Integrating quail

Discussion in 'Quail' started by beautifulchaos, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. beautifulchaos

    beautifulchaos Just Hatched

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    Hello! We are new to quail and trying to integrate a pair and a trio.
    Two that we have had awhile weren't kept in the best conditions (came to us pretty pecked and one had bumblefoot) and were outside in overcrowded conditions.
    The 3 we got most recently (after nursing Cleopatra and Annika back to health) are well cared for and much more tame.
    We were told that moving all of them to a new home at once would give the best chance of smooth integration (we were picking up a hutch at the same time) and were wondering how to tell when a pecking order is established and how much pecking has to happen before they settle. So far it's just Cleo who is getting aggressive (it figures she'd want to be queen)
    I'm admittedly soft and maybe not cut out for livestock because I'll cry if they get hurt [​IMG]
    Initially I removed Cleo (because she was attacking everyone)to see what the others would do and they settled in together fine...but Cleo cried the entire time so I put her back in see what would happen.
    They seem to have settled but she will still run at and peck the others. No one seems to be bleeding but I'm afraid to leave them unsupervised without knowing what is normal.
     
  2. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all - species and sex of your birds?
    Secondly - you are right not to leave them unsupervised, if she manages to draw blood from one, all of them are likely to keep pecking at the wound - and they can kill a bird very quickly that way.
    Try to distract them with special treats, a sand bath, plants to peck at, give them places to hide and such.
    Perhaps you can put the aggressive one in a cage inside the bigger enclosure? That way she can see the others and interact with them, but not attack them.
    The 'right' way to integrate two groups would be to house them next to each other for a week or two and then put them together in a cage that's new to all. Usually that would work, sometimes it wouldn't. Your way is more risky, but might still work.
     
  3. beautifulchaos

    beautifulchaos Just Hatched

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    They're Coturnix-all female.
    The pen is a rabbit hutch with an enclosed/dark area they can his on as well as a small nest ball type house. They have a sand box and 2 containers of food on opposite sides of the pen. I've also sprinkled mealworms and chia on opposite sides and thrown in some newspaper shreds.

    They seem to have settled some. 2 are hiding in the enclosed area, one is on a corner behind the straw nest and the original two are at the front.
    The other cage I have isn't small enough to fit in the enclosure (a rabbit hutch which is currently in my dining room) i have one of the new ones in it right now because o found her laying on her side. As soon as I moved her she got up and started running around so I think that may just be how she rests? It looked freaky though
     
  4. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aww the poor two new quail... It sounds like you've created an awesome place for them now :)

    For either new integration or settling down a sudden bully, partitioning the cage has worked for me.

    http://m.homehardware.ca/h5/m/en/r/...ting/_/N-ntlijZ2ppz/R-I5010132?resetUser=true

    I have used this bird netting or used a cage wall (metal grate slipped onto a nail to balance in the corner making a triangle of mini cage in a big cage).

    I've never had them peck at each other through the partition even when they didn't like each other. They see each other, hear each other and I put their waters on either side of the see through wall so they have ocassions where they are close to each other and nothing happens and they get desensitized after a day or few weeks - depends on the birds! [​IMG]

    Good luck with your girls!
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  5. beautifulchaos

    beautifulchaos Just Hatched

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    I had to remove Cleo again this morning because she wouldn't let the new birds near the water. We are picking up netting today. The hutch has a roof and 3 walls and the front is wire-will she be okay if she can't get to the nesting side? I live in WA and it's rainy
     
  6. beautifulchaos

    beautifulchaos Just Hatched

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    Well we tried the netting and they went nuts. It was like they couldn't see it. Going to try a metal grate tomorrow
     
  7. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ontario, Canada
    My metal grate came from the top of a plastic rabbit cage.

    This is my brooder (now in storage in the garage but used to hold birds while I clean their cage) that I temporarily used for a small group and one girl hated the male so I seperated her in the triangle for about a week trying every few days to reintroduce and monitoring the reaction from both the mean girl and the male.

    The shelf really helps the girls scoot away from the male if they aren't interested, he never figured out how to get up :p she would always use it to get away from him then about a week or two later she just accepted him like it was nothing.

    In one of the pics you can see all I used to hold the grate up is a screw jutting out of the wood wall. It can be lifted out or placed back in very quickly but the quail can't knock it down and don't bother trying to fly over it hehe silly things.

    You can also see the netting on top - helps with boinked heads too and they definitely knew when it wasn't there because they'd get frisky and sometimes try to fly out but only when the net was off :)

    Hope it works out for your birds! She should be fine, I give them the same as the other side like food, sandbox, water and corner/box of hay they like to pick at and lay their eggs in most times :)

    [​IMG]

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  8. beautifulchaos

    beautifulchaos Just Hatched

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    Well it seemed as if everyone was doing fine, but my original pair are back to being bare on their backs. They came to us that way so I'm not sure if they are doing it to themselves/each other or if they just have an affinity for brick pecked on.
    We bought a second hutch and a lotion that is supposed to discourage pecking and separated them for now. We also added rooster booster to everyone's water, mixed a little chick crumble into their food (in case it's a lack of protein-they're on a good gamebird feed but I figured a little boost wouldnt hurt). And put in some grass bedding and extra things to hide in and around to help them feel more secure.
     

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