Hello everyone, I have a question about button quail aggression

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Jeremiah.Chua, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Jeremiah.Chua

    Jeremiah.Chua In the Brooder

    May 31, 2010
    I know, I know, another button quail thread, sorry!

    I'm just a bit worried. I've been a lurker among forums because I'm such a newbie, so I don't really know what to ask/say.
    Until now anyway...

    So here's my story:
    I started off with 5 adult birds and 3 young birds. For the adults, I have 2 definite males, 1 definite female and 2 unknowns. They are unknown to me because they're white buttons and trying to vent sex them is impossible with my newbie eyes. All vents look the same to me! I picked up my male and female and seriously, they look the same. For the young birds, I had 2 most likely males and 1 maybe female.
    Time went on and well, all 3 young birds ended up being male. So now I have 5 males, 1 female, 2 unknowns. The female isn't getting harassed at all, she actually grew back her head feathers just fine. She lost a bunch of it before, when I first got her, because she was heavily outnumbered in her old living quarters. She's still outnumbered, but I guess they're nicer to her(?).

    Anyway, that's not the point right now. I am keeping them all in a 40gallon breeder fish tank. That's a total of 8 birds, the three young ones are probably almost adults now. The male birds' feathers are getting darker and darker as days go by. Looking out to be regular colored male buttons (2 of them anyway, 1 silver). The silver one has its back feathers plucked. One of the younger regular colored ones is slightly plucked, not too bad. One of my original male adults has been pecked pretty badly. His right eye is shut and the right side of the head looked beat up.
    I watched them for a bit earlier today and I think the culprit is the undamaged young male. He was quite "pecky" with the other birds when I was giving them mealworms. As if he was saying, "stay out of my territory! These are all my worms!"

    It worries me, especially the one who bruised his eye and is injured to the right side of his head. He was my very first button quail and he just seems really out of the group compared to the other 7. When the other 7 are eating, sleeping or whatnot, they'd be together while this guy has to sit on the opposite end of the tank.

    I'm suspecting it's due to my tank's size? Perhaps it is now too small for them? I didn't have this problem before when the three young ones were still growing up. Or maybe perhaps that one aggressive bird just needs to be removed and relocated, as I have not witnessed any other button being as mean as this individual.

    Tips? I plan on moving them out into a chicken coop + run soon. Just for the buttons, no chickens or whatnot. I'd like to know how big of a cage/run I should get for them that will make them stop fighting. And please don't say bigger the better, that's obviously a given. My backyard is a decent size, we live in the city and it isn't a TINY backyard like newer model houses have. It's a good size but still not as big as some folks have here, where it's practically an open field. Definitely not an open field...
    I plan on getting more buttons too. Maybe get 20-30 and toss em all outside and have a little button farm out there. It'd be adorable, so any input would help. Whether it be on how big of a space the number of quails I want should get or how to fix my aggressive and injured quail problem. I wonder if my injured quail will see again...

    Thanks in advance and yes, this is my first post.

    Hello everyone!
  2. FeatheredObsessions

    FeatheredObsessions Songster

    May 24, 2010
    In the wild these quail are monogamous. In captivity they have been kept in groups only because it was good for us, the human element. Granted sometimes colony groups do just fine but usually in colony groups you will see aggressions like feather plucking, injuries, and death. At times they can go for a long time without issues but usually one day their nature of monogamous life returns and they try to defend their home.
  3. Jeremiah.Chua

    Jeremiah.Chua In the Brooder

    May 31, 2010
    Thanks for the info.
    The eye seems to have healed up today, it isn't closed anymore. So there's positive signs of recovery.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by