Why did he do it??

Discussion in 'Quail' started by jak2002003, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    This morning I went to feed the pair of button quails and found the male had plucked all the feathers off the females back overnight!!!!!!! They have been living together with no problems for many months.

    I was shocked how many feather he pulled out of her in such a short time. Why did he do this? I thought they were happy. They are tame and will come running to the door when I open it to add new food. They have lots of hiding places and a big dust bath - get chick started food, egg food, seeds vegetables and have grit, oystershell and cuttlebone.

    I keep another group of button quails in a colony with several males and females living together (which I am told will lead to fighting). However they are all in perfect feather condition and laying lots of eggs with no fighting. They are also less tame than the single pair and quite flighty.
     
  2. gorabbitgo

    gorabbitgo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It probably wasn't intentional. Button quail feathers are pretty loosely attached and the males stand on the females' backs to mate. He probably scratched out her feathers while mating. You can give her a break by adding up to two other females to their enclosure, but it may or may not work out. Some mated females get really territorial and don't tolerate other hens in their cage.

    Button quail have been kept in captivity for a long time, and there are scientific papers that suggest that while some quail are still territorial like their wild counterparts, others can and do co-habitate happily. It all depends on your quail!
     
  3. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Something is not right with that pair. I moved them to a new larger cage, put in tall hay turfs and extra hides and re filled the dust bath and covered the top and sides of the cage to help them feel more secure. The whole of the females back is bare like a plucked chicken - her total back from her base of the tail to her neck in a long wide strip. I can not think the male did this by accident. Maybe something else happened in the night.

    When I sat and watched them something is wrong. The female keeps closing her eyes as if she is very tired, then suddenly waking up and acting normal - this is happening all day. I noticed the male has a yellow spot on the side of his beak near his nose, but it does not seem to be bothering him.

    A while back my pigeons has pigeon pox, and the yellow spot looks the same as they had! Can quail get pigeon pox? The other quails are all acting normally.
     
  4. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they can get quail pox, if in doubt check with your avian vet, but it sounds like the female might be molting it is that time of year. My male has this same pattern that the female keeps pecking at but it is not bloody or anything so I think he is fine just lost his feathers and they are very slow to grow back. Other than the feathers is she acting okay? good luck.
    edited to : this can also be a sign of stress so do not move them again let them relax a bit...ya know chill....[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    thanks for the good advise.

    The male is really healthy apart from the large yellow pimple on his face. Actually the spot seems to be dull yellow and drying up - so I think it will fall off soon - that similar thing happened with my pigeons (and they all recovered great) so I am not worried about him.

    The female seem a little better today. She is still eating great, dust bathing and acting normal - except she will suddenly fall asleep in the middle of what ever she is doing for a few seconds. Strange! But she does not seem so distressed as yesterday. They love their new home - I will keep them in there - and if she gets better, hopefully they will breed.[​IMG]

    The other quails in the colony group look like a couple will go broody - so I hope they hatch out some eggs. A male and a female are always going into the nest box and rolling the eggs into a pile and sitting on them.

    I have added vitamins to the sick pairs water - and made them a special treat of scrambled eggs this morning in the quail hospital lol.[​IMG]
     
  6. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good news. Glad to hear they are on the mend.
     

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