male coturnix killed by females

loves2hatch

Songster
9 Years
Apr 6, 2012
281
7
151
Central Iowa
The quail I hatched back in Dec. that I gave to my father. We put 3 females in with one male in one cage and 3 females and a male in another cage. butchered the other males.
about 2 weeks ago, the hens in one cage killed the male. I guess they pecked a hole in the side of his head by his eye. Dad didn't catch it in time to take him out. Now last week the male in the other cage was bleeding, this time Dad caught it in time and removed him. He's healing nicely.
What would cause the females to kill a male? Do we have to many females in with one male?
They are in wire floor cages off the ground in a garage. I haven't seen them lately myself so can only tell ya what I've been told. the hens are fine in the same pen and haven't picked on each other yet.

I really don't know why this happened anyone know?
 

Quailsong

Songster
6 Years
Apr 20, 2013
741
81
158
.
The quail I hatched back in Dec. that I gave to my father. We put 3 females in with one male in one cage and 3 females and a male in another cage. butchered the other males.
about 2 weeks ago, the hens in one cage killed the male. I guess they pecked a hole in the side of his head by his eye. Dad didn't catch it in time to take him out. Now last week the male in the other cage was bleeding, this time Dad caught it in time and removed him. He's healing nicely.
What would cause the females to kill a male? Do we have to many females in with one male?
They are in wire floor cages off the ground in a garage. I haven't seen them lately myself so can only tell ya what I've been told. the hens are fine in the same pen and haven't picked on each other yet.

I really don't know why this happened anyone know?
I don't have quail yet, but from my thoughts of keeping animals in the past I'd say the quail are stressed. It may be they are feeling ill, bored, crowded, no hides for safety, and/or other stressors going on. The male (and perhaps an attempt to breed w/ the females) might have been the 'last straw' if you know what I mean.

I'd do a checklist and see if there's anything off. Check their overall health, diet, etc. Compare it to older entries if you've made them. You said that you can't see them directly right now, so give your father a detailed list of what to look for. If he won't bother with it, then he may not be up to the task of watching your quail.

As an aside, I personally don't like the thought of wire bottoms. To me this is not very natural and can potentially cause more issues w/ animals in the long-run. If the reason for your mesh bottom is you're worried about frequent cleanings, you could try to make a larger cage with a more deep-bed method. This way you'd clean less-frequently and have fewer issues with quails getting club/soiled feet.
 

loves2hatch

Songster
9 Years
Apr 6, 2012
281
7
151
Central Iowa
The quail are his not mine. I just hatched them for him. We just can't figure out what went wrong. They were doing good so good.
They have been together since they hatched. Same food, same water, same cages since Feb.
idunno.gif
 

bigrob83

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
70
9
31
Texas
it sometimes happens... normally less than a day for it to "all go wrong"
all it takes in one bird to lead the way and some will even join in actually if you have time watch them in the morning or evenings
and you will find your problem bird. they generally dont stop this so its up to you on how you want to deal with it
have had both a male and female do this
idunno.gif

as mentioned give them places to hide and bugs to hunt and they will leave each other alone
 

Quailsong

Songster
6 Years
Apr 20, 2013
741
81
158
.
Ok Thanks. Hopefully he will get them moved to a pen on the ground once it warms up.
Quail are much hardier than chickens. So if your temps are around 15C/59F you're probably more than good to go. Just make sure to give them a sunny area, a shady area, and a coop/hide free of drafts.
 

ChickenboyNmom

Chirping
9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
29
0
80
South Lyon
We had coturnix for more than 2 years. We had to move the birds around several times until they had compatible cage mates. We incubated some eggs. We finally got tired of the whole aggressiveness towards each other. We had quail that were tame enough that the children used them for showmanship birds. Some of the colors were wilder than others. Anyway we are much happier with our mixed flock of bantams and polish chickens. I do sometimes miss the quail eggs. They were nice hard boiled whole in salads.
 

Quailsong

Songster
6 Years
Apr 20, 2013
741
81
158
.
We had coturnix for more than 2 years. We had to move the birds around several times until they had compatible cage mates. We incubated some eggs. We finally got tired of the whole aggressiveness towards each other. We had quail that were tame enough that the children used them for showmanship birds. Some of the colors were wilder than others. Anyway we are much happier with our mixed flock of bantams and polish chickens. I do sometimes miss the quail eggs. They were nice hard boiled whole in salads.
What type of pen/cages did you have?

I'm going to give mine at least 3x's the necessary space for holding cages, and a ton more hideaways. I hope to have little to no aggression, esp through the warm months where I will have more in a semi-free range run. Any that are aggressive for no good reason (illness aside) will be culled & used for meat. I don't want to spread that aggressiveness through their genes.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom