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Date Posted: 11:51:08 07/15/10 Thu
Author: DennInMi
Author Host/IP: 69.208.37.111
Subject: New to Button Quail -- Housing question

TIA for any help you can offer. I need housing advice for 7 button quail I hatched a week ago -- my first personal experience with these birds, although I have other poultry and waterfowl and have had caged birds before (cockatiels, parakeets, finches, doves).

I have to come up with permanent housing for my baby button quail once they're out of the rubbermaid storage bin brooder in another few weeks. I have 7 of them -- one was really weak after it hatched and had a rough go of it -- I was force feeding it a couple of days, giving it electrolyte solution, and so on, but now it has really perked up and I am cautiously optimistic for its chances. The rest are very healthy. I think I'll have a nice blend of colors, too.

I figured that I would probably have to make some kind of cages for these birds, but I went to the Petco near my work on lunch the other day just to check anyway, and lo and behold, they had some large "low profile" finch cages on clearance for around $20 each, regular price was $65. For that price, with materials, considering my time, I probably couldn't do any better if I made my own cages. So, I bought all 3 of them they had for sale (as well as a really nice large cockatiel cage for $18 -- I see diamond doves in the near future but that's another story!)

These cages are about 22 inches X 34 inches and are roughly 18 inches tall -- a low rectangular shape that should be ideal for button quail once I pad the top to prevent head injuries. The bars are very close together, since they were designed for small birds like finches. Wire insert over the tray which I think would be good to ensure cleanliness.

1) Does this sound like appropriate housing for buttons?

How many per cage -- I was thinking that I couldn't keep more than 3 together, which is why I bought all 3 of the cages they had for sale? Possibly just in pairs if it works out in terms of the gender ratio?

2) When the time comes to separate them, how will I know who should go with whom? Boys together with boys, girls with girls, or pairs or groups?

Also, will it be traumatic for them separating them since they were raised together? Or, will they turn agressive towards each other anyway as they reach sexual maturity and separation will be necessary anyway?

And, should I plan on keeping the cages all together in one room so they can "talk" to each other, or would it be better to have them in different rooms so they aren't stressed out due to territorial issues?

These little birds are just so adorable - I am really looking forward to having them as pets and seeing them grow up.

Thank you.

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