Chinese Quail - Housing males together

abot87

Chirping
Apr 9, 2016
70
14
54
Johannesburg, South Africa
Hi there.

The time has come to move my Chinese quail to their final housing as my new aviary building project has come to an end. BUT I'm left in a bit of a sticky situation.

I need to relocate the majority of my quail into the new aviary to start a breeding covey as I don't much like keeping the birds in cages for breeding. They are constantly crying out to the other quails and it's quite disheartening.

My current setup is as follows:

Cage 1 = 1 x blue faced male & 1 x tuxedo female;
Cage 2 = 1 x red breasted male & 2 x wild colored females;
Cage 3 = 1 red breasted male & 1 wild colored female;
Cage 4 = 1 x red breasted male (isolated due to pecking);

I want to place all the hens in the outdoor aviary, but the problem is the remaining males. Ideally I want an alpha and beta male in the aviary, but I only have 4 hens at the moment. Once my incubated eggs are hatched I should have more females, but naturally more males.

Thus I'm curious if I could have a male only covey? (I know that chicken can live safely in a cock only flock.)

Would it be possible to house 2 or 3 males together safely, away from females and on the other side of my house?
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Sep 29, 2014
7,682
22,221
941
New Zealand
Yes, as long as they have a friend they are quite happy so a group of boys should peacefully coexist as long as there are no females to fight over. It's only one kept all alone that can die of loneliness so a buddy really is essential to them.
 

abot87

Chirping
Apr 9, 2016
70
14
54
Johannesburg, South Africa
Yes, as long as they have a friend they are quite happy so a group of boys should peacefully coexist as long as there are no females to fight over. It's only one kept all alone that can die of loneliness so a buddy really is essential to them.

Hi JaeG,

Thanks a mill for the response, I truly appreciate it :bow
 

DK newbie

Songster
5 Years
Apr 20, 2015
1,772
1,068
241
Agree with JaeG, never had a problem housing males together - unless there were females in the enclosure, then they fight. Maybe not constantly an maybe not even to the point of drawing blood, but they are definitely stressing each other (and the hens and me) quite a lot.
Just introduce them to the enclosure at the same time, then you should be fine.
 

abot87

Chirping
Apr 9, 2016
70
14
54
Johannesburg, South Africa
You are quite welcome! Our daughter has a pair and she finds it very hard to part with any. They are sweet little things.

They are indeed the sweetest little things! They were my very first birds and since the collection has grown, but they will be with me to the end.

Agree with JaeG, never had a problem housing males together - unless there were females in the enclosure, then they fight. Maybe not constantly an maybe not even to the point of drawing blood, but they are definitely stressing each other (and the hens and me) quite a lot.
Just introduce them to the enclosure at the same time, then you should be fine.

Perfect, thank you so much. Still need to figure out how I'm going to catch them during the day haha, they aren't keen on being handled. I've limited physical interaction as I'm trying to avoid imprinting. Not to mention that their cages are fixed to the main structure so it becomes tricky.

One attempted to escape a while ago but I was lucky enough to get him in the neighbors yard, so I'm considering doing a night time relocation. Will just have to see how it goes...
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Sep 29, 2014
7,682
22,221
941
New Zealand
I don't think you have to worry about imprinting. They are still very wild little things.

Our pair laid a lovely nest of eggs not long after we brought them home, and the female sat dutifully and incubated them. I don't know if it was the fact I kept checking on her around the time the eggs were due to hatch, or the fact the move finally caught up with her, but when they started to pip she got off the nest and she didn't get back on. After half a day of agonising, hoping she would return to the nest, I finally brought the eggs inside and hatched them under a light.

Those babies are pretty calm around us, but they certainly don't want to be handled! Their mother is unusually friendly and she walked over my foot this morning (I nearly jumped out of my skin thinking it was a spider or bug), but again, she doesn't want to be touched. She always meets me at the door though to see what I have brought for everyone.
 

abot87

Chirping
Apr 9, 2016
70
14
54
Johannesburg, South Africa
Hi there.

You are exceptionally lucky to have had your hen sit that long.
All my time with quail I've only had one hen hatch a batch of eggs.

Mine make their eggy deposits, but that's where it ends.
As such, I collect eggs daily to preserve the embryos for my incubation. Otherwise they will never hatch.

My Chinese quail are also still quite wild at heart, used to humans but still wild that's why all other interactions have been limited. I've found with other breeds of bird that imprinting happens so fast it's best to avoid temptation.
 

MageofMist

Crowing
Dec 9, 2016
1,199
1,975
327
Britain
Hi there.

You are exceptionally lucky to have had your hen sit that long.
All my time with quail I've only had one hen hatch a batch of eggs.

Mine make their eggy deposits, but that's where it ends.
As such, I collect eggs daily to preserve the embryos for my incubation. Otherwise they will never hatch.

My Chinese quail are also still quite wild at heart, used to humans but still wild that's why all other interactions have been limited. I've found with other breeds of bird that imprinting happens so fast it's best to avoid temptation.

My quail are tame enough to come up to me and take treats from me, but are still very wild and don't like being touched and are jumpy towards sudden movements, even the ones I hatched and raised. Rex and Rex JR (one of his sons) are quite social and come up to me food peeping as they learned that leads to treats.

I have a hen named Speckles that went broody 3 times but didn't sit full term, so I incubated the eggs myself... Well, 4th time was the charm, when I already had 9 chicks, SEVEN more hatched under her. :lau
 

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