Can quail imprint on people?

RunningRabbit

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 10, 2012
157
13
93
Out of my three coturnix chicks, I have two that peep nonstop. They have plenty of fresh water, food, the heat is perfect, they have plenty of companions, and are little eating, drinking and pooping machines.

They just will not stop peeping!

One is perfectly content to hang out with my buttons...but the other two? My goodness, I get out of their sight and the peep fest begins!

It's 1am here and they've been carrying on for the past two hours. Are they imprinted on me? They come running when they see me, and and mob my hand when I refill water or food. The heck is up with these guys?
 

gorabbitgo

Chirping
7 Years
Sep 9, 2012
124
26
91
Short answer: Yes, they can and have imprinted on you!
Congratu-sorry-lations?
It's a bit noisy for now, but you'll see the benefits later.
As they age and become less dependent on "mommy," they'll take more interest in their fellow quail and less in you, but they'll always be more tame and easier to handle than quail that haven't been hand-raised!
 

RunningRabbit

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 10, 2012
157
13
93
Oh that is totally cool!

I admit, the two that peep like that are my favorites. One is a tuxedo and the other a wild type, I've been thinking about working more with them, but I was just worried that maybe the peeping was me doing something wrong with them.

Definitely a relief that they're acting like normal imprinted chicks!
 

TwoCrows

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10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
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As another poster claims, yes they do imprint on you. The first moving object hovering over them at hatch time, as far as they are concerned is their momma! I had a female bobwhite, first out of the egg do the same thing. This little bird would start in with 5 ascending notes in a soft tone. Each of these calls were about 5 seconds apart. And each call got louder and louder as she called to me. She would get so loud, her calls were piercing! And of course this went on ALL night long. LOL She would quit the moment I showed up and put my hand in the brooder with her and that satisfied her for about an hour. Then she started back in with the calling. This went on for about 3 weeks and as she grew up, she called less and less. However, she stayed a "momma's bird" all her life. Even considering me her mate and would squat during breeding season when ever I passed her way.
 

quailchick

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 18, 2012
104
5
78
My four Bobwhites imprinted on me, but as they got older they became less and less...at first they would cry for me and would settle down when I would sit next to them and whistle and it would calm them down. I had someone babysit them for me, and she noticed the same thing. I used to pick them up and hold them every day, but I don't even try now because they get so upset.

Now, they seem to be independent of me, but I can still calm them down with whistling when they get upset for whatever reason...
 

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