Help with Lonely Quail and Soft Shell Eggs


In the Brooder
Mar 23, 2019
Hello everyone. I have two issues that I need help with but this is going to come with a long story so here it goes. I have an almost 2 year old female coturnix quail who recently lost her buddy. So almost two years ago, I had a student hatch quails and long story short I ended up adopting one of them. I named her Molly and I had her for about 4 months, just me and her. She was definitely really attached to me and never wanted to be in the cage when I was home. She doesn't like to cuddle or be held but she also doesn't want to be alone if she knows that I am around. Thankfully my student had kept a female quail too, Cleo and I was able to adopt her as well. For the past year and 4 months, these two have been together. It obviously caused Molly to be much less attached to me and they definitely bonded. They lived very happy and healthy little lives together. Unfortunately, Cleo got sick really fast the other day, most likely some kind of internal issue that wasn't infection related, and by the time I was finally able to get to a vet that could see quail she passed away. After I got home from the vet and on the advice from a trusted friend who is a vet tech, I changed all the bedding and sand, I completely cleaned every inch of the cage, rearranged the foliage and everything in the cage and changed where the cage is in my apartment. Molly unfortunately has gone right back to being attached to me and not wanting to be in the cage if I am home. She is calling out a lot and you all know what call I mean, I have named it the "Cricket Ribbit". She is perfectly healthy otherwise: very curious and active, eats and drinks well, sand bathes all the time. My only other concern with her, which has been a concern for almost a year now is her body's battle with feather regrowth or egg production. For some reason she has never stopped laying while her body is trying to grow feathers so it has been a constant battle to get her to grow her feathers while she is laying eggs. If she isn't growing feathers then her eggs are fully formed and healthy. If her feathers are growing back, even with ample calcium supplements, she is still laying eggs a few times a week but they are either soft shell or have the thinnest of shells partially formed. I have seen the vet about her egg thing and what I will probably end up doing is working with him to get her to stop laying eggs. Her feathers are looking much better lately and since she is almost 2, it makes sense to stop the egg production. Here is my major predicament and where I need all the advise I can get. I have cared for these two extremely well but my goal is not to continue to have quails after this. But I want to give Molly the best quality of life for the rest of her life. Now I honestly have no idea how long quail typically live in captivity as pets. I really don't want to have to get another quail because I feel like I will be setting myself up for this predicament again; one of them dies and I have to get another, and then over and over again. I live alone and I am a teacher. I don't have anyone else to care for her. I do have the ability to bring her into work with me and I have a cage in my classroom. But I really don't know what else to do to help her with loneliness. I know my options here are minimal but any and all advise I could get would be much appreciated. I would love to get her another buddy but that just isn't a possibility for me. Thank you for reading that extremely long story and I look forward to your thoughts.
When we first received our rescue quail he had a mirror and a couple small stuufed toys that were birds. He interacted with the stuffed bird toys much more than I expected! The mirror seemed to stress him out more than ease his loneliness. For us we added a bunch more quail. In your case perhaps the stuffed toy companion may help.
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