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Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

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FrothingMagpies
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Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby FrothingMagpies » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:53 pm

I'm going to be upfront about this, I've kept a fair few mammal species, some fish & a few newts, but never any kind of birds. So maybe what I'm suggesting is highly impractical, if so just say so ^^''

I'm moving into an apartment soon where I'm allowed to keep small pets if they aren't smelly, destructive or noisy. I'm going to be in college, which is a 10 minute walk from the apartment, & the course is pretty fluid (it's model making, so there area few classes but a lot of it is assignments & project work - meaning I can go home every few hours & check up on pets if need be). I love the idea of keeping a pair of button quail for their eggs, I met some today & adored them.

I've been looking them up briefly, they apparently are happy enough indoors & outdoors & don't seem too fussy about food. I've been trying to find out specific things about them to see if theres any point researching them further but I'm getting mixed results & I want to know for sure what their needs are before committing to them. The thing is, when I did this research for my ferrets what seemed to be the truth was feed them well, wash them little, neuter/spay them, clean them out often & there will be no smell at all. I found no matter what you do there will always be a smell, these things just improve on it -.- So! I wanted to ask in case there were any experienced keepers here who could give me the honest truth before I end up thinking i've done my research & then learning that someone was romanticising their pets..

What kind (if any) would best suit the kind of lifestyle I've described? (So far I'm thinking Chinese painted?)
Would they be happy in an indoor rabbit hutch, & being let out daily in a safe, confined area of the apartment to exercise?
Do they smell even if fed the right diet & cleaned regularly?
Do they stress out easily, would they be uncomfortable around people?
Are they very noisy? (It seems they are vocal but the sounds are comparatively quiet? This sounds fine to me).


Sorry for the lengthy post ^^'' I just think it's better to give a clear picture of what kind of environment they'd be fitting into.
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Ash
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Re: Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby Ash » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:19 pm

Fowl can be kind of messy, but if you keep them in a place with tile then they would probably be okay. After owning chickens, I wouldn't want to keep them in the house unless they were little. How big do button quail get?
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Re: Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby Trefoil » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:31 pm

I think yes. Although I'm not sure about letting them out to roam, especially if you have a dog or cat and I also think it might be very stressful to them if you had to catch them to put them back in. I personally would get them as big a cage as you can and decorate it for them. They are a ground bird so footprint is more important than height. There are some beautiful button quail, they can be nasty with each other so unless you want to raise them you are probably better off with 2 females. I have never noticed them smelling if their cage is kept clean, which is very easy, they prefer to eat from a plate or saucer on the floor rather than a "bird food dish". They are not smelly, noisy, or destructive.
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about the size of a parakeet

Postby Trefoil » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:34 pm

although proportioned differently.
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Re: Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby FrothingMagpies » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:29 am

Thanks for the input!
Thats interesting about confining them to a cage, I would have assumed any animal in a cage would have benefitted from time out of it too - though I can definitely see what you mean. Rounding them up afterwards would be too stressful for them.

As for other pets, my ferret is definitely coming, I think my dog will have to stay at home with my parents. The apartment is actually a separate building in my landlady's garden, they already have a dog & might be okay with mine too, but I don't want to bring my dog somewhere she's not suited too. If she could be galavanting around the garden with their lab while I'm out that's fine, but I wouldn't bring her up if she had to be cooped up in my room while I'm at college. She's fine with the ferret & rabbits etc, but birds she'll hunt so if she can come it's a no on the quails. Besides, there' only so many animals a student can keep! A dog would be pretty expensive, so even if she didn't hunt birds I don't think I could afford all of them, mainly being concerned about unexpected vet bills :/ I'm so sick of seeing people on tumblr & such writing sad stories about how their pet became unexpectedly sick/injured & now they cannot pay for it & they think you should. I feel strongly about not getting a pet if you can't care for it fully & take full responsibility for anything that happens to it.

But if things work out in the quails favour a pair of females in a large indoor rabbit hutch are sounding good! From what I can tell they don't seem to need any kind of roost but might appreciate a box or something to hide in when they get nervous. Have you kept any yourself, Trefoil? I stumbled onto backyardchickens.com & from what I've read there button quail seem great ^.^
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Re: Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby Trefoil » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:01 am

Having a ferret makes having any kind of bird a problem. Ferrets are a predator and will go after the quail. Even if you are able to get a cage with small enough holes so the ferrets " fingers" won't reach in, the stress would kill them. I have had button quail, and enjoyed their beauty, but prefer a more interactive pet. To me the quail were sorta like tropical fish,pretty to look at and interesting to watch, but basically just something to feed.
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Re: Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby FrothingMagpies » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:36 pm

I was thinking of keeping their cage on to of the wardrobe so they couldn't interact. Ha, if any ferret could find their way into the quail, it's Bubblegum, she'll go after anything xD She wouldn't be able to go after them up there.
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Re: Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby Juska » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:22 pm

I just Googled Button Quail. They're completely adorable! If you do figure out a way to have ferrets and quail safely coexist, you definitely should post pictures :)
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Re: Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby Trefoil » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:04 pm

Its ferrets and how agile they are that I don't know about. I was assuming that they are as good at mischief as coons. There is nowhere my coons can't access, normal indoor door locks don't phase them and they sleep on the shelf in the top of my closet, accessed by climbing the bifold doors, which they can open. I keep my computer and other "untouchables" in a room with a key lock and if I forget just once to lock it, that's where they are. They have learned to scratch at the door if they want attention and I'm in there, I think that's why when my skunk got outside he scratched at my patio door when he was ready to come back inside.
If you think you can keep them separate, then I would put a couple of non toxic house plants in the quail cage. If you put them in one corner it will give them some place to hide and play and make them feel more secure. I give mine the choice of finch food, 28% gamebird, and niger seed. and treats every now & then. They really like the millet sprays for caged birds. They pick through the mix and I completely empty their plate every couple of days and start over. They will need the gravel as well. I think if you can make them feel secure in their cage, they will get used to people coming in & out and come to like attention. For example, you could make their plant area a "free zone" where they aren't disturbed if they are there. I use sawdust for bedding because it stays clean and I didn't want them walking on cage wire, but I think most people don't .
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Re: Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby FrothingMagpies » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:19 am

Well I'll probably wait a month after getting there for everything to settle down after moving & adjusting to college etc before making a definite decision on the quail, so I guess I have until then to see where my ferret can & can't access on her own. But they aren't great climbers, they would need something other than a smooth surface to go vertically up something. So we'll see. Your raccoons sound like a lot of work! I imagine living with them in the house as opposed to an enclosure outside must be difficult but fun.

& I like that idea of plants in their cage, I really like indoor plants so this just gives me an excuse to get more! I might get them some bark & build a little shelter too in case they want to be really hidden. Is there anything i could put in their to wear their claws down, or should I just manually clip them when they grow too long? They don't seem like they'd appreciate that. & thanks for the feed tip, I think i know where I can get all of that. Is it best to mix the gravel in with the seed or keep it separate?
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Re: Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby Trefoil » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:53 am

I put the gravel separately, so it doesn't get thrown out when I clear their plate. If their claws get too long you could trim them, I don't have anything except the reptile rock that might wear their claws. Its a really good idea to give yourself time to settle in before adding new pets. You may find that you don't have time for more or that shopping for your setup is a pleasant diversion from other things. I am sure that the person you get your quail from will be glad to help you out as well and its helpful to see what works for different people, it gives you more options.
I would love to have outside access for my coons like Pat does and I'm sure my coons would love it as well. I used to let my previous coon out with the dogs but its not safe anymore so these are housebound. They've never been outside so don't miss it. They are a little like having a very selfish roommate that's so lovable you don't mind.
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Re: Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby Ash » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:33 pm

Those are so cute! I just googled them as well. They're just adorable. That would be fun to have some walking around a pen to watch.
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Re: Would button quail be suited to apartment life?

Postby FrothingMagpies » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:50 pm

Will they actually choose to eat gravel by themselves? I don't know why, I always assumed it was like giving a pet medicine, it's for it's own good but you have to trick them into eating it. But then obviously if that was the case, how would they get the gravel in the wild? Sometimes I clearly don't question myself enough ^^''
& I completely agree, it was always my intent to wait a while before getting them, for all I know I might find my ferret is enough work for me when I suddenly have to depend on myself without a family for the first time, I might not feel like taking on any more pets. & thats true, I'll try to talk to breeders here & meet some before I decide as well.
& selfish roommates sounds like an apt description for most exotics from what I can tell! I think having them happy & stimulated in the house would be better off than leaving them alone outside all the time anyway, so your coons are probably just as happy where they are. I would love a cinnamon/red coon someday in the future, red pandas are my favourite animals I think a red coon would be as close as I could get, it's a pity there are only grey ones as pets here :/ But they're beautiful too!

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