Does winter bring about different behavior?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by FowlFriend, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. FowlFriend

    FowlFriend Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2010
    Central Coast, CA
    I have 2 Coturnix hens who are 10 months old. While they were somewhat skittish at times, at least one of them would eat out of my hands and "jump" for worms when I held them in the air. I was able to hold them without too much trouble, and they would even peep at me and come to the end of the cage when I talked to them. They were also very curious when I put anything new into the cage.

    Now it's winter and they've stopped all of this behavior. In fact, they think I'm going to kill them every time I even try to give them new food (they make a growling noise). If I try to pick one of them up, they nearly kill themselves screaming and running all over the cage! And forget about talking to them at the end of the cage anymore; they start making noises like I'm going to eat them.

    They aren't laying anymore and spend most of their day huddled together and not doing much else. It gets into the 40's here at night and I have a heavy blanket I put over the exposed parts of the cage when the sun goes down. I thought they were just cold, but I spent one day blowing a small space heater into the cage to warm them up and they didn't act that much differently.

    So is this normal, or is something wrong with my birds?
     
  2. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    Winter can bring a different behavior...I have mine all indoors in a barn like setting. Maybe if you bring them inside and give them some more interaction so you aren't the monster? I have about a hundred hens in total, some newer than others...the older ones are the ones that do appreciate me more as they get more goodies (well they think they get more)...Coturnix are not the same, they all have different mindsets and behaviors...like us humans, we are all different [​IMG] Just give them some loving, that's all you can do. Goodies, heat, maybe covering their cage (maybe something traumatized them?)...anything could have happened for them to change their attitudes...I only get grunting when they are hungry [​IMG] Sometimes they are able to toss their food dish across the room...ok now I am sounding like I am raising aliens of some sort....weird things happen in the quail building [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  3. Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Are you reaching in from the top, or from the side?

    Mine act a LOT different if they are in a cage with a solid top with me reaching in from the side.

    Coming from above makes them think you are a giant hawk or eagle or something coming to gobble them down. Coming from the side? Well, you could be a bush, deer, duck...or a predator, depending on their mood. [​IMG]
     
  4. FowlFriend

    FowlFriend Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2010
    Central Coast, CA
    Thanks for the replies. Some more info:
    -I always approach them from the side-door of the cage, never the top
    -Our climate is 50-60 during the winter days, 40's at night. I did start to bring them inside in the evenings but I think it made them upset.
    -THe only other thing I can think of is that we have a HUGE rafter of wild turkeys who like to come into our yard in the winter time (OK, we feed them!). While they are nowhere near the cage, maybe their presence scares the birds?

    I don't know what is happening but one of the hens is pecking on the other. I did put a heat lamp in their cage last night. We'll see what happens.
     
  5. Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Could different lighting conditions be causing your shadow to fall differently on the cage when you approach it? That would freak me out if I were a quail.
     
  6. FowlFriend

    FowlFriend Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2010
    Central Coast, CA
    I FOUND THE ANSWER!!!

    This morning one of the hens had a bloody, featherless head and her beak was pecked open, too. Then I noticed the birds were very agitated, flying around the cage and such. Our next-door neighbors are doing some minor construction and I think the noise of the power tools were freaking them out! So I separated them into 2 cages and brought them inside. THey are MUCH happier. I will keep them in until the construction is finished in 2 weeks. Whew!
     
  7. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 2, 2009
    BROOKSVILLE FL
    Quote:NOT LIKELY FLYING AROUND CAUSED THE BLOODY FEATHERLESS HEAD....ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY SURE THEY ARE HENS?
     

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