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Male quail keeps crowing, even at night?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by SeptemberQuail, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Songster

    Oct 10, 2012
    I have a boy called Bumble (he was a pretty orange chick, kinda like a bee, so hence the name.)
    But he keeps crowing, in the morning and at night, I have no idea why.

    He seems as if he doesn't get enough sleep because when I pick him up and put my hand around his head (to calm him down), he falls asleep. Normally he, or any of my other quail chicks never do this, but he's doing it anyway. But when I put him back, he acts normally, eating and drinking.

    He even crows during the middle of the night and early in the morning;
    Anyone have any ideas as to what lead to this behaviour? No other chick is crowing, nor are the adults.
    And it's getting pretty annoying because his crows are LOUD.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012

  2. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

    Oct 24, 2009
    Normally they will crow when they are wanting a mate.

    Is he older than the other chicks?

    I think if he is in with other quail the same age he should get less noisy.

    If he is in with others the same age and is still crowing perhaps he is attached to you and knows that when he crown you will come and pet him to sleep!

    Maybe, if that is the case, you can try to cover his cage at night with a dark cloth so NO Light can get into the cage.

    Let us know what happens.
  3. thespeedyz

    thespeedyz In the Brooder

    Nov 14, 2012
    Zambia, Africa!
    I think the only answer is COMPLETELY darken the cage... they can be loud!

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    More detail will help us help you. :)

    • Are they living in your house?
    • Are the other quail the same age?
    • How many females does he have?
    • How was he raised (by hand, alone, by you, how much was he handled, did he have other quail around, etc.)?

    At first glance, it sounds like he's highly attached to you. We had one that we raised alone (due to an incubator accident), and he was like this too. He'd crow all night long, and fall asleep in our hands. We didn't mind too much. We eventually were able to introduce him to a lady friend and move him outside. He's still friendly, but much more content.

    Birds are programmed to want to be with their flock 24 hours a day, so it's very stressful for them to be overly attached to humans. We humans are so comfortable with separation. Flocking birds are not, and when we leave an attached bird alone, it's hard on them.

    On the other hand, even when we kept groups of quail, some of them would crow in the middle of the night anyway. The males call to one another to claim their territory, so when you have multiple males within calling distance, they'll be noisier than a single male with a small flock of females, which is what we have now. Our male almost never calls (it's the same one who was raised alone and eventually weaned onto a small flock of ladies).

    Hope something in there helps. :) I think quail calls are cool, and at least they're not loud. But you do want him to be happy! :)
  5. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Songster

    Oct 10, 2012
    Thank you all for the replies!

    Okay, so for the extra detail;

    [​IMG] He lives outside.
    [​IMG] All the other quail chicks are pretty much the same age as him, except maybe a day older or younger, or the exact same age.
    [​IMG] Outside the chicks live together still and are NOT paired up yet. I haven't the best ratio; (6 males, 4 females) but one male is in isolation because of a head injury. So 5 males, 4 females.
    [​IMG] Two of the females have laid eggs and are being mounted by the males. I've seen two males try to mount one female but I just blocked my hand so it wouldn't be overkill. The other two females don't seem interested/aren't interesting to the males yet as they've produced no eggs.
    [​IMG] The males don't fight each other, they're very neutral. They don't care who mates who.
    [​IMG] They were all raised together in a brooder, I've tried to handle most of them equally, though I didn't handle Bumble that often as much as my other chick Snow. But I did handle most of my chicks once every 1 or 2 days. But I hand fed a lot of them as they LOVE treats!
    [​IMG] Bumble normally hates handling, (his older brother hates it even more), he would try to fly away with any chance. He only calms down when I place my hand over his head and make an O with my index and thumb for his head to get through and rest on it. That's when he falls asleep.
    [​IMG] Recently, Bumble had a bruised foot and was in isolation with his sister, I would tend to them a little more and check his foot very often, he seemed calmer than usual because of his injury as I had to pick him up sometimes to see how his foot was going. When he was put in the brooder of isolation, that's when he started to crow a little more.
    [​IMG] Putting him back, he still crows a lot. Yeah, that's when the phase started.
    [​IMG] We practically cover the whole entire cage so barely ANY light can get through (we cover them at around 8pm where it's just the evening). At night they're completely covered. Mainly because Summer is cold at night for some reason.

    (Sorry it's long and clumped together. ^.^")

    Bumble's the one who's standing tall. (He just crowed so he's still peering upwards, his foots still a little swollen after his injury.)
    We've divided the cage to separated the chicks from the adults.


    One more question, can quail be 'racist' against each other? In my other thread, I posted that my female (the pharoah in the picture) is being aggressive towards the other chicks. Thing is, she easily walks past her look alikes (the other two male pharoahs in the picture), but she only picks on the ones that are of a lighter colour...
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I'm going to be guessing here, but here it is anyway:

    I think when you separated him, he started crowing in order to locate his family (this is the part I'm fairly sure is probably right). In the wild, coturnix stay with their family groups all their lives, joining up with larger flocks for mating and migrating. Crowing is one way of identifying each other and finding each other in a crowd.

    Now I'm guessing... he came back and realized that togetherness also means competition for the girls... and now he crows to declare his dominance over the other quail.

    It sounds like you already realize this, but you're eventually (sooner is better) going to have to do something with your extra males. You say one is out with a head injury--any chance that injury was caused by another bird? Once they hit full sexual maturity, the males will most likely fight and injure and probably kill one another, and head injuries are the first thing you'll start seeing. The exception to this rule is if you're able to give them HUGE amounts of space (like, 5 to 10 sq ft per bird) with lots of hiding areas... then they may all get along. But in an enclosed area, the submissive males can't show their submission by going far, far away, and the dominant males continue to beat up on them, seeing their proximity as a challenge to their dominance.

    Also, another factor to consider, is that when they reach sexual maturity is when they start crowing. It may be that he's just a heavy crower, and you didn't know because he hadn't hit his hormonal surge yet.

    And yes, quail can be "racist." :) Most animals notice "difference" and many will try to exclude those who don't look "right." Nature is brutal.

    Hope you're able to figure out what's going on and put a lid on the crowing. :)
  7. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Songster

    Oct 10, 2012
    The head injury was due to the fact that they were fighting over a container I put in for them to dust bathe in. It wasn't big enough for all 10 of them, so I've removed it. and now everything's peaceful once more, and the little boy who's healing up seems better now (though he still has his wound), but he's a little more skittish than he was before, and he's my only white one (I had another white female but she died of a weak immune system...)

    Bumble tried his luck on his sister, didn't work out because she kept trying to avoid it. But his crowing's died down a little... And I mean a little. He still crows at night.

    Since it's the summer holidays and schools over, I'm pretty much staying home for the two month period, so I'll be able to keep an eye on them frequently. We don't have any substitute cages if anything happens, but we have boxes... That's where I kept my adult quail in for the first night we had them (and we finished off their cage the next day).

    My quail started to develop their crow at 4 weeks of age, so have they already reached that stage?
    Thanks iamcuriousitycat, you've been a great help!

  8. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Songster

    Mar 1, 2011
    You could try putting a couple hens in a container and putting that container beside his container so he can see them and it can seem like he is with them though really he is not. Going out on a limb here but worth a try.
  9. SCOUT123

    SCOUT123 Chirping

    Apr 25, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Yup! That's what I do. My male quails crow a lot in the mornings, so I just darken their cages... completely... by putting them into my garage for the night. And it works!

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