New to site Quail in yard - have a few questions

Discussion in 'Quail' started by aHippyChick, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. aHippyChick

    aHippyChick Hatching

    Jun 22, 2011
    Greetings, I am a first timer here I think I'm gonna like it!

    I have what looks to be a California or Callipepla californica type quail in my yard. (googled quail images)
    The female hatched 17 eggs, the were harassed by local black bird(s) and two cats all in one day.
    The male, female, and chicks left for about a week, or were hiding out in the wood pile unnoticed.
    A Male and Female adult came back into the yard and ate and eventually left (didn't see any chicks).
    The next day the Male, Female, and chicks all came back. I am assuming this is the same group assuming also they probably consider the yard THEIR home and not mine? : )
    The following day (yesterday) the male came with the chicks (no female), I was hoping to see her today if they came back - the male is back with about 10 chicks.
    I am wondering if this means the female may be dead? I don't know the habits of wild quail so I don't know who raises the chicks, or if the male would only (usually) take over alone if the female (mama) is dead?
    My yard is not all too quail friendly as we mowed again after they initially left figuring they just moved on - a Cat just attacked a chick right out my back window! Dang it!
    We left some weeds around the edges of the yard and tall grass too, we sell firewood so have extensive wood piles along the parameter of most of the yard. We also put out a makeshift bird bath as we live in the desert area of central WA and it's getting hot out.
    The male has now moved the chicks back to the wood pile toward the area where the nest originally was this is where they were hanging out before they left for a week.

    Q: Should we supplement their diet and feed them millet?
    Q: If we supplement their diet will this help or hinder them in survival
    Q: Is the female most likely dead?
    Q: Will they return here year after year? This is my first summer in this house.

    I enjoy watching them [email protected]#$%^&*()_!!! Darn it! Another cat! I know nature will take it's course - with 17 hatchlings I was expecting a rather high mortality rate I just don't enjoy watching it happen : (

    Thank you to anyone who can/will answer my 4 Q's and give me some insight as to what I might do/not do to help them live.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011

  2. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Crowing

    Mar 2, 2009
    They Are Wild Resources. Any Intervention On Your Part Is Likely Highly Illegal. 99% Of States Have Serious Game Laws That Prohibit Our Interferance.
  3. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I'm here in Texas & have hunted on some big ranches here. They have feeders set up & feed the quail I believe they feed them Milo.I also noticed the ranch had constructed brush piles for the quail. I didn't hunt for quail at this ranch but they had big numbers of wild quail available for hunters. I also noticed a lot of quail lurking around the deer feeders. Its common practice here in Texas to feed or bait the game.
  4. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Crowing

    Dec 11, 2010
    Quote:You need a live trap or some other form of kitty-b-gone... Cats are a major problem with quail populations along with habitat loss... Sounds like you have habitat, eliminate the cats and watch the quail come back... Bill

  5. gamebirdboy

    gamebirdboy Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    East Tennessee
    I'm in the process of getting rid of some cats, best thing to do is to get a live trap or shoot it. It's illegal to feed the quail, but it should be legal to kill the cats.
  6. First of all [​IMG]

    Second JJ is right as he always is. You will have to make some choices wether or not to help em.
    However on a personal note. I would do my darndest to git rid of the cat situation. Trap em or whatever. YES Quail do imprint on the location they were raised. At about 5 weeks of age they STRONGLY imprint and tend to spend most of their life close to the point of imprinting at 5 weeks old. So if you help in any way, you will likely see them and their offspring for years to come. Giving them gamebird feed will help with their diet but I wouldn't set out too much as this will hinder them if they don't learn to hunt/peck for their natural foods.
    So in a nutshell I am saying what I would do. Not telling you what YOU should do. California quail are in my humble opinion the best looking quail.
  7. aHippyChick

    aHippyChick Hatching

    Jun 22, 2011
    Quote:Quote:Intersting thought, I will keep that in mind. Thanks. I might give a call to the local Fish & Wildlife or similar agency to check this out. Thanks. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

  8. aHippyChick

    aHippyChick Hatching

    Jun 22, 2011
    Quote:Interesting - Yes I would actually have to pay to have the "Humane" Society take the cats where they would be euthanized as they are older and feral. (They assured my Sister they don't "Kill" animals they Euthanize them! She kept saying "but isn't that the same as KILLING them? They kept saying NO, So she turned to my nephew and asked him - He laughed and said - No silly they are gonna make 'em younger!) [​IMG]

    Anyway the cat's have got to go, they are using my garden as a litter box, [​IMG] and if the neighbor's dog uses the back yard to take a dump again it's going back over the fence in a shovel - the poo not the dog! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  9. aHippyChick

    aHippyChick Hatching

    Jun 22, 2011
    Quote:I was thinking of throwing out some seed - some that they would eat, in the hopes that it might also take root Millet seems to be suggested on many sites I've seen and it's also used in decorative pottings I've seen at the market(s) so what the heck, Not too much though, that's what I thought don't want to interfere - just help them out a bit - offset the fact that Their homes are being torn down (a new sub-division went in across the road Cut the trees down and name the streets after them) so just wanting to make my yard "quail frendly" Thanks again : )

  10. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Well, there is nothing wrong with you feeding seed to the wild birds in your area....if the quail happen to get some of it then oh well [​IMG] That's my thoughts anyway.

    I would say if the female is not with the family then she is probably gone...poor girl. I would try to trap the cats if you can, what the in-humane society doesn't know won't hurt them.

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