Taming Quail from Chicks?

HeatherN

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 19, 2013
42
41
99
California
hello all, thanks for looking!

I am new to birds, with button quail being my first. mine were from a pet store, and the best luck i had taming them down was getting them to eat bugs from my hand through the bars of their cages. Now, i've hatched my first batch of baby buttons, and i figured this would be a good opportunity to raise some tamer quail. itd make life much easier when trying to clean, and id love some quail i could actually interact with!

Anywho, i've been trying to feed them from my hands and pick them up (though keeping my hand in the brooder so they dont chill) as much as i can while still working and going to class. As time passes, they just seem to be getting more and more afraid of me! theyre now to the point where they sprint away when i put my hand in there to do anything.

Does anyone have any methods that have worked when it comes to socializing jumpy little button chicks? i dont seem to be making any semblance of progress by simply trying to feed them and handle them a lot. Thanks all, have an awesome day. :)
 

SavageChick

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
206
18
83
Savage, MN
Here is a link from CharliesWeb that helps explain the difference of raising buttons in a see-through brooder as opposed to raising them in a non-see-through-sided brooder...



I am finding out that button chicks are similar to bantam and leghorn chicks with regard to socialization and how they are brooded. At least from my own experience, I think the first two days following hatching are the most important for making a permanent imprint in the chick's relationship with you. If you are the first voice they hear and face/finger that they see right after hatching, and they see you everyday through a clear viewing side, they won't be as scared as a chick who cannot see you from the other side of a cardboard box. So, reaching in from above without first making that contact from a clear-viewing side makes it more frightening for them. After the first two days - again, this is just my own experience - it becomes more difficult to make that safe connection/imprint with them.

I can give you an example of what I have experienced to confirm the above. My first two adult button were purchased from a breeder who raised them in a cardboard box. To this day, the only thing they will allow me to do is lightly touch them with the side of my finger...sometimes. My first hatching ended up with only one chick, and I've been raising him in a clear-sided terrarium. I can hold him, pet him, he snuggles down into the cup of my hand...completely unafraid of me. The next two chicks I purchased, and they spent their first two days in a cardboard box. They remain terrified of me, although I am doing everything the same as I did with my first chick. Three days ago, I had 3 more chicks of my own hatch. They saw me through a clear-sided incubator, and they are now in a clear-sided brooder. These three chicks are unafraid of me, just like my first chick.

Sorry to take up so much space, but just wanted to share what has worked/hasn't worked for me to give you some ideas on this.
 
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GrandmaBird

Songster
7 Years
May 28, 2012
1,280
55
161
Colorado
something to remember about these birds is that danger comes from above them most of the time. I agree with the clear brooder helping. Good luck.
 

HeatherN

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 19, 2013
42
41
99
California
ive got them in a 10 gal aquarium with the heat from above. i watch them hatch and talked to them as they hatched, as well as stayed with them their first couple of days. dont worry about the space! i appreciate the more detailed posts in forums, i usually have to cut down my own posts to prevent the all-out torture of the readers...

i can try again with this next batch scheduled to hatch, perhaps in some form of front opening see through brooder. unfortunately, im quite familiar with the "death-from-above" mentality, as my myriad of reptiles all share the instinct. the tamest reptile i have i raised through a front opening cage. maybe itll work with chickies too!
 

HeatherN

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 19, 2013
42
41
99
California
one chick hatched today while i was getting ready for a morning class. i got to talk to him for a bit, and when i came home a couple hours later i talked to him some more and put him in a little clear brooder. i've been trying to stay by his side and he is acting as if my hand is his mom and he calls whenever i say "chickie chickie!". thats how my others started off, but before long, they were thick as theives with eachother and scared of me. lets hope this single one will take more of a liking to me. i feel bad for him though, as he doesnt have a cuddle buddy
 

laseterlass

Songster
8 Years
May 13, 2011
1,193
58
178
Anchorage Alaska
I have a hand tamed male Coturnix. He was hatched from an egg of mine I gave a dozen to a friend. Only one hatched. After 10 months. The friend felt bad, (the bird got loud in the kichen), about him being alone. Grand had never seen a quail before and was so bonded to the friend he could take him out in woods and the bird follows him. Upon seeing other quails he quickly figured it out but has no finesse, is basically a rapist. Is territorial as hell. And has no fear of humans. I have to wear gloves when I put my hands in his cage. I HATE him. BUT he is beautiful and I promised he would live.
 

SurferchickinSB

Free Ranging
Feb 23, 2018
2,764
4,251
512
California
hello all, thanks for looking!

I am new to birds, with button quail being my first. mine were from a pet store, and the best luck i had taming them down was getting them to eat bugs from my hand through the bars of their cages. Now, i've hatched my first batch of baby buttons, and i figured this would be a good opportunity to raise some tamer quail. itd make life much easier when trying to clean, and id love some quail i could actually interact with!

Anywho, i've been trying to feed them from my hands and pick them up (though keeping my hand in the brooder so they dont chill) as much as i can while still working and going to class. As time passes, they just seem to be getting more and more afraid of me! theyre now to the point where they sprint away when i put my hand in there to do anything.

Does anyone have any methods that have worked when it comes to socializing jumpy little button chicks? i dont seem to be making any semblance of progress by simply trying to feed them and handle them a lot. Thanks all, have an awesome day. :)
I would have thought they would have imprinted on you. When I was a kid I hatched about 12 quails and they imprinted on me right away because they used to follow me around outside all in a line and then they would pack off on their own but all I would have to do is call to them and they would come running from all directions to me. I would then just put them in a basket and then I had a set up like yours in an aquarium with an overhead light and I would just put them back in there. Have you brought them outside at all?
 

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