Feather plucking

Discussion in 'Quail' started by jak2002003, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    My Chinese Painted Quails are driving me crazy!!!!!

    I bought a male, and 4 females and housed them in the bottom of my finch aviary. They were crowded in the shop and many had missing feathers.

    They were all growing the feathers back, but now they are all plucking each other! I had to take out one female as she was plucked bare over her back.

    She was growing the feathers back nicely, when a cat managed to knock the cage onto the ground and she flew off into the distance never to return.

    Now the remaining ones are looking bad. The male is bald on his head, same as another female, others are looking bald on their backs and faces. I sat and watched them. There is no fighting. they will snuggle together , then one will take a quick peck at its neighbours feathers and pull one out.

    Whey are they doing this? They have lots of things to hide in, under or behind, the right food and water, vegetables, branches to climb on, hay to tunnel in.

    I am sorry I ever bought these things. Looks like I will have to keep them all individually!
     
  2. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They may not be getting the correct diet. Are you feeding them at least 26% gamebird feed?
    Usually feather picking means:
    Overcrowding
    Incorrect diet or not enough food
    Boredom
     
  3. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 24, 2009
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    They get chick starter crumbs as the main diet, together with assorted small cage bird seeds, millet spray, leafy greens, cuttle bone, grit, oyster shell, vitamins in the drinking water. They get treats of mealworms.

    They also have several wooden open fronted nest boxes stuffed with hay to hide in, logs, tufts or grass, large thick branches to climb on, a dish for a dust bath filled with fine sand.

    I don't know what I am doing wrong........... do you think they could have developed this habit from the place a bought them, and not they like doing it, like parrots feather plucking, or us biting our finger nails?

    Today I housed the worst ones on their own in 'safe' cages inside my house, out of the way of cats. Perhaps some time on their own will break the habit.
     
  4. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My female started plucking the male and they have been my solo pair for over 6 months. I did notice that she has been broody but has yet to hatch any chicks and so I figured she was stressed about that...but she keeps right on plucking the male. His feathers are trying to grow back in but she keeps plucking. I do not know what to do either. I do not want to separate them as he will call her all the time and that would make me want to have quail stew. I have been really careful about the diet and have added extra protein but nothing is helping...guess he will be funky looking for a while. He is not bleeding! Hope it all stops when the season changes and no more mating for a bit.
     
  5. Ntsees

    Ntsees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will he still call her if they are side by side in separate cages and have plain view of each other?
     
  6. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sould try that. I think I might when the season changes and she quits laying but wish I knew why this behavior started and how to make it stop besides separating them.
     

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