Killer female coturnix- why?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by juliawise, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. juliawise

    juliawise Hatching

    Sep 9, 2010
    I had a male and female coturnix, about eight weeks old, in a pen about 1.5 by 2 feet. The female was laying every day, and the male was chasing her around for sex. Normal quail stuff. But then last night the female scalped the male. He died within minutes.

    I've seen reports of male coturnix doing this, but why did my girl suddenly go killer? I had never seen any indication of violence from either of them. Maybe he somehow scraped himself, and she saw the blood and went after him? Is there something I can do to stop this happening again?
  2. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

    Feb 6, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    Sometimes when a bird sees some injury on another bird, they start picking on the wound. I immediately remove the the injured one so it doesn't happen. I think that may have happened with your female. I also had males do it to each other but that's a different behavior thing as it's more of a male fit thingy.

    But I would just keep a watch on your female if you introduce any more to her.
  3. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    The aggressive birds in my groups usually are the females, maybe she got tired of his antics? It's best to keep at least 3 females with one male so they don't wear them out.
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    The females can be brutal. My momma coturnix with the 3 babies is locked in the hutch with her chicks for the safety of the OTHER ADULTS. She goes nuts when she sees them.
  5. wpalmisano

    wpalmisano Songster

    Aug 11, 2010
    I have to agree, I just had to separate a female Italian tonight. She has one Tibetan looking male who she tolerates, but I thought I would find a better looking male for her. She is younger, and smaller, but much more aggressive. She just grabs anybody who happens by. I put her in a cage with an older male, and she killed him outright. I put a second larger male in there, and the next day his leg was cocked out at a weird angle and he was beat to hell. I know she did it. I had to put him down. The cage was 36" by 36" and over 4' tall. I then put her in a cage with a dozen older, established, larger quail. I figured they would quickly put her in her place. Uh, no, she was tearing them all up, chattering and slashing, so I put her in isolation tonight. She immediately layed an egg. I think she did it so I wouldn't wring her neck. Her eggs are the most fertile, and she lays more, and she is the only one out of ten Cortie hens still laying this year. She is also a very pretty Italian, textbook looking. I kept her female chicks this year for breeding next year. She is a killer. As long as she doesn't get me, and keeps producing, I'll put up with her. I sort of have a warm spot for her.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010

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