Help! I have an aggressive quail!

quailsssss

In the Brooder
Mar 7, 2021
32
22
31
Hello, I bought three coturnix quails(1 yellow, 1 gray, and 1 brown) from a breeder at 3 days old and they grew up together. However at 5 weeks, my gray quail randomly began to charge at and attack my yellow quail. The brown one is fine with both of them, but it's been spending less time with the yellow one ever since the bullying started, probably because the gray one keeps scaring the yellow one away. The yellow one just hides in a corner by itself and is unable to sleep because of the stress created by the gray quail. When the bullying happens, the yellow one always flies away and boinks its head on the ceiling while trying to run away and at one point it seemed to have a mild concussion. For now, I took out the aggressive quail and put it in a separate box. If I continue to isolate this gray quail, its going to have a lot of stress, but if I don't, the yellow one will probably die. I saw a youtube video where a man sprays a 50% white vinegar and 50% water mixture on his quails when introducing different flocks. However my quails grew up together and I'm not sure whether this will be effective. What should I do? Any recommendations? By the way, I am a first time quail owner and at the time of this post, my quails are a little less than 5 weeks old.
 

JHCleeve

In the Brooder
Nov 17, 2020
8
7
11
Do they have access to a sand bath? I had some aggression issues in my pens but since I added a sand bath (with the occasional addition of some mealworms and crushed oyster shell) I’ve not had any issues at all.
Also somewhere to hide is usually helpful, if you don’t have that already.

I have never tried the vinegar method so I can’t speak to that.

I hope it sorts itself out for you soon, it can be very irritating!
 

quailsssss

In the Brooder
Mar 7, 2021
32
22
31
Do they have access to a sand bath? I had some aggression issues in my pens but since I added a sand bath (with the occasional addition of some mealworms and crushed oyster shell) I’ve not had any issues at all.
Also somewhere to hide is usually helpful, if you don’t have that already.

I have never tried the vinegar method so I can’t speak to that.

I hope it sorts itself out for you soon, it can be very irritating!
Wow, that was a FAST reply! Hm I've never fed them meal worms and they don't have a sand bath yet, so I'll definitely try those. Great advice 👍
 
Jul 7, 2020
45
67
66
Hello, I bought three coturnix quails(1 yellow, 1 gray, and 1 brown) from a breeder at 3 days old and they grew up together. However at 5 weeks, my gray quail randomly began to charge at and attack my yellow quail. The brown one is fine with both of them, but it's been spending less time with the yellow one ever since the bullying started, probably because the gray one keeps scaring the yellow one away. The yellow one just hides in a corner by itself and is unable to sleep because of the stress created by the gray quail. When the bullying happens, the yellow one always flies away and boinks its head on the ceiling while trying to run away and at one point it seemed to have a mild concussion. For now, I took out the aggressive quail and put it in a separate box. If I continue to isolate this gray quail, its going to have a lot of stress, but if I don't, the yellow one will probably die. I saw a youtube video where a man sprays a 50% white vinegar and 50% water mixture on his quails when introducing different flocks. However my quails grew up together and I'm not sure whether this will be effective. What should I do? Any recommendations? By the way, I am a first time quail owner and at the time of this post, my quails are a little less than 5 weeks old.
My guess is they are males. 2 males 1 female , you will have nothing vut trouble.
 

shrimpsilkies

Songster
Feb 1, 2020
362
661
161
Your quail are at the age that males start crowing, mating, and hens start laying eggs. You may have one or two males. Can you sex them properly through crowing/eggs/vent/color? If not, can you post a picture so that people can help you with that? More than one male is never good especially with only three birds. Even if you have one male, you will need at least 3 hens and probably up to 5 to keep him from stressing out and killing one of them.
I suggest you get comfortable with culling away or giving away your badly behaved bird. Vinegar water will not make a male any less inclined to mate or fight.
 

Nabiki

Quail Geek
Premium Feather Member
May 15, 2019
9,558
61,673
1,096
Sonoma County, CA
It sounds like you have at least 2 males. If these are coturnix quail, the proper ratio is 1 male to 3 to 5 females. If you have more than one male and not enough space, they will fight, it will get messy, and one will probably die unless you separate them.
 

CovidtimeQuail

Highly quailified
Premium Feather Member
Nov 28, 2020
742
1,606
231
Honolulu, HI
Regardless of sex, once one bird decides it doesn't like another, it is very difficult to change its mind.

For now, take the aggressive gray bird out and deprive it of companionship and anything remotely fun. Keep it separate until it gets lonely, at least 2 days. Once it is lonely enough, try reintroducing it back to the cage. They may get along now, or they may not. It's worth a try. Even if they get along for now, chances are that two are males and one is female, in which case your peace will not last.

I have 2 permanent bird cage/runs and I'm building another because I know I'll have to do the bird shuffle once my current set matures.

As far as what to do with your aggressive bird, most of us here have learned to cull them -- it sounds horrible, but that fate is not nearly as horrible as what the birds will do to each other if not managed.
 

CovidtimeQuail

Highly quailified
Premium Feather Member
Nov 28, 2020
742
1,606
231
Honolulu, HI
I wasn't sure how much information to add, but there are a couple of other steps you can take, depending on how much effort you want to put into this.

Rather than reintroduce the bird directly back to its original cage, you could also:

1. Deprive grey bird of company for a few days.
2. Put yellow bird (and brown , too, if you want) in a new cage and add fun distractions and food.
3. Reintroduce grey bird to yellow (and brown) bird in this new cage.
4. If they get along, let them get to know each other for a few hours then put them back in old cage.

Quail are highly territorial and judgmental (think of them as middle school girls), so redefining their territories and alliances helps.

Also, have a spray bottle of 30%/70% white vinegar/water mixture ready to spray them if needed. You can use it if they attack one another; it helps to temporarily reset their thoughts.
 

quailsssss

In the Brooder
Mar 7, 2021
32
22
31
Regardless of sex, once one bird decides it doesn't like another, it is very difficult to change its mind.

For now, take the aggressive gray bird out and deprive it of companionship and anything remotely fun. Keep it separate until it gets lonely, at least 2 days. Once it is lonely enough, try reintroducing it back to the cage. They may get along now, or they may not. It's worth a try. Even if they get along for now, chances are that two are males and one is female, in which case your peace will not last.

I have 2 permanent bird cage/runs and I'm building another because I know I'll have to do the bird shuffle once my current set matures.

As far as what to do with your aggressive bird, most of us here have learned to cull them -- it sounds horrible, but that fate is not nearly as horrible as what the birds will do to each other if not managed.
Oh man. Thanks everyone. I'll try all of these tips. I contacted the seller an he said that he could try adding my male quail with his adult quails for a week or two and maybe it'll learn its place? If nothing else works then I'll try that. However, I might just give the gray quail back to him if this happens.
 

quailsssss

In the Brooder
Mar 7, 2021
32
22
31
I wasn't sure how much information to add, but there are a couple of other steps you can take, depending on how much effort you want to put into this.

Rather than reintroduce the bird directly back to its original cage, you could also:

1. Deprive grey bird of company for a few days.
2. Put yellow bird (and brown , too, if you want) in a new cage and add fun distractions and food.
3. Reintroduce grey bird to yellow (and brown) bird in this new cage.
4. If they get along, let them get to know each other for a few hours then put them back in old cage.

Quail are highly territorial and judgmental (think of them as middle school girls), so redefining their territories and alliances helps.

Also, have a spray bottle of 30%/70% white vinegar/water mixture ready to spray them if needed. You can use it if they attack one another; it helps to temporarily reset their thoughts.
Okay, I'm trying that right now. Hopefully this works 🥲. Great tips!
 

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