Help with nighttime noises?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by pajaro42, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. pajaro42

    pajaro42 Out Of The Brooder

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    So, I've had my button quail for a little over two months now. He's been fairly quiet, but recently that's changed. It seems that at night he has started pacing and even jumping a little. He's also started letting out a call that sounds like a single "pew".

    Naturally the first thing I did was look to see if there was any sort of mite or something similar causing him discomfort, but I didn't see anything. What could be causing this, and what can I do to help him calm down?
     
  2. mckeesbackyard

    mckeesbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is your button by his lonesome? If he is, he's calling out to a mate so find him one or he'll die of loneliness.
     
  3. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    They don't die from being lonely unless they had a mate to begin with. That said quail are social creatures and like to have others of their ilk about, but adding a mate wont really make him quieter just maybe quieter at night. Is the cage covered at night? if not try that. Also listen for sirens in the distance when your hearing the little dude chirp. My button quail are all under the impression that the fire trucks that pass my house are their long lost mother and they all call out to the sirens.
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Some birds get night frights at night. Some of my parrots panic at night as well. Too dark. I solved the problem with a nightlight close to the cages. This might help your quail as well.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I also found a ticking clock can sooth birds too.
     
  6. pajaro42

    pajaro42 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the suggestions!

    Turns out, he's no longer just calling at night. I'm hearing him during the day now too, though covering the cage does seem like it's helping a little bit. Also, he doesn't have a mate anymore. I had bought him in a pair, and the female arrived sick, only to die a few days later. Will he accept a new mate? I thought button quail mated for life. Either way, getting a female will probably be difficult for me right now. No one nearby sells quail, and I don't want to have a bird shipped while it's cold.
     
  7. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ooo. That was what the other poster was talking about. It is very possible he will die after having lost a mate. Keep track of his appearance and make sure he doesn't start to look sickly. They seem to bang their head a lot more and I even had one that scratched his head feathers off on the wire trying to escape until i replaced his mate. Also they seem to lose weight quickly after losing a mate, I haven't lost any birds that way but I've come close.

    They will accept a new mate as long as their old mate is gone(dead, flew away, etc. no cage swapping). check around for bird shows in your area people usually sell the quail they bring. Also pet store sometimes sell button quail although they are usually in pretty bad shape from crowding. Flea markets and craigslist are also places to look. With craigslist you have to check regularly because people don't usually sell a lot of buttons on there. You can also order eggs and incubate them. You have a little time as the loneliness seems to sort of waste them away slowly (at times its taken me two months to hatch/grow out new mates and the birds have survived) but every bird is different so haste is in order.

    There really isn't a sugar coated way to say this but you took on this species either having done enough research or not and at this point though you pretty much have a responsibility to find it a new mate. I don't want to sound like I'm being mean but I also don't want anyone's button quail to die of anything but old age, so forgive me if I sound preachy.
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Many birds that mate for life can and do die from loneliness. They will pine away, losing interest in life if they do not find a mate. I keep lovebirds too, and hence the name Lovebird, they are very suseptable to dying if you do not find them a mate. I have seen them die this way.

    I think your best course of action is to find this bird a mate. You have nothing to lose at this point, and if he is truly suffering from loneliness, he will not reject a new bird. If you do get another bird, introduce them very slowly. Don't just plunk her in. Keep her where he can see her so he thinks he is finding her and whooing her. You also don't want the other bird to suddenly attack him as this can happen.

    You might also try taking the place of a mate. Sounds crazy, but I have kept single Lovebirds alive by winning over their hearts. Spend a lot of time with this bird. He may be very skittish at first, (I don't know how tame he is), but you can get him out of this environment and into your living room. Get to know him and let him get to know you. Spend quality time with him and he may warm up to you enough to consider you his mate. I did this with several Lovebirds that I didn't have a mate for and their lives were quite enriched being able to interact with human surroundings.

    You can also put some stuffed animals in his cage or even an over turned feather duster in the corner so he thinks there might be another feathered bird nearby. Some sort of white noise never hurts either. Some quiet music always calms my parrots down here in the house.

    You might also PM GrandmaBird here. She is the Button expert and might have a bird source for you.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  9. pajaro42

    pajaro42 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh my. Hopefully there is someone nearby that sells quail. Like I said, I don't want to have a bird shipped in this cold...

    If I can't find one, do you really think I take the place of a mate? If so, what would be the best way to go about doing that? I've tried to make him not so skittish around me by placing my hand in his cage sometimes and trying to give him mealworms, but so far he only paces the back of the cage when I do that.
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Get him out on the living room floor with some food. Bring something familiar from his cage. Since he will be scared at first, he should stick near you. If he flies, go get him and put him back where you started on the floor. Talk to him in a quiet reassuring voice. Make every experience for him positive. Carry him around the house. Put him on the bed. Put him on the window sill to look outside. Just spend time with him. Take your time with him at first, only keeping him from his cage for 5 or so mins. Maybe an hour later do it again. Over the next week, increase the time he is away from his cage. Keep working with him. Food is positive reinforcement. So bring some exciting food to feed him outside of his area. After a few weeks, he will start to see you as comforting. And eventually he may feel you are his mate. When he gets so excited to see you and doesn't want to hang out in his cage alone, you know you have won over his heart and you are, in his mind, his mate.

    It can be done. Any type of bird can become a human companion. You just need a lot of patience, compassion and time. And they really do get stuck in your heart. Here is my little Skeebie. She passed away about 4 years ago, but she was without a mate nearly all her life. When I first tried getting her out of the cage, she held on to the ceiling like I was going to eat her. After working with her, a few weeks later, she was glued to me. Never wanted to spend a moment away from me. She lived longer than her life expectancy and enjoyed every minute of life. All because I took the time to work with her and didn't want her to pine away like so many Lovebirds do without mates.

    And no, she is not dead here. LOL Just lazing around on a quiet day. Loved to sleep in anyones hands.
    [​IMG]
     

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