Female quail happy or upset??


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 4, 2012
We got 10 quail from this guy a couple weeks ago. Many were not in the best condition. Mostly missing feathers probably from being in a confined space. One is even missing an eye. The one I am most concerned about is a female who looks like she has as broken wing. Even when resting, her wing is always sort of up a little. It's definitely not right. However, she did not appear to be in pain. She eats, drinks, etc. She always sort of just hobbled around, kind of limped around, but that's just how she was.

Last Wednesday, however, I found her in the aviary unable to get up. She was just laying on her side spinning around. I don't know what happened. The other quail would just walk on top of her instead of around her and she just couldn't get up. (Ridiculous because there are only 23 quail in a 10 X 10 space and they have tons of places to go and hide.

Anyway, I brought her in the house. I wasn't sure if she was going to make it or not. I nursed her back, got her to drink with a water bottle. She was unable to walk at all, she'd just spin around and around on her side. She HAD to be in pain then. I brought her in the house when I found her like that around 3 in the afternoon and by 8 at night she had laid an egg! In my bedroom! Unable to stand but able to lay an egg. Amazing. I handled her some and took a closer look. Her right leg is bigger than the left. Her left foot has no toenails on it. My husband said it was from mud and poop getting stuck in her toes. (Like I said, these quail were not in the best condition at all when we got them.) Also, I think one of her toes on her right foot is broken. It's big and fat and just not right. It appeared as though she would not put any weight at all on her left leg - the smaller leg.

Now, a few days late, she is WAY better. She is able to get around. She does not fall. She can get to her food and water without falling. She hops around! I am so happy she seems better. She has not laid an egg for me since that first day, but I have been very busy and haven't been home much, so it's been nice and quiet for her.

However, here's my real question: When she hears my voice or sees me, she makes a sound. It is a one syllable chirp that she does over and over again. It starts out quiet, then gets louder. DEFINITELY 100% triggered when she hears or sees me. I don't know what her sound means. Is it a happy sound? Is she lonely? I don't know if she's saying she's lonely and wants a buddy or if she's trying to get my attention or what. I hope it's not a scared sound. I don't think it is. I was just really hoping someone could tell me what her sound means. If it's a happy sound then maybe I'll let her be a house bird, but I'm guessing she is trying to call to another quail. It's just so strange that is triggered by her seeing or hearing me. I think I'll be able to hang out around here today so it will also be interesting to see if she lays me an egg today if I'm around like she did the first day. I was shocked to find an egg the first day because she was obviously in distress and then probably stressed out when I moved her inside and stuff.

I want to try to put her back out in the aviary on Tuesday and check on her every few minutes to make sure she's still getting around okay.

Anyway, please someone shed some light on what the sound means! I am very curious about it. Thanks! Even right now if I say, "Where's my pretty bird?? Where is she??" she will start and I'm across the room. It's cute. I hope it is a happy sound.
Oh and just to clarify I am talking about a Coturnix quail, not a bob white or anything. She's just the normal brownish color with some spots on her chest.
I had a baby Bobwhite do this to me. She was the first thing to hatch and completely bonded with me. She would start out with 5 ascending notes. And each set of these would get louder and louder until it was nearly piercing! She WOULD not stop until I peeked in the brooder and handled her. A few hours later, even in the middle of the night, there she was doing it again! This girl grew up thinking I was her mate and would squat for me for the first 2 years of her life. She eventually quit squatting and calling.

So I am going to guess that your little Coturnix is doing the same thing even though she may be grown. For some reason she has attached herself to you and she is calling to you for attention. Give her what she needs. She maybe a bit scared and doesn't feel good. Do what you can and she will probably out grow it.
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Thanks for the response! So I guess the fact that she's talking so much when she hears me means that she is somewhat happy? I wish I knew if she was better off in my house or outside with the other quail. I guess if she lays an egg for me tonight since I've been in the room talking to her for most of the day then I'll just let her stay in. If not, then back out she goes but I'll have to keep close watch to make sure she doesn't get hurt again.
It is possible that she is calling to her quail mates outside. She would probably be happier outside, as long as she won't be picked on.

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