Yikes, I have two male button quail!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by forestforghosts, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. forestforghosts

    forestforghosts Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 16, 2012
    West Coast, Canada
    My two baby buttons, Noodle and Bean, have just recently finished fledging. Being new to buttons, I have actually never seen fully fledged adults of any variety, but going off the wealth of photos available online, It appears Noodle is a standard silver male and Bean, while much less obvious, I believe to be a blue face, and apparently a male as well, if the recent aggressive behavior says anything. He is dark brown, wings and back mottled white, with surprising blue on his throat, neck and chest. I could be wrong.

    In the last week Bean, who is a fair bit larger then Noodle, has taken to occasionally crowing loudly before rushing him, head down and wings out. Noodle runs and he gives chase, occasionally catching and dragging him around by the nape or plucking out feathers. the fights don't seem too serious and so far, I have yet to see any blood drawn. I'm not sure what to do about it, as they seem to get along most of the time and spend their time happily side-by-side, so I moved them into a larger enclosure with more hiding space.

    Now, my concern is whether or not this aggression is going to get any worse. Everything I read urges me to keep males separate as they are fiercely territorial and will kill each other given the chance! However, I don't want to separate them if I don't have to as the lonely crowing will surely drive me and my neighbours mad. And they look so cute when they are cuddled up together.

    Do you think It'll be safe to keep them like this for the time being?

    Bonus question: I am looking to get a couple of hens for them to pair with. Any advise for introducing them once I get them? Also, is it be possible to keep two pairs together in the same enclosure, given enough room? I see plenty of photos and videos of big 'ol coveys of button quail, but the literature states otherwise.
  2. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2012
    I would watch them very closely as you are right one male could kill the other. If you can maybe try dividing the cage with wire that way they can still see each other and even lay next to each other but the one can not kill the other. as for you bonus questions:
    to introduce the hens you should remove the males and move the deco around a bit then add the hen and then the roo, I would not keep 2 pair in one enclosure but if you want you can try, again one might kill the other or the other hen or even both hens.
    Good luck!
  3. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 21, 2009
    Columbia river gorge
    You can make a home for one in those little plastic critter keepers if you need to separate them , Do you have a way to get more buttons? I have a ton of babies now but they are just about 2 weeks old and I cant tell if they are boys or girls , I also have eggs.
  4. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    If you separate them they might crow all day long. If you don't there is a possibility that they might kill each other. One of the difficult decisions to make when raising button quail.
  5. forestforghosts

    forestforghosts Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 16, 2012
    West Coast, Canada
    I'll keep a watchful eye for now and acquire a screen divider for the enclosure, just in case. With the extra space, and addition of faux foliage, Noodles seems to be having an easier time hiding when his brother gets feisty.

    As for the quest for quail hens, my city is pretty deficient at the moment. I would consider looking wide-range but I have never shipped in a live animal before and the idea of doing so makes me very nervous. Any ideas, ever-helpful board members? Have any of you shipped in birds before? Where would I even begin looking? I'd happily take in more mystery chicks (they are too cute to resist!), but I'm not sure what I'd do if I wound up with more angry boys - probably start filling my drawers and cupboards with feed and bedding to happily house them all.

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