Releasing a single quail?


In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 24, 2012
I've had coturnix quail for a few years now, and a couple years back I got an accidental male in with my hens. At first he wasn't a problem, and his crowing was kind of cute, but now he's become a problem quail. He is vicious to all other quail, no matter if he's been raised with them. He's absolutely wild, not even a hint of domestication in his habits. He's beautiful, no doubt, and a brilliant flier. When I look at him, I see a wild quail because his mannerisms are so feral. Even if i'm walking around outside of the greenhouse where he lives, he will fly into the wall. Lately, his bullying has been getting so bad and his crowing has been nonstop. It goes all night, and the neighbors say that they are up at 3 am every single night. I've separated him into his own cage, but its so sad seeing him there alone, unable to fly like he wants to.

Now here is my moral dilemma. The neighbors want him gone immediately. There's no way I could possibly rehome him because he's two years old, incompatible with other quail and the loudest quail i've ever heard. I could kill him for meat but I'm honestly not sure if I could do it humanely because he is truly so wild and i don't think I could do it right. Right now, the best option to me seems to be releasing him into the wild.

I'm sure many will think this is a bad idea, but there is a large open area filled with juniper and next to a pond a bit away from my house. I don't expect him to survive long, because he's old and has lived in captivity, but I somehow feel that him dying to a predator but having the ability to fly as far as he wants to and have a last taste of freedom would be the most humane thing of all. As for the disease issue, there are no wild quail in the area that he could spread disease to and he is very healthy and disease free.

What do you think?
In my opinion, you should butcher him. If you let him free, there is a very slim chance that he will survive like you said. If he was killed by a predator, he would be entered back into the circle of life and there's nothing wrong with that but there is a high chance that he could get sick or injured and die a very slow painful death and that wouldn't be too fair to him.
I hate to agree, release is not a good idea. He has not learned to forage find proper shelter or evade predators. It is likely to be a bad death! BETTER to stun and butcher him.
Having a 'taste of freedom' is a human thought and one that that bird probably doesn't share in the same way you are thinking about it. They are concerned with safety, shelter, food and water. All things you would be taking away by releasing him into the wild. He would be frightened and it would be difficult for him to find food not only because he never had to but because of the stress involved with this new 'freedom'. We, as humans, tend to project our emotions onto the animals around us unnecessarily (I do it too, so I speak from experience).

You have taken care of this bird and given him all of his needs. Now you have an opportunity to complete the circle and make a nice dinner from him. This isn't cruel, it is a natural part of the cycle.
I couldn't agree more. Setting any bird free is inhumane. Find the bird a home or put him down if this is your only option. Turning him loose is a very cruel way to die. He has no idea how to survive. If you are going to keep livestock, you need to do the right thing in cases like this.
I agree that releasing him is a terrible idea. Also, 2 years old is not that old for a couturnix. He could have the chance to be re-homed. Please at least consider a local bird rescue.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom