New here and need advice on a mean roo

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Bug n Flock, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey guys

    I'm new here. Dove into quail a few months ago with a dozen+ fertile button quail hatching eggs I bought off amazon. Five chicks hatched, four survived and I had a looong funny road learning about these silly birds. Now I'm getting 2 eggs a day from my four buttons and am waiting on my fourth bird to either start crowing or to lay an egg(can I post photos to confirm their sexes?).

    After falling in love with quail keeping I decided to try my hand at something a little larger than these tiny floofs. I was going to buy a dozen coturnix chicks from a local farm (Craigslist ad), but when I contacted the farmer he had only 8 week old birds. I bought three hens and a rooster. My rooster is a complete jerk. He has stripped the feathers from two of my hens' heads, and even messed up one hen so badly I thought she wasn't going to make it(he literally broke her beak. The top section he broke off halfway down. She lost a buttload of weight but after treating w antibiotic ointment it healed and she is gaining weight back.) I have had these birds for probably a month and a half(maybe longer), and they only recently started laying, and Ms. Halfbeak still isn't laying(for obvious reasons). I removed the jerk rooster and have him in a separate pen. I have tried taking him out and putting back in before.

    Is there anything I can do to get him to be nicer to the ladies or does the Jerk Bird need to be rehomed to my freezer? I keep my quail indoors so can only deal with one roo crowing or it would get too loud too quick, so if I need to replace him then he needs to go buh-bye.

    Bug
     
  2. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless the buttons are tuxedo or white, they are fairly easy to sex once they are around 5 weeks old - if there are rust red feathers in the vent area, they are males, otherwise they are female. You shouldn't keep several males together in an enclosure that has females, so if two ends up being males, I'd separate them into two pairs.
    Feel free to post pics if you are not sure about their sexes. Unless the sexes are obvious, you might need to grab the bird, turn it upside down and take a pic of the vent feathers.

    As for the coturnix roo, I've never had one myself, but the usual recommendation on here is one roo for 4-7 hens. Some make it work with just 3 hens, but it might not be enough. In very large and natural enclosures, I've even heard of 1-2 hens for a roo. Your roo might be OK if you get 2-3 more hens, but he sounds like a very bad one, so I think chances are you'll need a new one - and a few more females as well. And coturnix introductions can be tough - they should be housed next to each other, just separated by wire, for a couple of weeks, before being introduced in a cage that's new to all. And even then, they might not accept each other, Make sure they have enough room, places to hide, something they can jump onto - typically a chased bird will fly to escape, but the one chasing it won't fly, so having a shelf maybe 8 inches above the cage bottom (if your cage is very low, it might need to be lower for them to figure out how to get up there) can provide lower ranking birds with a safe spot - and try to distract them with special treats while introducing them.
     
  3. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a bird basically all black and a bird basically white silver reddish and speckley? I'll post pics of the two in question, but I'm pretty sure they are hens. Noticably larger than my little roo. Considering none of them fight and I'm getting 2 eggs a day from them I am disinclined to separate until I have additional roos to pair with my hens.

    I have coturnix eggs in the incubator right now, so I can add hens to my group and replace the roo from craigslist or something, but it may be hard to find a roo this time of year and I don't want to kill my male before I have a replacement and then never find a replacement.
     
  4. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd put him in the freezer or at least keep him separated. Just like chickens, some quail males just aren't nice and you don't want to pass those genes along. If you are hatching some choose the friendliest, sweetest boy. Handle them lots and you'll soon discover which are the friendly ones. I can't see you males overly aggressive nature changing and that attitude will stress your hens no matter how many he has. Stressed hens don't lay well at all.
     
  5. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    The birds in the front are a pair (LOVE my button roo, such attitude on that bird!). The dark and light birds in the back I am unsure of. Also, do you happen to know what the names of these birds' colors are? (I need to clean the pen so please forgive the messiness) yes my enclosure is two level, and they use both levels, the ramp, and various rocks and things I have in there for them to climb on. In fact, my birds sleep every night on the ramp cuddled up together.

    Let me know if you need a clearer photo and thanks in advance!

    [​IMG]
    Halfbeak

    [​IMG]
    Baldy

    [​IMG]
    I guess the roo's favorite hen cuz he didnt bother her.

    These photos are post treatment also. When they first were jumped there was blood EVERYWHERE. Poor girls. :(
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
  6. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I can tell the sexes of the two in front from that pic - looks like a golden pearl male and a wild colored female. From the picture, I see nothing indicating that either of the other two are males, but I'd need to see the feathers around their vent to be sure. The dark one is a blue face, the other one I'm not sure about. There are various mutations that make the birds lighter colored, but I think she? might have more than one - perhaps she?'s cinnamon red breasted..
    For the dark one, you should be able to recognize the color from the vent feathers of the golden pearl male - they might just be a little darker, if that one is a male. If the vent feathers have pretty much the same color as the rest of the feathers, it's female. For the light one, if the vent feathers are red, they'll be lighter than on the golden pearl roo - perhaps only have a pale red hue.
     
  7. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sweet then I have three hens and a rooster! Thanks so much for the help! :) I've collected 8 eggs from this pen over the last week and am going to set them in the incubator tonight. I'm so excited!! First time incubating my own eggs heehee. I'm hoping for at least two boys then I guess, to pair up with my two extra ladies.
     
  8. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you pair the girls with chicks from their own pen, you might pair them with their sons. It's probably not going to be a problem to inbreed for one generation, but I prefer to avoid breeding close relatives to each other. Personally, I'd take the two extra girls from the pen and let them have their own cage, then collect eggs from the pair, if you want to hatch new partners for them. Or you can just leave them where they are - I have a button roo living with 3 ladies. Seems to work just fine, they hatch their own chicks every year.
     
  9. mogollon

    mogollon New Egg

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    I had an aggressive roo... That's him next to the green beans![​IMG][​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awww... [​IMG] I would definitely remove the male, whether that meant no fertile eggs for a time or not.

    That is especially brutal - the beak? That's cruel and unusual. He must really be twisting when he latches down or something. My guess is that the unscathed hen is especially flighty and he settles for chasing down the more accepting hens, who are clearly being abused :/

    Yeah that's not normal wear and tear at all and I don't see more girls calming him down - he will chase down the weakest and keep shredding her until she bleeds out/gets attacked by the other girls for having wounds.

    If you REALLY "have" to keep him, please keep him seperated until you supervise him mating them once a day. Some people breed their quail this way instead of keeping the males and females together all the time.

    I don't mean to judge but I wouldn't in good conscious be able to allow that to continue and would *not* want to pass on his pyscho genes. Imagine their extreme stress knowing that they're trapped with essentially a tiny mental case with a knife for a beak [​IMG]
     

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