She’s so stressed, how do I get her used to me?

Celeste Cannon

5 Years
Jan 15, 2018
Los Angeles, California
I got this lovely lady about a month ago from a meat and egg producing place. She should be around 9 weeks old now. Her and her sister were a little shy at first, but it only took them a couple days to get used to me. Marge, the quail we will be talking about today, has become very stressed and scared of me now. Whenever I come near her outdoor cage, she starts pacing frantically against the wire. A couple times she has flown up and hurt her wings, and she’s not giving them time to heal because she keeps banging them up against stuff. I attached pictures of this.

How do you guys think I can get her to stress less? I hate seeing her get hurt, and I know that she is a nice lady that isn’t scared of humans. Should I try keeping her in my room for a while? She’s a bit of a dummy so I worry that she’ll bang her head on my lizard terrariums, or get splay leg on my hardwood floors. I’d also be sad if it stressed her out to be away from her flock. Let me know if you have any recommendations! She also looks a little scruffy for her age right? Why is this?


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I’m sorry that she’s getting hurt. I think that you could prevent the injuries from the wire by putting something over it that won’t hurt them (foam, etc). I would probably not bring her inside because if she’s stressed outside she’ll be stressed inside without her friend and in a ‘new’ environment. I hope she heals and you could try giving them more calcium if you don’t give them any because that might help. When she’s healed and you want to tame her I’d suggest getting her used to your presence outside then perhaps inside their area for a bit and then more time in with and around them and she’ll slowly get used to you. Sometimes they’re also just stressed because of a new environment and I think you said that you got her kind of recently. :) Hope All Goes Well! :)
If you got her from a place where quails don't get too much affection from humans, that could add on to the reasons why she's not very tame.
(I'm not saying the place you got her from is like that though. :) )

I'm no expert at all, but maybe you could spend some time near her? Even if it's just a short distance from her cage, if you just be around her for a while, she may realize you mean no harm. Maybe not too close that she would hurt herself, but close enough that she could see or be around you without freaking out. Like @Quailobsessed said, you can also try hand-feeding her her favorite treats... that way she would have to approach you and face her fears, and realize that it's okay to be around you. :)

I hope that helps... and I hope she will get used to you! :)
Word of caution, be prepared to care for a wilder bird. I have a hen who disliked humans from the get-go and no amount of treat-training or habituation have helped. She's lovely to observe from afar but will brain herself on the ceiling if you sneak up on her.

If your hen turns out to be not-so-tame, make sure to give her lots of cover and things to hide in/behind. Quail will generally attempt a ground-based escape route before flushing, which should keep injuries down.

Good luck, hope your girl warms to you!
My other thought is that you observe the two birds together for a bit. Maybe the other one might not be her sister, but her brother. At 9 weeks, it's about the age when they become sexually mature.
Nah, they’re all Pharos and she gets along great with the only male in there. She’s got a very spotted chest compared to his bright orange one.
I recommend you give her her favorite treats by your hand, giving her water from a water feeder, holding it in your hands. Try to gently pet her, and overall, try and spend more time with her, without trying and making quick moves and frightening her.
Mine have been around people since they hatched and are still jumpy and don't like being picked up. Now I put the dust bath in and nobody is very jumpy then...... except into it. Most of the time they are in it before I set it down. Lol
My feeder is external so they put their heads out to feed. Some dont mind at all when I'm around or filling the feeder right next to them but others do.

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