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Just how messy are Button Quail?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by AuberyMirkwood, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. AuberyMirkwood

    AuberyMirkwood Songster

    Jul 24, 2011
    Clovis NM
    I am designing an enormous planted terrarium. It seems unlikely but if it would work a button quail trio would be super neat in there. So just how destructive and messy are they? Thanks!

  2. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Songster

    May 28, 2012
    they are just tiny birds. I do not think they are messy although they can really toss around the sand bath sand! They would like a planted area but be sure it has plenty of air circulation for their tiny lungs need fresh air, that is why it is best to keep them in wire sided cages/enclosure. you must have a top or they will fly out and it should be boink proof, if startled they jump straight up and can break their necks on a hard ceiling/roof. And for the health and happiness of the birds please keep them in pairs not a group or trio. Some on here will argue that trios are fine but the buttons would tell you differently, IMO.
  3. gorabbitgo

    gorabbitgo Chirping

    Sep 9, 2012
    I have to agree with GrandmaBird. Button quail do best in mated pairs and trying to have more than one hen per roo will result in injury or death for at least one bird. If you want more than two, you can house three or more hens together without a male. They'll still lay eggs and will cohabitate happily as long as they're all introduced while they're young and you add some hides in case there's a pecking order dispute.

    Be careful about the plants you choose, too, because buttons tend to scratch like chickens and trample, rip up, and eat plants. If you choose something delicate it won't be able to survive. I occasionally give mine pie pans of sprouted birdseed and they pretty much kill the whole pan within a day or two. They'll dust bathe often as well and toss dirt over sprouting plants. Also be aware that they produce a LOT of poop, which may smother plants or over-fertilize them.
    I'd suggest letting your terrarium grow for a month or so before adding your quail to allow plants to get some root growth and to get your watering/drainage figured out before adding living chaos to the mix.

    Other considerations are the type of soil you use to plant your terrarium (perlite and vermiculite can cause respiratory issues, many brands of potting soil contain harmful fertilizers/fungicides, etc.) and the plants themselves. Some plants that are fine for lizards and frogs will kill birds.

    I'd love to see pictures of your completed terrarium when you get it established. I've thought about adding live plants to my pen several times but i have yet to figure out a way to make it work!

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