Introducing new females to lone male...

Discussion in 'Quail' started by iamcuriositycat, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,

    I'm usually over on the duck boards, but I dipped into quail last year and still have one little remnant of that. He was hatched alone (by accident--long story) and was always afraid of other quail. He lives in a 10 x 10 aviary with honeysuckle to hide under, dirt to dig in, and lots of bugs to eat. But he's terribly lonely out there, always wants to be with us. I'm hoping now that he's sexually mature, he might accept a couple females for company, so I'm looking around to see what I can turn up.

    In the mean time, I thought I'd check with you quail experts and see what I need to do to make the introductions as smooth as possible. Shall I remove him from the aviary, put him in a cage for a few days, and let the ladies get comfy in his aviary before returning him, so he won't be territorial and torment them? Or will that just cause them to be territorial and torment him? Any other suggestions? I don't want to come out and find someone pecked half to death like we often did in our early quail-keeping days before we learned a few things.

    Thanks!

    P.S. He's coturnix, if that's important.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  2. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Overrun With Chickens

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    Given A Number Of Informative Things Here I'd Say Open The Aviary And Throw 'em In There And Let The Orgy Begin...

    10x10 Planted Aviary= They Have Way More Than Enough Room To Run And Structure To Hide In If And When They Need A Break
    Mature Coturnix Roos Generally Consider 2 Things In Life And Nothing Else... #1 Sex, #2 Food (in That Order) I'm Sure As Soon As He See's The Ladies He's Previously Been Deprived Of He Will Quickly Get Over His Fear Of Other Quail... In Like Oh Say, About 1/2 A Second!
     
  3. snyd08

    snyd08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG]... the man doesnt sugar coat much..
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    A 10'X10' aviary is plenty of room for 3 quail, being that the new birds will be females. And if your male is lonely he will most likely take to them fairly well. The girls will be new to the area, so any of their aggression will be cooled down. So I would do as JJ suggested and let them all loose together. If there is plenty of hiding places, a brush pile to sneak around in, than any squabbling shouldn't get bloody.

    Good luck with your new quail! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, that's the first time I've gotten advice that made my life EASIER, [​IMG]. Yay!

    Okay, I've got a lead on some 4-week-old girls. I'll probably pick them up next week, so they'll be 5 weeks--shall I keep them separate until they're around 8 weeks and fully mature? Last year, when keeping quail in pens, we found that putting immature (but fully grown) birds in with mature usually ended in severely injured juveniles. Will it be different because they have so much space and they're all new girls?

    And thanks. Y'all are awesome.
     
  6. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:I WOULD DEFINATELY WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE MATURE. ALSO I WOULD MAKE SURE I GOT HIM ENOUGH LADIES SO THAT HE ISNT BREEDING A COUPLE TO THE POINT OF EXHAUSTION... 4 OR 5 PER MALE SHOULD WORK OUT PRETTY GOOD
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All right maybe I'll go for a few more girls then. However, one of the things I love about having him in that 10 x 10 aviary is that it's large enough that I don't ever have to clean it--the poop just decomposes into the ground along with the leaves from the trees overhead and so on... all I ever do is add food and water and occasionally little improvements like a new plant or a stick house to hide in. How many quail can I have in there before I start having to manage waste?
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    I would suggest a roof over your aviary if you don't already have one. Rain, snow, mud, poop and quail don't mix. Keeping them in a natural environment such as an aviary is a wonderful way to raise quail. However they do not need nor like to get wet. The rains will cause mud clumps on the feet along with poop balls, all of which you will constantly be cleaning off their feet, or they will have foot trouble. The excess moisture will lead to parasites and other nasties you don't want your quail coming in contact with. The smell will attract predators. I spread grass hay deep, around in my aviaries. Helps absorb poo and odor. During the winter months they tend all congregate in one of the 10'X30' aviaries, all 31 of them. I can go 2 weeks before I find it all needs to be raked up by churning up the hay daily. Sometimes I only need to rake up the half they tend to hang out in. You will probably be able to go several months in that size aviary without cleaning up poo if you have some litter down. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the tip, twocrows! A roof on the aviary isn't really an option at this point, but there are two straw-bedded doghouses in there that can be used as shelter from rain, and the drainage is really good (it's decomposed straw bedding built up over a bed of mulch on top of wire on top of good loamy soil, and the landscape slopes away from it). He's been out there all summer and hasn't seemed any the worse for wear, though I do wonder about winter--I may have to move him into a cage under the lean-to. He does not seem to ever use the doghouses--in fact, I have his food up inside one of them, and I had to start with it just in the entrance and gradually move it backwards into the interior, because he wouldn't go into the house for it.

    I do toss a small amount of straw litter in there occasionally, mostly for his digging enjoyment, but he mostly likes to make dust baths out of the loam, sit under the honeysuckle, and peck at bugs and birdseed (which I also occasionally toss in there).

    I keep ducks also, and I am constantly putting down fresh straw for them, because their pens get mucky really fast. But his just doesn't ever get mucky. The pen (aviary) was originally for ducks, though, which is why it's so built up from all the layers of (long-since composed and now beginning to be overgrown) duck litter.

    Thanks for all the feedback. Do you think I really need a roof over the whole thing? Or is he okay with the two doghouses (that he never seems to use)? I think he gets up under the shelter of their eaves when it storms, but I frankly don't know because any time I get close to the pen he comes running over to see me, so I never really know where he hangs out when I'm not there.
     
  10. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] PLAIN & SIMPLE! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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