How to choose which males to keep / re-home?

chellejay

In the Brooder
Mar 30, 2017
17
1
47
Hi all,
I have 6 hens and 5 male quail. They are now a couple of months old, and I really need to reduce the number of males. But I am not sure how to judge which roos will be the 'best' with the hens.
One of the smaller roos, who crows more than the others, is really starting to chase a couple of the hens around, causing them to fly into the mesh cage (repeatedly) to get away. So my first thought was to remove him. But I don't know if that's normal behaviour and another roo will just start doing the exact same thing once he's gone?
If he's the boss of the flock, should he be the one that I keep, and things will settle once there's no more competition for him? Or is he the one that should go?
Of the other males, are there particular behaviours that you've seen that indicate which turn out to be the best lead roo?
thanks!
Chelle
 

geniash

Chirping
Jul 12, 2016
135
35
86
You are slightly overthinking it :D I select the biggest roo (by weight) for breeding purposes and cull the rest. Any roo will be able to keep up with 6 hens no problem.
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Sep 29, 2014
7,682
22,220
941
New Zealand
Don't keep an overly aggressive male as he is likely to produce aggressive offspring. Like most animals behavioural traits can be passed along to subsequent generations. If your females don't like him then that should tell you something. Females should submit to the attentions of a male and allow him to mate with them if they like him, not be leaping about to avoid him and potentially hurting themselves. I'd trial the males, removing the extra four boys and see if things settle down/which one they prefer. Is there one that is particularly friendly towards you, docile and easy to pick up and handle?

A good male will 'tidbit' to the females, calling them over for food and treats with a low, quiet, rumbling call, so throwing some meal worms or something in with them and observing what happens is often a good way of seeing who is a gentleman.
 

chellejay

In the Brooder
Mar 30, 2017
17
1
47
that's great advice. Thanks! I've never seen them 'tidbit'ing but will keep an eye out. I removed three males late this arvo, so will spend some time watching them tomorrow to see how they behave.
All the quail are fairly happy to be handled, so that's not a deciding factor.
And I love their little warbling call! Our sunroom is right near their enclosure, and whenever one of the roos lets out a little warble, we all stop and smile!
 

lomine

Crowing
5 Years
Aug 7, 2015
2,858
2,953
356
Peyton, CO
Good advise already given. Keep in mind that your quail are young so all of them are just learning what to do. It's common for males to mature faster than females so the females don't know yet they are supposed to submit. They have no idea why the male is chasing them around so they get scared. There's a difference between immaturity and aggression. But if a male actually hurts a female, defiantly get rid of him.
 

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