Intro: First off, hello everyone! I'm new to quail (actually domestic birds in general), the only types of birds i've dealt with before are birds of prey - a little different! I'm a huge reptile person, and have my studio apartment filled with them. I am getting a degree in field bio, but i love caring for all types on interesting animals. i was actually looking for an anatomical chart for quail, as i feed frozen chicks to my tegu, and i stumbled across the subject "quail as pets". It piqued my interest, and i quickly caught the bug after weeks of research. I never did find that anatomical chart.. About my quail: It was my intentions to eventually get some button quail, as they are not exactly readily available around the central coast of CA and i don't have an incubator at the moment for hatching eggs. Then, one day i was browsing a pet shop i had never been to and viola: a pair of little button quail at the bottom of a dove aviary. I got very excited, i had never seen them in person and they were so tiny! They were housed in typical petstore fashion; in a rather small cage with maybe 2 sq feet at the most and no shelter for them. However, they seemed healthy enough. They were reasonably plump, relaxed, clear-eyed, and active. of course the cage floor was littered with those little speckled eggs. It was a 1:1 pair, a blue faced male to a white female, whose head was pretty plucked. i attributed the plucking to their close quarters and lack of hides. They were rather expensive for buttons, but i bought them anyway. When they got to my house, they were understandably nervous. The female laid two to three more eggs then stopped. she hasn't laid an egg for around half a week. They've been with me for about a week and a half. The female's feathers seem to slowly be returning. When the female was still laying, the male would feed her, but now he doesn't anymore. Lately they have been more nervous than before. i think this may be due to the fact that i put a desk lamp pointed at their cage to try and give them a light schedule. without the lamp, they were getting maybe 8 hours of dim light, as the only lights in my apartment that are on usually are my reptile lamps. I have also been trying to switch them from a plain bowl of water to a little waterer that has only a little place to dip their beak in to drink, but i think they haven't taken to it. I am worried about the fact that they spend a lot of time pacing and pecking at the back wall (obviously stressed and trying to get out) even when i am not around their cage. It has increased as of late. Care: Right now, they're housed in the equivalent to a 15-20 gal tall tank (3 ft by 1 ft). Boinking hasn't been a source of injury. The glass front face opens like a hatch, the rest of the sides are wood. The bedding is a 3 inch deep layer of crumbled paper bedding mixed with timothy hay intended for rabbits. There are two huts for them to go into on either side of the tank, and a little stick tunnel to walk under. I used the tunnel and one of the huts to create a little sheltered area by draping silk plant branches over them; creating a little canopy. This arrangement leaves little open floor space, which i worry about. they do have lots of retreats though. I feed them out of a little deli cup. their daily food offered consists of game bird crumble, mealworms/crickets, tiny shreddings of some type of vegetable, crumbled boiled egg, and vitamin/calcium supplements. Millet, little honey seed treats, and cuttlebones are always available. As i mentioned before, i am trying to switch them to a pet-bird style waterer, but it seems to no avail. Back to easily dirtied bowls i suppose. Final Thoughts: I eventually intend to incubate their eggs once and awhile to hatch some baby button, but i don't have an incubator atm. i was thinking about getting a hovabator. Any suggestions? I am worried about their nervous behavior and its recent increase. Is their cage too small? Is their a less stressful lighting situation i could set up? They are being fed a high calcium and protein diet to stimulate egg laying as well as trying to give them a light schedule. Besides getting them more comfy, is there anything else i can do to get their natural rhythms restored? Any other shortcomings in my care? Advice, criticism, and suggestions welcome! Thanks for reading that wall of text! Have a good day!