Help? Overly aggressive chinese quail

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Kitei, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Kitei

    Kitei Out Of The Brooder

    49
    0
    32
    Jul 9, 2012
    A few weeks ago I got a trio of chinese quail.
    I had to remove the youngest bird when I found her one morning with blood all over her, and I assumed it was an issue with them being in a trio, so she's been separated for almost a couple of weeks.
    Today, I checked on them and found that the older silver girl, same age as the roo, was also covered in blood on her head, and also had an injury to her cheek. She's now in with the younger girl and the boy is on his own.

    I'm assuming that it's him, since there's nothing in their cage that could cause these injuries to the girls. They have enough space, so I don't think that's an issue, they have enough food and constant access to water, and yes, both of the others are definitely both hens. The older girl and roo were hatched and raised together, although the younger silver hen wasn't, as she's 3 weeks behind them.

    Why would he be doing this, does anyone know? Should I be thinking of culling him and replacing him? If so, how would anyone recommend humanely culling a quail?

    I'm quite happy looking to replace him - going to an auction on monday so may pick up some birds there, but if it's an obvious issue that could be fixed then I'd prefer that.

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. nothingbutbirds

    nothingbutbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,204
    39
    156
    Aug 9, 2012
    Pennsylvania
     
  3. Kitei

    Kitei Out Of The Brooder

    49
    0
    32
    Jul 9, 2012
    The two older birds are around 8-10 weeks now, whilst the young hen is just reaching 6-8.
     
  4. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    2,787
    432
    286
    Oct 24, 2009
    Thailand
    Some points from my personal experience with these birds.

    Keep in PAIRS only!!!!
    These quail live in pairs in the wild when breeding. They will live in groups outside the breeding season. Once your quails mature they will always end up fighting - perhaps to the death, if they are kept in groups.
    (Groups will only work in very large enclosures with lots of natural cover). Other quail species like the Japanese quail can be kept in groups all the time.

    Its NOT normal for the male to make the hens bleed when mating them.
    The males can be rough with them, but this only leads to missing feathers on the back of the head, which will regrow.

    I think in your case the male has matured faster then the females, and he is ready to breed. The hens are not responding to his advances, so he is getting frustrated and attacking them.

    Getting more quail will only increase the problems, and perhaps add disease.

    I would keep them like you have them now - just watch for the hens fighting each other. In a few weeks all the wounded birds should be healed up and feathers re growing. At this stage you can attempt to introduce the male to one of the females again (put the male into the females cage, not the female into the males cage - as in his own cage he will be very territorial).

    Keep close eye out for any fighting.

    These birds look so cute - but they can be really nasty to each other at times.
     
  5. Kitei

    Kitei Out Of The Brooder

    49
    0
    32
    Jul 9, 2012
    They were only in a trio because that's how they were sold to me - I imagine so that they could clear their birds faster, especially in the case of the young silver hen. I was actually going to the auction for a couple of roos anyway to pair of a couple of spare hens that I have, so that they aren't in trios. XD

    I'm glad that it might just be a case of maturity - he's a very attractive bird and I think I would have trouble trying to source a new one in his colour around here. I'll definitely try that, then. =)
     
  6. nothingbutbirds

    nothingbutbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,204
    39
    156
    Aug 9, 2012
    Pennsylvania
    good point i originally kept them that way but had problems with females getting killed and seriously injured by overactive males, with my older male i havent had trouble but my old one is 6 or 7 yrs old so i wouldnt expect much out of him
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by