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Date Posted: 02:39:11 05/31/08 Sat
Author: M
Author Host/IP: 24.20.76.52
Subject: Quetsion on odd behavior

I have a male button quail and female coturnix quail (the person I bought her from said she was a button lol) that are about 3.5 months old. They were raised together since chicks and have been getting along great until recently (about a week).

The coturnix quail loves to eat and receiving treats. Whenever someone walks by the cage she’ll stop whatever she’s doing and start jumping up and down and pecking at the sides of the cage, thinking someone will give her something. Recently this behavior has upset the male quail. Whenever she goes into “feed me treats mode,” he will stand in front of her and kind of peck at her, weave underneath her body and bump himself into her, and sometimes he will just latch onto a feather and hold on. The problem is she goes into this mode whenever I get out of my computer chair, come into the room, etc., thinking I’ll give her a treat.

I always made sure to give them both treats and the male used to eat seed and other treats out of my hand, but now he is more interested in trying to get the female to stop eating/picking on her, so its not like he wants the food for himself. He is totally fine if she is just foraging around the cage or eating out of their food dish, its only when she’s excited from someone being near the cage that he gets upset. The female of course doesn’t like being pecked at, so she fights back and chases him a few laps around the cage (100 gallon Reptarium, which is 48 x 30 x 16.5), while he makes some sort of noise like he is distressed and/or scared. After awhile they’ll stop after I’ve moved away from them for awhile, and the male will come back out and they’ll walk around like nothing happened. I’ve also noticed they no longer snuggle and sleep next together, though they still must like each other somewhat since they always seek each other out when separated.

This behavior happens when they’re out of the cage too just roaming around my room. As soon as I get up from my computer, they’ll have a scuffle. The fights aren’t serious enough that there’s blood or anything, though the male has lost a few of his poofy/downy feathers so it made me worried. I’ve ordered a new cage so I will be able to separate them in a couple days. I was just wondering if anyone knows why the male quail would be upset with the female like that? He shows no aggression at all towards me, only to her. Also, I'm a little worried about them getting lonely while being separated. Would they be okay having their cages next to each other, with lots of toys and things to peck at to occupy them? Sorry for the long post. >.>;

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