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Quail moved into my barn

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Sarida, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Sarida

    Sarida New Egg

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    Jan 22, 2013
    Hi, I'm new here, so if this question has already been addressed please forgive the repeat. I have ten Buff Orpingtons in a decent sized fenced area (about 300' of 4' welded wire fencing), with a small "barn" as a coop. Most ppl would probably just call it a chicken coop, but I've always wanted my own barn, so when my DH and DS built me an 8x10 structure with nesting boxes and roosts for mother's day, I christened it a barn. Anyway, this last Sunday when my son went out to collect eggs, he found a quail in the barn. We just thought it was a riot, took pictures and when she was gone later in the day we figured that was the last we would see of her. She was very calm and not the least bit perturbed about us standing just 4 feet from her and taking pictures and what not, so I'm assuming that she's a domestically raised release bird, or just an escapee. Well, come to find out she seems to actually come and go as she likes throughout the day and has been bedding down overnight with my girls. I went out this morning and for the third morning in a row she's in the barn pecking and scratching. Five of my hens went in with her and were eating from the feeder, she didn't bat an eye. My girls aren't sure what to make of the quail, and won't come closer than about a foot or two from her. I guess I'm just wondering if I should just let it go as it is, or is there some danger of disease for my hens? I have new chicks coming the first week of February, but they are probably a month from being in the barn after that. I like to eat quail, but one's just not much more than a mouthful, and honestly it's just kinda funny watching them together. Sorry this post is so long, and thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC and the quail forums!

    Yes, it sounds like this is an escapee or a released bird, being so friendly to humans. There is little danger to your chickens from this quail. If anything, there is more danger for this quail. Quail can contract diseases from chickens that kill quail. Chickens are so much larger than quail and have been known to injure or kill quail. If you have a rooster, he just might try to hurt this little guy.

    But as a precautionary measure, I would try to catch this quail and would not allow too much mixing of the two, as you never know what this quail could be carrying that could infect your chickens. He may have come in contact with wild birds and wild birds carry things that do effect chickens. (MS and MG, Fowl Cholera, ect..)

    Quail also need more protein then is in chicken feed and if this is a male quail, he will not be able to break down all the calcium in the feed and will cause him health issues.

    So, all this being said, catch him and either keep him in a separate rabbit hutch to enjoy him there, or eat him. He will most likely not survive very long in the wild.
     
  3. Sarida

    Sarida New Egg

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    Jan 22, 2013
    Thank you for such a prompt reply! I was worried about things that she might have encountered in the wild. My girls aren't really free ranged, so they are fairly well kept from contact with wild critters. Well, except for whatever got in and killed one last year...only ate the head though [​IMG]. I suppose when they bed down tonight I could go out and see if I can get her while they sleep. Do quail settle in like chickens? In other words, will she pretty much be down for the count so that I can just scoop her up? I don't want to try to chase her down in the day time, the stress and possibility of hurting her doesn't appeal. Maybe I could just relocate her, we have a lot of woods around here. Course, being cage raised might really make it tough to make it in the wild? Ugh, so much worry over one little bird...seems kinda silly I guess. Thanks again for the advice :).

    Sarida
     
  4. Sarida

    Sarida New Egg

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    Jan 22, 2013
    Oh! and here's a picture of "her"[​IMG]
     
  5. red golden

    red golden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats a female bobwhite.
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    If you know where she sleeps at night, then she will be really easy to grab in the dark. Even low light and they don't see well. If grabbing her becomes impossible, then if you have a fishing net or even a clothes basket you can plop over her in low light, that will work too. If you use the basket, you can just leave her there till morning. They are quick flyers. So it might be easier to deal with her the first time you catch her. Bobwhites stress easily when handled, no matter how tame they are. So touch her the least you can.

    She won't survive long in the outdoors. She is obviously used to being fed out of a feeder and watered from a font. Predators will take her quick the hungrier she gets. If you have a small rabbit hutch or even a large wire dog crate, I am sure she will do fine in your company. :)
     
  7. Sarida

    Sarida New Egg

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    Red Golden,
    Thanks for the confirmation. That's what I thought she was. I had no idea that they made such adorable noises too. She just mutters and hums to herself and it makes me smile. Of course, that's one reason that I love my chickens too. The constant chatter, they remind me of someone talking (and arguing!) to/with them self.

    twocrowsranch,
    Thanks for the advice on catching her. I'm still sort of working on hubby about the keeping her part. He has always wanted to raise quail for meat birds and just for fun, so I'm working that angle. The bad thing is that I've never been one to get attached to farm animals. As a kid we did like a lot of ppl and named food animals...well, food names...like a steer named Hamburger and two kids names Bar and BQ. None of my chickens are named, they're just collectively "The Girls", but that little quail just tickled me with her constant sing songing...and I think I might be attached. How dumb is that. So, she is now Sweat Pea...I'm going to regret it, I know I am[​IMG].
     
  8. red golden

    red golden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yw. Yes tell hubby to keep her if she is that tame already. It is human nature to get attached to critters . I was on a rampage last night when i found one female valley quail and two males barely moving but later died . I have a idea a squrriel spooked them and the flew around in the pen. Sad thing is when one of the females i have lefted was calling for them. Luckily i had another male and female in there with her.

    Search some of the threads on here of the " very tame " quail and let him read them some are just funny.
     
  9. elsfieldchickens

    elsfieldchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    shes cute
     

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