Discussion in 'Quail' started by Ferretarcher, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Ferretarcher

    Ferretarcher New Egg

    Jan 19, 2014
    Hi! I bought a male and female button last summer, they were very happy and apart from a few feathers being lost during breeding were very amicable to eachother. The female laid three eggs over the xmas period then mysteriously died in the night. No blood or lost feathers so we assume she was egg bound etc. So we decided to buy 2 more girls for our 6 month old male to have fun with. Went back to same pet shop got a brown and grey bird and a silver. Put them in with our male who growled a lot but settled after a few hours. After a week we realised the brown and grey must be male not female as we were told because he was grabbing worms just like our original male. We checked on the internet and confirmed it. Took him back yesterday to swap for a pretty speckled girl which i didnt like doing as he was a nice little lad and didnt seem to cause too much trouble in the cage with the other two. Upon putting the speckled female in the cage our original male went mad, growling, flying at her and pecking her and the silver bird. We took him out to calm down then put him back in for the night. This morning theres a few feathers around but no blood. But we dont think the female has eaten at all and seems very sickly and stressed, lying down all the time and not making any noise. Even more problematic is that since we got her our 'female' silver has started offering worms and growling.....another male!!
    In essence im asking what on earth i do to settle my group down again causing minimum stress to them? I feel rotten keep taking the birds back to the shop as its obvious they know very little about these birds selling me males as females plus i get so attached to them and being a ferret rescuer i dont give up on the hard luck story. Any advice??
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Buttons should really be kept in pairs only. 1 male to 1 female.

    I am not a Button expert. You might PM GrandmaBird. She knows a lot about Buttons. She may also come on today and will chime in here to help.

    I do wish you luck with your new birds! Oh and welcome to BYC!
  3. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2012
    Hi and first off the death of your female is normal these poor little birds are kept in lighting conditions that make them think it is summer year round and they lay eggs like a machine and wear out quicker. I like to let my birds have natural seasons and the hen doesn't lay in the winter. Gives her a break.
    From your writing I believe you are in Europe? (Its just that the buttons there are a bit different then the ones we have State side.) That said if you post photos of them we can try to help sex the birds you have now. Sometimes the hens will offer the mealworms but it is unusual. It sounds like you have 2 males and one hen. not good. Buttons should be kept in single pairs for the health and happiness of the birds, as this is how they live in the wild. That said a few folks do keep them in larger groups but they have very large enclosures and lots of places to hide. So in essence they can set up territories in the enclosure. If you have a large cage you could get another hen and keep the 2 pairs in the same cage but it would need lots of area to hide. I don't suggest you do this but you could try. As for the fighting that is going on now the original male is in his territory and you should have introduced the new birds thru the bars or glass for a day or so first then move around the hiding places and add the new birds, that way it seems like new territory to everyone.
    If you have one female and it sounds as if you do then the 2 males will pick on her and fight each other as well. I would remove the second male. He could be kept in a separate cage and you could get him a mate...see how this just keeps on growing! lol good luck and let us know if you have more post photos if you can.
  4. Ferretarcher

    Ferretarcher New Egg

    Jan 19, 2014
    Thanks for replying. Your info is very helpful. Im from the uk and finding website info pretty limited plus dont trust what the pet shop say. Will make a decision later in the week about what to do as thd female is so stressed and possibly unwell that im inclined to think she wont last the week. Any way thanks again for your advice. Lucy

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