Quail Update: The Ballad of Crazy Quail

When our four new hens came to us they were in rough shape..  They were missing feathers on their heads and backs from being confined in such small quarters. They had never felt the soil underneath their feet or stretched their wings.

All of that changed when they began their new life here with us. It has been a joy to see their evolution from creatures that were kept in darkness and forbidden from their natural instincts, to quail. Who bathe in the dust and sleep on the ground.  Most of their feathers have grown in and their unique personalities are coming out. They have been integrated into the flock relatively quickly. Everyone accepted them right away, except for Crazy Quail…

This is our only quail with a name. She earned her name at the age of 2 weeks. I came to find her in the brooder unable to stand or walk. She would flop to her side when stood up. I frantically searched the Internet for solutions to my problem, to no avail. Most of the suggestions would have meant certain death for Crazy Quail. Something I was not ready to face. So I separated her. I hand fed and watered her through an eye dropper.  Much to my surprise I started to see an improvement! She slowly but surely returned to health, but she was never the same. She carried herself differently from that day and thus she was easier to identify.  Crazy Quail.

The Arrival

When the new girls arrived Crazy Quail was not happy… She continually chased them around and pecked at them; never giving them a moments rest. Again, I took to the Internet to guide me, and again the advice would bring death for my little quail. I deliberated on the solution for quite a while. I separated her and tried to prepare myself for what I thought was coming. In the end, I couldn’t do it. I had raised this quail from a chick. She was my responsibility and I had to find a way to save her.

The Solution

I decided I would separate her into another cage and hope that he isolation would “cure” her and allow her to return to the flock. I placed the cage right next to the existing coop so that she could see the flock. I kept her in this state for about a week before trying to reintroduce her to the flock.  When I placed her back with the flock she was no longer aggressive toward the other birds. I’m not sure exactly how it worked, but I was happy to have saved a life. Crazy Quail will live on another day.

new girls now!
one of the new girls on the first day


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4 Comments Add yours

  1. tarnegolita says:

    Oh that is so sweet!! How wonderful! I’m so glad you managed to save Crazy Quail! I’m starting to think having pain or being uncomfortable makes them more aggressive… I have an old male who leg problems, and lately he’s been so aggressive to the others I had to separate him. I also got a few new ones, white ones like yours! 😀 so pleased! Until now I only had regular brown ones. I’m hoping my mummy quail might sit on some of their eggs 😉


    1. emmaherrick says:

      That would be wonderful! None of mine seem to be broody. I love having the mix of quail! The white birds I have also seem to be a bit more tame.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Are white quail the same as ptarmigan?


    1. emmaherrick says:

      The white quail are a variety of Coturnix quail called Texas A&M. They were bred at the university to be better meat birds, but I just think they’re pretty and I love the mix of both birds!

      Liked by 1 person

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