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Female quail attacking another female

 
Crystal Bush
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I purchased four quail approx 6 months ago. Three female, and one male. They are in an aviary with my cockatiels, their purpose being to keep the aviary floor clean, and produce eggs that are then fed to the breeding cockatiels to help with health and egg production. Anyway, today, I walked into the aviary, and one quail hen was sitting in a food dish. I picked up the dish, and she refused to move, which was odd. I gently lowered her to the ground, and one of the other hens ran at her and starting attacking her. She was ripping out the feathers on the back of her neck, and slinging her around. I moved in between the two hens to allow the attacked hen to get back on her perch, where she promptly dropped her head, and cowered. I was actually worried she was so stressed that she was going to pass right there...but she didn't. I went about feeding the birds, and she flew to the ground again...to be attacked viciously by the other hen again.

Tonight....I went to check on the quail, and the non offending hen was again in a food bowl, while the other three quail snuggled together on the aviary floor. They used to all four huddle together...but it seems they have kicked her out of the flock?

I would like to add that there has been an egg laid every other day for the past month. Not sure which hen is laying.

Thank you for any input. I'm baffled.
 
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