rambunctious quail - should I be concerned?

ColleenC

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
15
5
24
So my quail, just over two weeks old, are acting strangely today. They go through phases of jumping, flying, running around, and scraping their beaks against the sides of the brooder as though they're trying to find a way out. It usually starts when one of them hops and lands next to another, setting off general pandemonium. If I didn't have hardware cloth on top of my brooder, they'd be everywhere.

Funnily, it usually stops when I come over to investigate what all the noise is about. They all immediately freeze and look up at me, like young children who have been caught being naughty. I watch for a bit, leave, and then there'll be another mad shuffle in a few minutes. They're still eating, drinking, pooping, and taking their little micro-naps like normal (though anyone napping is usually rudely interrupted by a sudden stampede over them).

So are they just playing? Or are they trying to communicate that they're upset about something? They seem generally happy with their brooder environment in any other way and aren't really doing anything dangerous, so I think its play, but I wanted to get the opinions of those wiser in the ways of quail. :)
 

TwoCrows

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Mar 21, 2011
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They sound really healthy to me! Right on track with growth and health. They are gearing up the pecking order right now and these movements are establishing who is on the top and who gets the lowest position.

If it turns violent, you might want to lower the heat in the brooder a few degrees, and or offer them more space. If somebody obviously has a "screw loose", then you may need to separate them all together.

But I would say they are doing well!
 

Barton

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 15, 2013
14
5
23
I'm new to this, but my quail did the exact same thing. I sometimes would catch them jumping up at their shadows on the brooder walls. They are now in their pens and doing fine.
 

James the Bald

Songster
7 Years
Jan 6, 2013
1,022
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So my quail, just over two weeks old, are acting strangely today. They go through phases of jumping, flying, running around, and scraping their beaks against the sides of the brooder as though they're trying to find a way out.... :)
Kind of reminded me of the scene in Jurasic Park, where the Velociraptors "tested" the strength of their pen searching for a weak spot.
 
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Barton

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 15, 2013
14
5
23
Colleen,

An update to my earlier answer. My first batch of quail have been in their pen for a week now. This morning I heard a lot of jumping. When I peeked at the pen, I found all the males engaged in what I can only describe as a long jumping contest. It was a "I can jump further than you" kind of thing.

Very funny to watch.
 

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