Do quail miss flying?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by equusgdess, May 26, 2019.

  1. equusgdess

    equusgdess Chirping

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    Just a late night philosophical question: do you think quail miss flying when we clip their wings or house them with a low ceiling? I know we do those things for their safety, so don't take this as an argument against those practices.
     
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  2. le_bwah

    le_bwah Crowing

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    I think floor area is more important to quail than cage height, seeing as they are ground dwelling birds. Most species I know of will fly for short distances to escape predators or cover ground quickly. When I've watched wild quail (Californias, mostly), they spend most of their time either hiding in ground cover or running between cover.

    So I don't think captive quail miss flying. I think they probably miss running, though—some people keep them in cages so small, they never get to see how fast their quail can go.
     
  3. 007Sean

    007Sean Pheasant Whisperer

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    I'm glad pondering the philosophical question of whether a quail 'misses' flying, doesn't keep me awake at night! :lau

    To answer your question, "who knows"? but I think @le_bwah has answered that question about as well as anybody could given the circumstance.
     
  4. DK newbie

    DK newbie Songster

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    I kept button quail in my room at one point. Their cage was about 2 ft high. ~every morning, they would jump into the air, flapping their wings hard to stay airborn for a few seconds before falling back to the cage floor. They seemed to enjoy this morning exercise, so I'd be tempted to say yes - I think they miss it if we don't allow flight at all.
    I'm not sure if my cots do a morning exercise like that as I've always kept them outside, but I do see/hear them fly every now and then without any apparent relation to being chased by cage mates or scared in other ways.
     
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  5. sunbursts

    sunbursts In the Brooder

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    If I could fly, and then someone cut my wings and then I no longer could fly? Yes, I'd miss it. Now quails aren't humans but they're meant to fly a little. I think they do miss it, even in the sense that when they feel the need to fly (during stress) they cannot....so that stress cannot be relieved. All animals/humans have a stress response mechanism, to flee, flight, fight, etc. If they can't do what their natural instincts would have them do (fly), I'd think that makes the animal more stressed.
     
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  6. Kaya1

    Kaya1 Chirping

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    I went from small cages to a big aviary, and my cots only flew when stressed. They do, however, run and pounce when they're excited or happy, sometimes getting a little air. I'd say that flying is a stress response, so I doubt they "miss" it.
     
  7. maadroj

    maadroj In the Brooder

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    I've watched my quail chicks stretch/hop and flap their wings since they were a day old, and couldn't help wondering what their instincts told them about flying and what they thought might happen when they flapped their little featherless wings.

    We ended up adapting the brooder to give them room to fly as they grew. Now they're about 3.5 weeks old and roost on the upper "ledge" at night. During the day they're mostly on the ground, but they still enjoy hopping into the air for short bursts or using their wings to zoom across the brooder. Sometimes they fly to the ledge in the day and fly-hop across from one side to the other. When they're excited, they do what I call a "ninja pop," running/leaping and doing a 180 in the air, and landing in what looks like an avian crouch. Sometimes they "ninja pop" in alarm (when not scared enough to run under the heat plate or fly up to the edge) and sometimes apparently just for fun. They look like they feel really cool after they do it. :cool:

    I can't really say what a bird may miss, but they do seem to enjoy it, at least as adolescents. And they have some instinct that urges them to try before they even have feathers. I hope I can give them the choice to do safely whatever feels good when they're adults, whether it's fly or hide (and the safety to need neither).
     

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  8. sunbursts

    sunbursts In the Brooder

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    Awww, I love it! My 6 week olds enjoy flying as well. I also have one mature male that LOVES flying, and a pair male/female that aren't so crazy about it. My one male will perch up high, sit in a window and one time he escaped and actually flew to the top of our house!! Then flew 3 houses town and went into an evergreen tree. I had NO IDEA quail could fly like a normal bird!!
     
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  9. equusgdess

    equusgdess Chirping

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    It's so cool to read about others observing naturalistic behaviors in their birds and accommodating it when they can. Before I moved my older group out to their hutch, shortly after the lights came on, maybe five to ten minutes, they would start hopping and bobbing and crouching, and eventually at least one would fly out. Just seemed like they were excited about the day!
     
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