Can Button Quail and African Harlequin Quail Be Housed Together?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by birdluvr, May 28, 2017.

  1. birdluvr

    birdluvr Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2017
    I got some pretty bad mortality rates for my button quail, as my luck goes. Only females died....So i'm planning on getting more females. Is it okay to wait until after summer, and to get more females before spring. Basically what I'm thinking is that spring is breeding season. So if I leave them like this they'll be fine until breeding season. The person I'm (hopefully) buying the females from also has African Harlequin quail pairs for $25. Since African Harlequins are only 2x the size of button quail I'm wondering if they can be housed together. There will be 10 quail total.
    The cage is 16sqft plus an 8sqft (second story) plus a 21sqft run. The total amount is 45sqft.
    Will 6sqft per quail be enough (To happily house) 8 buttons and 2 harlequins?
     
  2. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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    No they will cross breed.Please keep them separate so the Harlequins will stay off the extinct list forever!They were on it not too long ago and it would be awful to see them disappear again!
    In N.H.,Tony.
     
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  3. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll agree on the Harlequins. It might be possible to keep them together, but all Harlequin keepers should give their birds the best possible conditions to promote breeding of purebred Harlequins - even if they don't crossbreed a colony situation is not the best possible conditions.
    The same actually goes for the buttons. You might be lucky and not have too much fighting and over breeding in your setup till spring, but I wouldn't risk it. I know some people keep buttons in colonies but from what I've read about it, the birds don't seem to be as happy as they could be. If you don't have at least one female per male so you can house them in pairs, I'd split them in sexes - one male enclosure and one female enclosure. Should keep fighting at bay and the girls won't be overbred. You could also keep the pairs that you have girls for in each their own cage and the surplus males in one cage (as long as that leaves you with at least 2 surplus males so there won't be one left alone).
     
  4. birdluvr

    birdluvr Out Of The Brooder

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    I do not hatch my buttons eggs, And they can crossbreed? What are the signs of distressed or unhappy button quail.
     
  5. birdluvr

    birdluvr Out Of The Brooder

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    What would happen if I would crossbreed them. If they are that closely related would somebody be able to just sell them as large button quail?
    Edited because my grammar is horrible
     
  6. birdluvr

    birdluvr Out Of The Brooder

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    You said they can breed together naturally so I'm thinking that they're just buttons that evolved to be larger than the average button. So would the cross breeds just be large button quail?
     
  7. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes they can cross breed so PLEASE KEEP THEM SEPERATE!If you know how close to extinction harlequins were and they made a good come back from devoted people to save them you would not want to cross them and please don't!.
    In N.H.,Tony.
     
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  8. birdluvr

    birdluvr Out Of The Brooder

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    How did you find out they can cross breed??????????
     
  9. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's a button quail you hear, basically. Or a button quail that repeatedly paces back and fourth along the edges of the enclosure. Or a button quail that lacks feathers (can be caused by fighting, pecking, over breeding or boinking - all are a sign of a management issue, though if the birds are already kept in pairs and seem happy otherwise you might decide to accept some lack of head feathers on the females as some roos tend to pull them out when mating).
    In general, once a pair is established I might hear the roo crow 3 times a day. Other that that, the only sounds coming from the enclosure are tiny peeps. That's the happy situation - you need to be aware of further noise.
    Occasionally a roo will be abusive and chase the hen. Then she will make the 'stress call' as I've named it. It could also be another hen chasing her. Roos being chased by roos will do the stress call as well.
    If the sexes are kept in separate enclosures, they are also likely to do quite a bit of calling. Not the stress call, as there is usually no fighting going on, but a lot of crowing and contact calls. At least this is the case if they are kept where they can hear each other - they might calm down if they can't.
    Just after moving a bird or pair to a new enclosure, there might be quite a bit of contact calls as well. Should settle down within a few days though - if they don't the enclosure might be too exposed, lack hiding places and such.
     
  10. birdluvr

    birdluvr Out Of The Brooder

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    I've never heard my males crow, and oddly the only fighting ever was when they were 5wks old (the tuxedo) now he's reintegrated perfectly. There are two males that are always sitting down together. I'm really not sure if one of them is male (the one I showed you) he/she has a bib but the other male mated with him/her.
     

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