So anyone who follows me on Facebook knows that I was pretty fed up with the quail and their cannibalistic tendencies. I wanted to just butcher them all for meat and be done with it. Luckily, every once in awhile Trevor is my calm and reassuring side. He convinced me to give it another few days to see if they kept up with absolutely destroying themselves or if they settled down. I gave it a few more days and after finally loosing five quail, our quail covey has stopped their murderous ways.
I think the three long weeks of temperatures ranging from 95* to 105* degrees stressed the quail out to the point of driving them crazy. Four of our quail hens were eaten down to the bones and one was badly wounded, eventually resulting in its death today. Within this week I have both switched the quail to commercial turkey feed (no more barley, but I am continuing to give them mealworms) and I have de-beaked all of the quail. Hopefully by de-beaking the quail (cutting off the first third of the top beak), I have discouraged them from pecking at each other any more. So now we have seven quail instead of twelve.
Let’s hope that lower temperatures, a change in diet, and a de-beaking works!
In any case, I am somewhat glad that Trevor kept me from instituting the death penalty, because today one of the hens laid an egg. Finally, right?! That is one redeeming act. It doesn’t quite make up for the murder spree.