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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:30 am 
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Proud Rooster
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We've a group of Japanese quail; we've got a few in trios as well as in an aviary. We have a few diamond doves and bobwhite quail in the aviary as well; the bobwhite male seems to try to mate some of the girls; but that's it; there's no aggression. I know it's not him as we also have; as just mentioned previously; some in smaller cages in groups of 1 male per two females; and we've still had the same sort of thing happening; so it's not just the males baching each other up; but that seems to be the majority of it. We have about 10 girls to three males (down to two at the moment as the third got severely pecked) in the large aviary; so there's a proprtion more females than males.
They've plenty of water; have Laucke Mills Pullet grower pellets as well as plenty of greens (wheat grass, veggie greens from the garden, etc. etc.) so there shouldn't be any nutrient need or reason for doing in in regards to any lack of anything. They've perches they can get up onto if they want; though of course the Jap quails more stay on the ground. We've never seen them tearing into each other; but it's very obvious they do; and it's never groups of them; it's one that's been picked on; like everyone gangs up on that one; though they'd been absolutely fine with it for weeks and weeks up until that point.
What they're doing is mostly attacking the head. We've had four seperate birds have this happen now; three by males; one by two females. They are literally stripping the skin from the back of the head; ususally from just behind the eyes to the mid-lower neck. We'd had one that had a few smaller wounds around the mid back; too; but still had the head gotten; and one that had a few smaller wounds around the front of the neck; but again; the head had been done. It's horrible; absolutely disqusting; the poor little things must be in such pain - they always make it through with TLC and careful watching of the wounds; but I don't want them to have to go through it; I can't keep going into their run or to their cages and see it; it absolutely turnes the stomach; nearly broke down in tears this morning from this morning's victim; he's literally got his ear holes completly bare of skin; the back of his eye sockets; down to the base of the back of his neck. He seems alert enough still; feeding; drinking still; but it's absolutely horrible. We love our quail; they're such sweet, tame little things; when it comes to us; such cute little things; we just want to be able to have a couple; hatch out a few now and then; but we can't keep having them do this to each other! How do we stop it; WHY are they doing this to each other; I mean; yes; we've had chooks pick on each other now and then but it's generally short lived; or else we take away the main instigators of the pecking; then reintroduce them in a week or so and everything settles out strait away. Turkeys; again; no real agression at all, other than the odd peck at the feeding trough; and the ducks; not even that - why are our sweet little quail mauling each other like this? How do we prevent it, or stop it?
ANY and ALL suggestions would be humoungously appreciated :!:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:12 am 
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Fiesty Fowl
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:03 pm
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Location: South Coast
hi , how big is your avery?

are you sure there is isnt 1 or 2 perpertrators (spelling?) as soon as one starts and draws blood then theyll all have a go

dependig on how many birds u have in what space could tell us alot

when we had japanese quail i use to use nail clippers and nip the sharp point of the end of there beak (not debeaking like battery hens but just nipping of the sharpest point) so then when the quail pecks each other its less likely of drawing blood.

i would also put some logs and hidey holes (making sure anything u put in has an exit and an entrance incase a mob of angry pecking quail block the only door way)

and then in would also mix up the pecking order.....take some of the old females out and introduce a complete new 3 males

thats all i can think of now

hopefully somone else can come along with more advice

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:12 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:18 pm
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Location: Southern Riverina
Could their diet not be high enough in protien?
I thought Japanese Quail were placid.
I have herd of Bob White and Calfornian being more teritorial.
I had a similar problem with my Partridges. I had 2 male and 2 female happily coexisting, untill one day one female had no feathers on the back of her head. She seemed fine though and stayed in the nest box and I never saw any others attacking her. The next day her head swelled up so I seperated her and gave her an antibitic injection, but she died the day after.
I then got 3 more females and put them in the pen, but the original one just would not stop attacking them. I had to put them in a seperate pen with one of the males and they are all still happy that way and no more attacks.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:33 pm 
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Sultry Swan
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Male japs are very territorial. Also is it just the male or both the male and female that are getting attacked.

Japs are incredibly docile little birds but they are also known to be aggresive toward outsiders. I've seen newly hatched chicks drag others around the incubator relentlessly until they were seperated. They only seem to think of 2 things... Sex and Food.

As they breed the girls tend to lose all the feathers on the back of the neck and sometimes with a bit of over mating the skin can become fragile and torn. And like all oversexed males if one jumps on the poor girl they've all got to do it. Then if there is a little blood the females will join in as it looks like food. And the same thing will happen to the male that has been bullied by the others.

If your not planning of full on breeding them, I would remove all bar one male. Or exchange them for some younger males. Also if you suspect one is being bullied remove it from the avery before it goes this far. A lone quail distancing itself from the others is usually a good indicator that it's not fitting in well or feeling a bit vulnerable.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:47 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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This in general isn't just plucking of feathers or bare skin; this is complete skin being peeled off the bone. I can get photos of some of the ones that had been done before; they're healing; but they've still got extensive scarring obviously. The one that got done yesterday morning died overnight; he was the most severe we've had done - but we know for an absolute fact it's not just the males doing it; we've had some girls do it to a male (and we know it was two girls; as there was two girls - that had laid eggs each singularly so no way of being a male... as well as the male which they got into after a few weeks of being in with him...?)as well as one of the girls got pecked a bit; had a bit of skin torn off but not nearly as much; she recovered entirely in a week or so; seperated some of the other quail to where she was so it was her territory; then introduced the lot of them back together; and they'd done fine. We'd like to be able to try to set some eggs; are trying (desperately) to get ahold of a bantam broody hen; why is it though that so many seem to be absolutely fine and then they just seem to go stupid one night? I've seen males chasing a known girl around (we've the marked female/male with coloured tiny little hairbands; males are black; females are transparent coloured) and jumping on her; grabbing the feathers on the back of her head in the process; but never seen them actually going for one aggressively; it's always we go in whether it be in the morning or after a good few hours; and ones' missing half the skin on it's head.
We just want to be able to keep some for their placidness with us; they are absolutely adorable; their eggs (my daughter openly prefers quial eggs for breakky than duck or chicken; more her size she reckons, lol); and extra males for dinner now and then; but I don't want any of them to have to go through what they seem to be so set on doing to each other!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:29 pm 
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Sultry Swan
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Location: Ipswich
Any Budgies? or little birds with sharp beaks, they can sometimes be a problem.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:32 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Yup, I've seen this a few times. I've seen them pecked down to below the bone (ie, you could see brain).
Only run one male per cage. Are you incubating eggs? If not, don't run any males.
Try and keep your quail together from hatching, or at least a young age. Newcomers will often be pecked to death.
Make sure they have room and preferably a dustbath (can help to lessen boredom and stress).
Remove any peckers, if they do it once, they'll do it again. I used to eat ours, but it sounds like you may not be up for this option.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:45 am 
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Deluxe Drake
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Their feed is too low in protein.

Jap quail need 24 - 26%

try Turkey starter, add some lucerne meal or meat meal with oil.

Check the sex again, you may have had some young males that were sexed as females this is easy enough to do.

Jap quail are very very territorial (I have a few hundred breeding birds) and tend to find the feed has alot to do with the behaviour

I ran out of feed one weekend (i could have sworn I had another bag of their usual feed...but not so) I substituted their feed with chck strater and had
bloodshed for a week, til they were back on their usual feed.

I have a few budgie cages that when a bird is severly pecked is placed into isolation untill healed (I use the pink livestock spray on the wounds)

BEFORE placing the birds back into the enclosure pull out all the quail, and place them into a box / cage for atleast 24 - 48 hrs, then return all back to their enclosure....

i find this stops the territorial fight with new birds or when adding the injured bird back in...be it male or female .....

Oh removing the males if you are not breeding wont always solve the issues...I have females who can be just as mean as males.

Heidi

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:30 am 
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Showy Hen
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Heijo wrote:

Oh removing the males if you are not breeding wont always solve the issues...I have females who can be just as mean as males.

Heidi


Absolutely. I've found the females to be worse than the males. But, I did find the females would usually stop being aggressive if there was no male in the pen.
The box thing is a good idea, I found change of any sort to be the major trigger, adding a new bird, changing food, even a new watering system.


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