Entire Quail Flock Acting Bizarre/Angry- Why?!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by mrslinson, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. mrslinson

    mrslinson Just Hatched

    Jun 12, 2016
    Olympia, WA
    I have a small flock of 6 girls, who I admit are very spoiled. :) This morning, they have all been jumping and "flying" around their pen, and even 2 of them got into a little fight. They have food, water, treats, a clean pen, no one is injured nor seems to be sick.... Why are they suddenly acting this way? Do they need their heat lamp back? (I live in WA, and they have not had their heat lamp at all over the past month or so due to the weather, but it is starting to get a little chilly again....) Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  2. mrslinson

    mrslinson Just Hatched

    Jun 12, 2016
    Olympia, WA
    I think I figured it out and wanted to share in case others have this happen---

    I took a closer look at everyone and I also investigated the area around the hutch, my gals seemed stressed out. I found evidence of an animal getting into their feed last night- and found that Rambine (my tough one) was in fact injured. It looks as if she may have hit her head, more than once... It also looked like she had been pecked at, so I have isolated her in her own hutch inside to keep an eye on things. Question: do quail peck like that if one is weak? She seems better and the rest of flock is calm. In addition I re-cleaned the coop to get rid of any stressful smells that may be in there from her injury.

    My guess is a rat tried to visit last night and Rambine went wild trying to be tough.
  3. lomine

    lomine Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    If she was scared by the visitor she probably boinked her head on the top of the cage. If it was bloody the others would have been attracted by the red color and pecked at it. It's good you separated her.

    I suggest you take a look at your cage and make the necessary repairs to make it predator proof. You must have gaps if a rat can make it in. If it knows there is an easy source of food it will be back. And rats will eat eggs and could possibly kill your quail. Not something you want.

    If you don't already have some, provide some hiding places for your quail. It can be very simple things. In my cages I have tunnels made from three pieces of scrap wood screwed together, plastic dish tubs from the dollar store with two holes cut in opposite sides, and cut evergreen tree branches made into tent like structures. Having hiding places will help reduce stress and boinking. Quail prefer to run for cover but if there is no cover they will go straight up.
  4. purslanegarden

    purslanegarden Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2016
    I was about to say that the actions you described in OP were exactly the kinds of actions the quail do when they are alarmed or nervous about something nearby.

    Glad you found the reason and while one bird is hurt, hope she will get better with more protection in the coop.
  5. Oreo quail

    Oreo quail Out Of The Brooder

    May 5, 2016
    Central Virginia
    I would agree that they get jumpy after nighttime visits. I noticed my quail were much more jumpy a few days before I found some missing. I figure a raccoon was visiting trying figure out my cages. One day the door was pried open about 1 inch, enough to get one closeby I reckon. Now I suppose they still get visits but have been safe for months. They are not the same happy quail before this happened.

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