And half of her head, the feathers never came back.. Now I only keep them in pairs.. They are alot happier..

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