Female Bobwhites pecking other females

Kakekoko

In the Brooder
Dec 10, 2016
10
3
17
We have 5 females and they were hatched at a Kindergarten down the street then released in the park next to our house. They live in a 4' by 8' A frame coop on the ground. Picture attached.

About a week ago we noticed one female was hiding buried in the hay. A few days later we saw one other bird chasing her and then after a couple days pecking at her head. She then moved into the upstairs food area. After another day or two another quail joined her and was badly pecked on the back and head. So we removed the other 3 quail and sent them to the back of the coop by blocking off the door with a log. The two hurt ones do not bother each other and get along well. We sprayed the really hurt one with the purple Kote stuff and reintroduced one of the ones from the back one at a time and they all were peckers.

Now we noticed that two in the back are being pecked by the "dominant" female I am guessing.

What do we do? Do we need to get males? Should we keep the "dominant" one away for a few days by herself? None have the white coloring so we are assuming they are all female. We get 2-3 eggs a day from them all.
 

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feedman77

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
2,933
2,468
281
First I would separate the dominant bird for a few days.

Are you in the U.S.? Most states require some type of permit to house bobwhite quail.

How old are the birds? Most times for Bob's to lay they need to be at least 6 months old if not a year.

If they are younger than that are you sure you don't have cotournix quail.

They can lay at 6 to 8 weeks.
 

Kakekoko

In the Brooder
Dec 10, 2016
10
3
17
We have had them for a year now so they are over a year old. The dominant bird is here in the living room tonight since we do not have a safe place for her outside. The other females are separated in pairs that do not peck each other.
We do not need a permit for them where we are in NJ.
 

Kakekoko

In the Brooder
Dec 10, 2016
10
3
17
Can anyone help us? The hurt female quail is now pecking the other quail that was in there with her. They were getting along fine for the whole week there together and suddenly the hurt one started chasing it and pecking her and she is in hiding again.
 

Binki

Songster
Jul 9, 2015
961
190
161
Ontario, Canada
I'm not that familiar with bobwhites, I think they're kept in pairs or trios of a male up to two females? (Correct me if I'm wrong).

If that is the case, then it could be they are now mature and problems are happening because they're not being housed in pairs or trios?
 

Kakekoko

In the Brooder
Dec 10, 2016
10
3
17
Yes I think people usually keep pairs/trios or only females for laying. However, they seem to be bored or missing something to all be pecking each other.

We have separated the hurt one alone now but she seems sad alone. We are building a bigger enclosure today with more hiding spaces and I ordered some crickets/mealworms. Hopefully we can get past the pecking.
 

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