Can button quail be kept in trios?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Bryam, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Bryam

    Bryam Chillin' With My Peeps

    946
    31
    161
    Aug 19, 2008
    I was thinking of making a trio of button quail 1 male housed with 3 girls, or 2 males with 4 girls? Will the male mate with different girls at the same time?

    Has anybody done this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. UncleFrank

    UncleFrank Out Of The Brooder

    43
    8
    24
    Oct 22, 2014
    I have 11 buttons in the same cage. The cage is 14" high, 2 ft deep and 3 ft wide. They were hatched and brooded together so they all get along. The males chase any and all female. I don't see a problem with your set up. Now, I don't know what would happen if I added a strange button quail. I suggest hatching and brooding together
     
  3. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You shouldn't but hey whatever as Frank already showed you people are going to keep them however they want to keep them. It's the entire reason I quit raising buttons. I didn't want to be part of the destruction of their species. There are hundreds of book and articles on them, all of which go into detail at some point on the monogamous habits of button quail. The question has been asked and answered many times. Button quail are monogamous and choose one mate for life. They will only stray from that mate if it dies. Coturnix in the wild breed in pairs. Because of the way people have altered the species through trait selection, now domestic coturnix roosters will quickly kill one hen if kept in a pair.

    Is it proper to keep button quail in trios or covey's --->No

    Are people still going to breed them however they feel like even if science suggest they shouldn't--->Yes.
     
  4. UncleFrank

    UncleFrank Out Of The Brooder

    43
    8
    24
    Oct 22, 2014
    Bryam,
    Dont get discouraged by some of the posts you see on BYC, what you want to do is fine and probably better for the little hens anyway. You're not going to alter the universe or kill off the entire button quail species by putting a trio of hens with one male. Yes, in the wild buttons are monogamous, just like most quail and most birds for that matter, but in the wild a hen can simply fly away if her mate gets rough with her, in a confined cage she cannot. Male buttons are very very aggressive during mating season, just like any quail and will stress or even kill a single hen with his aggression. Hence the reason, most quail breeders that keep quail in captivity do trio's. What you want to do is fine, and hey, if the male decides to mate with just one of the hens like they do in the wild, that's fine too, but they're not in the wild and I guarantee you that lil male will keep 2 or 3 hens busy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  5. Bryam

    Bryam Chillin' With My Peeps

    946
    31
    161
    Aug 19, 2008
    Okay, so if I kept 1 male and 3 girls that grew up together, the male will mate with all the girls, not just with one? They are babies right now, so they are all already used to each other. Male button quail once matured get really nasty with other males, even from the same brood. Are the girls aggressive with each other toO?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  6. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,277
    32
    151
    May 28, 2012
    Colorado
    First off Uncle Frank button quail do not have a breeding season they breed everyday if the lighting and other factors are correct. They might have had a season when wild but not in captivity.

    Bryam, I am from the old school of pairs but have several folks who keep colony birds and do okay. They do not live as long nor can they track the parent lines of chicks. Another good reason to keep pairs if you are breeding to sell birds or eggs for incubation. The females can and will get aggressive as well as the males its a game of Russian Roulette (loaded gun to head?).

    all that said it is completely up to you and your birds on how to house them. I love my single pair and want no more, my hen even incubates and raises her chicks if I leave the eggs in the cage. Which I don't do most of the time so I don't have to find them new homes.
     
  7. UncleFrank

    UncleFrank Out Of The Brooder

    43
    8
    24
    Oct 22, 2014
    I think you will be fine with one male and three females, but you may want to try the two male and four female just in case something happens to your male. I haven't lost any buttons and have 6 males to 5 females in my pen. The males established who was dominant and no one fights anymore. They all get along peacefully and are some very healthy spoiled lil quail. As for the females, the only aggression I've seen is against males that won't leave them alone or sometimes they will interfere to help another female being chased.
     
  8. UncleFrank

    UncleFrank Out Of The Brooder

    43
    8
    24
    Oct 22, 2014
    Buttons can be bread in pairs, trios or colonies. Its up to you. And yes, if you trick light them they will breed and lay year round as soon as they are old enough. Most people dont know about their breeding season because they are not cold hardy quails and are kept indoors or if outdoors under a heat lamp which gives them "trick" lighting all year round. Trick lighting and laying year round will definately shorten the life of your birds. Very few people know about their natural breeding season because of this. Buttons are not a bird to leave outside in a pen without a heat source if the temp gets below 40 degrees.
     
  9. Bryam

    Bryam Chillin' With My Peeps

    946
    31
    161
    Aug 19, 2008
    In the past, I had 3 males and 3 females that I house together. The males were very aggressive with each other. The females got along very well. I ended up separating them into pairs, since I had 1 male for every female.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  10. Bryam

    Bryam Chillin' With My Peeps

    946
    31
    161
    Aug 19, 2008
    I am hoping less males and more females will result in a more peaceful environment. These birds are not wild and they live in my house and lay eggs like crazy!;)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by