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Should I move Bobwhite quail?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by quailchick, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. quailchick

    quailchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2012
    Hi All,

    Some of you already know this info. but I will repost to jog your memory, or for others who have not read any of my previous posts:

    I have four Bobwhites, 1 male and 3 female. They are now 6 months old. Up until around four months they were all four in a 20X40 guinea pig cage. My male "Little Chicky" was mating or attempting to mate with "Slow Poke". The largest female "Sasquatch" started pecking on "Slow Poke" and then the male started doing it to her too. Slow Poke had feathers missing and sores on the back of her head and neck, and she was majorly freaked out. I purchased another 20X40 cage and Slow Poke has been alone in there for almost two months now. I did try putting the male in with her about a week after I got the new cage, but Slow Poke seemed really really afraid and did nothing but hide the whole time so I put him back with the other two females.

    Now, Slow Poke seems less freaked out, but she will not take mealworms from my hand like the other birds will, so she appears to still be anxious. I gave her a branch to hide in, and she likes that. Slow Poke started laying eggs at 5 months and she is the only one laying out of the three females. I thought the male would start mating with "Sasquatch" but it appears he has not. I saw him jump up on her back a few times before, but never went at it like he did on Slow Poke. He doesn't even try now. So now you know the situation here is my question:

    The male "Little Chicky" has been crowing A LOT. The bob bob white call. The laying female by herself "Slow Poke" has been very very vocal also. Her calls sound like high pitched squawking. They will get loudly vocal at the same time. I am thinking she might be calling back to him. These were the ones who were mating before when they were in the same cage. The other females are never loud like that.

    So, Should I try putting the male back in with Slow Poke? Should I wait until she stops laying? I am thinking I would like a few more Bobwhites so we can have enough eggs to supply my family of four. Right now she is only laying one every other day, and next spring we will get no more than 20 per week, I would like more than that, so I can stop buying chicken eggs. Any advice?
     
  2. birdymama

    birdymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try it and see what happens. If you wait till she stops laying you won't get fertile eggs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ntsees

    Ntsees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does your lone quail have sight and in close proximity to the group? I've never kept bobwhites, but if the callings were to happen to my quail when I separated them, I would interpret it as the lone quail wanting to get back together with the whole group. It's not that they've resolved their issues because the fighting/pecking may still occur when you put them together, but it is their instinctual nature to be in groups and so a lone quail will call to others to join them.

    If your eating the eggs, there's no need for the female to be with the male.
     
  4. quailchick

    quailchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your advice. The Bobwhites are in 20X40 guinea pig cages right next to each other in front of a window. They could touch beaks if they both put their beaks into the next cage.

    I decided to put the male in with her today and watch them to make sure he doesn't start hurting her again. So far they are following each around, and snuggling up to each other. I decided I wanted a few more birds, just 2 or 3 more since I only have the guinea pig cages right now. I am going to keep the male and female together as long as they aren't pecking each other too much, so maybe they will start mating again, and we could get some fertile eggs! I will probably only incubate no more than 6 and I found a local feed store that will sell whatever we can't keep.
     
  5. quailchick

    quailchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I decided to just try it like you said, they are doing great so far. The female is following him around and they were snuggling up to each other! I will just keep a close eye on them! I am hoping by next week we will have some fertile eggs...

    Anyone know how long Bobwhites have to mate for before they produce fertile eggs? They mated a lot before I separated them, but now it has been almost two months apart, so I am sure she isn't fertile now.
     
  6. quailchick

    quailchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He didn't waste time, he's been chasing her skirt all this afternoon. They mated at least three times! I shouldn't be surprised, but I am.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. birdymama

    birdymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats!!!
     
    1 person likes this.

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