Quail don’t seem happy

RUNuts

Hatching Malted Milk Balls
Premium member
May 19, 2017
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Is the cage bare? Do they have a dust bath or obstacles to hide from one another? Did you research and confirm you have 4 females? None should have the red chest. It sounds like the males in my coops that fight when they reach 6 weeks. Lots of running and squawking.

I left 2 in one coop and they divided the coop in 2. The loser was always in the other half away from the dominant male. I separated them after figuring out what was happening.

Post pictures of the hens and the coop and we'll see if anything jumps out.
 

soEggciting

Songster
May 1, 2018
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If you feed them dried mealworms and crickets as treats they can get a bit tamer. Mine would go crazy when they saw the green mealworm bag or just heard the word. Also if you give them a container of sand to roll around in they get super happy (a cat litter box pan works fine).

Also, if they see a bit of watermelon to eat their eyes shall light up like it's Christmas morning.
 
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JaeG

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Sep 29, 2014
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Quail can take 4-6 weeks to get back into laying after a move like yours have had. Hopefully they will start sharing their beautiful eggs with you soon once they feel more settled. 12-14 hours of light should be sufficient to stimulate them to lay.

If they weren't brought up with much human contact then unfortunately they won't be particularly friendly. Also if they were bred for production rather than selecting for calm birds then that works against them too.

Were they all in the same cage in their previous home? If not then that will be the reason they are fighting. Quail need to be integrated carefully and often personalities clash. If one group isn't used to another groups colour, for instance, they won't ever become a happy unit. Sometimes it's impossible to integrate certain birds and your best bet is to get some that have been handled a lot (like from someone breeding their pets), and who have grown up together. They are always the happiest groups.
 
Nov 28, 2017
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Quail can take 4-6 weeks to get back into laying after a move like yours have had. Hopefully they will start sharing their beautiful eggs with you soon once they feel more settled. 12-14 hours of light should be sufficient to stimulate them to lay.

If they weren't brought up with much human contact then unfortunately they won't be particularly friendly. Also if they were bred for production rather than selecting for calm birds then that works against them too.

Were they all in the same cage in their previous home? If not then that will be the reason they are fighting. Quail need to be integrated carefully and often personalities clash. If one group isn't used to another groups colour, for instance, they won't ever become a happy unit. Sometimes it's impossible to integrate certain birds and your best bet is to get some that have been handled a lot (like from someone breeding their pets), and who have grown up together. They are always the happiest groups.
We’re coming up to the 6th week of no eggs. As far as I know, the breeder was quite hands on, he only has a small hobby breeding group as he lives in a busy area. I believe all were kept together in a grow out pen, they also had males of similar ages with them. They’re not fighting anymore, I do think another user hit the nail on the head with moulting because with that amount of feathers from bullying I’d have expected injuries and self isolation but everyone is seemingly very healthy. I wanted them mainly for eggs, not fussed about petting them but I’m really questioning keeping them. I’ve tried them and just don’t have the patience. Everything I read was like ‘yeah quail are great, you can keep them in small spaces and they just lay and lay’, but that’s not what mine are doing. I’ve got to buy eggs and without the benefit of petting them, owning them is pointless.
 
Nov 28, 2017
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Is the cage bare? Do they have a dust bath or obstacles to hide from one another? Did you research and confirm you have 4 females? None should have the red chest. It sounds like the males in my coops that fight when they reach 6 weeks. Lots of running and squawking.

I left 2 in one coop and they divided the coop in 2. The loser was always in the other half away from the dominant male. I separated them after figuring out what was happening.

Post pictures of the hens and the coop and we'll see if anything jumps out.
I have 6 hens and I know for sure they’re female. All laid the first week. They’re all different colours but aside from laying eggs, the guy was knowledgable and showed me several ways to identify each as female. Cage isn’t empty. There’s been no more fighting, I do believe now that they were moulting. But still no eggs so not feeling hopeful about keeping them
 
Nov 28, 2017
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Can you post a picture of your cage setup? Make sure they have things to hide in/under—there might be something in their environment (e.g. nocturnal predators) bothering them.
There’s no predators and it’s a closed shed, only opened in the daytime, with mesh doors to keep them in and a solid door at night. I don’t have a picture on hand so will take one at some point.
 
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