Help picking up/holding quail


Jul 31, 2020
Recently, as my quail have been maturing, I’ve noticed a lot more running around and noises coming from my quail enclosure. I watched the quail for a while and noticed that there was one male that kept picking on the other quail (grabbing onto their neck with his beak). I do realize that this is how quail mate but he is also doing it to the other males. He actually did scalp one of my other male quails who is now isolated while he recovers. I also isolated the tormentor and immediately noticed the other quail quiet down and stop running around. All my other quails are very calm and quiet they barely make any noise and they do not run from my hand and are easy to pick up. However, this male quail always runs from my hand and refuses to be picked up. When I try to pick him up he starts kicking and flapping his wings so I put him back down before he can injure himself. How do I pick up this quail if it clearly doesn’t want to be picked up?


May 25, 2019
My tamer quail prefer to be scooped up from the side than from above. I think they all feel like they're being grabbed by a predator when they're picked up from above. But with those who don't at all tolerate getting picked up, you kind of have to do what you have to do. My favorite way of catching in the aviary is to place the auxiliary cage in the pen with food it in, sit nearby while they explore, and quickly close the door when the intended bird enters.

When holding a nervous bird, placing a towel or cloth over their head can make it easier.


11 Years
May 26, 2009
David, Chiriquí, Panama
I place my hand over their back with my fingers pointing towards their head. I put my index finger on one side of their head, and my middle finger on the other. Thumb and other fingers wrap around the bird to pin their wings to their body. In this position, I can flip a bird upside down if I need to examine their vent and underside without needing to readjust my hold on the bird. This position also makes it easy for both of us upon release, as I put them close to the floor with their feet touching and release my grip, they simply walk away.


Dec 9, 2016
I wished I could do this but I have tiny hands. :rolleyes:
I have tiny hands too, practically half the size of my BF's XD But here's examples of finger placement on the hamburger hold, using my daft bird who just wants to take a nap on ya. Gave his claws a clip after building up the courage and it is really easy given his temperament, I was just afraid of hitting the quick of the claws.

Here's the hamburger hold, no real need for any pressure, just a gentle hold that secures the wings and makes the bird feel supported. Unlike perching birds such as chickens, Japanese quail don't seem to fuss as much if their legs are left hanging:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom