Help!!! My Button Quail turned on her mate!!!!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by PoultryQueen29, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. PoultryQueen29

    PoultryQueen29 Chillin' With My Peeps

    710
    4
    111
    Sep 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    I'm really scared because my female button quail just started attacking her mate yesterday while I was taking care of them. It's never happened this bad before. I only saw her peck him once before. I'm afraid she's going to hurt him bad and I don't have much experience so all I would be able to to is call the vet and hope they will take button quail. They do chickens and parrots and finches so hopefully they would. Should I be concerned about this behavior or is it normal every once in a while? I'm actually trying to re-home them right now along with all of their supplies so it would be really bad if anything happened.
     
  2. Jackeltree

    Jackeltree Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Mar 26, 2012
    Hi! Has your female been laying eggs? If not, your female is probably a male. Two males in the same close quarters will fight. One (the dominant one) will chase the other and peck them. Not constantly, but constantly enough...often until he dies. :( Most people think that if a button quail doesn't have a bib, they are definitely female. But with all the new mutations and colors, this is less and less common I think. I've bought 4 "female" button quails from two different breeders...none had bibs...three turned out to be male.

    If your quail isn't laying eggs, I would certainly think that you have two males on your hands and you should separate them immediately. Males won't be happy without female counterparts (they call and call and it's quite sad). If you rehome them, make sure you find someone who has female to match them up with and make sure they don't get put back together in the same enclosure once they find a new home.

    I hope this helps!

    -Crystal :)
     
  3. PoultryQueen29

    PoultryQueen29 Chillin' With My Peeps

    710
    4
    111
    Sep 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    No she is laying and has been since before I bought her
     
  4. Jackeltree

    Jackeltree Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Mar 26, 2012
    Hmmm...well there goes that theory. I couldn't imagine why she's attacking her mate! Poor thing...perhaps it's best to separate them for now? If I were closer (I'm in NY), I would certainly provide them with a home...I'm desperately searching for button quails in my area...I have one lonely guy. :( Good luck! :)
     
  5. BackyardFarmMom

    BackyardFarmMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,729
    27
    143
    Mar 27, 2012
    Michigan
    Honestly, I don't know a whole lot. However, I read that laying females can turn on their mates for "fear" of their babies being hurt. (The fear could be real or made up)
    Also, if your quail are not getting enough protein they will eat eachother. Please, make sure your quail feed has 20% protein. They HAVE TO HAVE enough protein!!!
    I have read that you can compair quail to cats... Cats must eat meat. Quail must eat insects.
    You can give them mealworms or cooked eggs.

    I have no experience in this situation but have been researching quail for the past few weeks. I am expecting my own babies in May!!! I had a pair 6 years ago and fed them turkey start with no issues. I just wanted to see if there was any new information I could learn. BYC has provided some great info and answered some of my questions.

    I hope this will help.
    Get her some protein fast!!!
     
  6. BackyardFarmMom

    BackyardFarmMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,729
    27
    143
    Mar 27, 2012
    Michigan
    Please let me know if this helps. Maybe seperate them for a day and try a high protein diet.
    Thanks
     
  7. PoultryQueen29

    PoultryQueen29 Chillin' With My Peeps

    710
    4
    111
    Sep 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    I already feed them mealworms and game bird feed and alfalfa hay so they get a lot of protein. She was ok today so i'll monitor the behavior for a while and see how it goes.
     
  8. PoultryQueen29

    PoultryQueen29 Chillin' With My Peeps

    710
    4
    111
    Sep 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    She seems to only do it when I stick my hand in the cage and my male button starts running around and pecking me and sometimes accidentally tramples her. Is she just annoyed at him so she tries to get him to stop by attacking? I'm trying to get them off my hands as soon as possible because they just stress me out so much.
     
  9. PoultryQueen29

    PoultryQueen29 Chillin' With My Peeps

    710
    4
    111
    Sep 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    Can someone please tell me what's wrong with her? She does this whenever I put food in the dish. She will stretch our her neck, go low to the ground, and go che che che che che che
    right in his face then attack him. Once she chases him away from the food, she leaves him alone and starts to eat. Then she will see him start to come back out and attack him again. I'm going on vacation tomorrow and i'm concerned she will kill him while i'm gone and the petsitter will find him like that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  10. jbobs

    jbobs Chillin' With My Peeps

    sounds to me like she's just being a little so-and-so. I used to have dozen of buttons and most of them lived happily in a group setting but every once in a while I'd get one that would develop an attitude overnight. I would ask myself the following questions

    1. do these birds have a big enough cage
    2. does this cage offer enough "spaces" and sight barriers to let the birds get out of sight from one another
    3. Has anything in the environment changed recently when this agression started - ie the birds moved to a different location, change of anything in the cage, separated from another group of birds, etc etc.

    Right now I would add another food and water dish so they don't have to share resources. It sounds like she is just posessive of the food and doesn't really have a hate on for him in general. Is the food available all the time or does it run out during the day? What kind of cage are they in?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by