Quail are small birds that can be kept as pets; in addition to this, they can also be tamed. However, taming quail is not easy and takes a lot of patience due to their skittish nature. If you want to get started on taming your new feathered friend, continue reading this quick article.
EditBefore Taming Quail
Before taming your quail you must first know some helpful and important information.
- Realize the long process of taming quail. Quail are not usually the type of pets to tame as they are very skittish and hate being picked up (tame or not). Quail are especially hard to tame if they are fully-grown as it’s best to tame quail at a young age. Before you start taming your quail consider whether you actually want or need to tame them.
- Remember; you can always purchase fertile quail eggs and incubate them. Then you will be able to hand-raise the chicks and get them to become tame by just interacting with them.
- Know the things you should not do whilst taming your quail. You shouldn’t rush the process of taming, make any sudden movements, shout, get angry at your quail, chase your quail, grab your quail, approach your quail from above or force your quail to eat food out of your hands. This will make the quail more scared of you – the opposite of taming a quail.
- Realize that not all quail can be tamed. It is quite hard to tame a quail, especially a fully-grown quail. No matter how much you try, some quails cannot be tamed – it’s in their nature.
- Button quail are extremely hard to tame, they’re more for watching than interacting. However, coturnix and bobwhite are great pets to keep once tamed.
- Care for your quail properly. Feed them a high-quality feed, provide them with fresh water, keep their cage clean, get rid of disturbances, house them in a cage with plenty of space, etc. The more happy your quail the better chances of getting them tame. Also, if you interact with them daily from caring for them they will get use to your presence which is the first step to getting them tamed.
- If your quail are new, give them time to settle in. Interacting with the quail straight away can get them stressed; they need at least a full week to adjust to you and their new surroundings.
EditGetting Use to Your Presence
Before you can start interacting with your quail you must first get the quail use to your presence.
- Visit the quail often. Before you tame the quail it must get use to your presence and know that you’re not a threat. Sit by the quails cage everyday and make sure the quail can see you.
- Sit next to the quail for at least 20 minutes each day. This doesn’t mean that you have to do nothing during the time, grab a chair and read a book or do some other sort of time-passer. Just make sure your not moving about or shouting, you don’t want to frighten the quail.
- If the quail are running along the sides of the cage this means that they are scared. Move a certain distance away from the cage (but still stay in sight of the quail) and stay still, the quail should soon calm down. Every day move a little closer until you are right next to the cage, the quail should soon know that you are not a threat.
- Talk or vocalize to the quail. Talk to the quail just like you would with a friend or you could whistle or sing to the quail. Speak softly and do not shout or raise your voice, this step will get the quail use to your voice.
- Once your quail gets less frightened of you, start performing actions around its cage. At this point your quail should now stop running up and down its cage and feel calmer when around you. If your quail is housed inside of your home perform actions that you would usually do in your daily routine such as sweeping the floor, studying at a desk, playing games, etc. If your quail is housed outside perform actions such as watering plants, tending the garden, raking leaves, sweeping the pathway, etc.
- Avoid noisy tasks such as vacuuming, mowing the lawn or dancing to loud music.
EditInteracting with Your Quail
Once use to your presence your quail can now move on to the next process which is interacting with you.
- Get the quail use to your hand. Carefully and slowly place your hand in the quails cage, make sure the quail cannot escape. Lay your hand in the cage perfectly still and do not chase the quail with your hand. Do this for 10 minutes a day and the quail should soon get use to your hand, they might even come near your hand soon.
- Offer your quail treats out of your hand. Remove the quails feed from the cage and offer a treat that your quail enjoys out of your hand. A good treat to feed your quail is meal worms, or you can change it up by feeding the quail a different treat every day.
- Don’t chase the quail around with your hand or force the quail to eat the treat, just lay your hand still and see if the quail will eat the treat. Eventually your quail will get less scared and take the treat out of your hand.
- Try petting the quail. If the quail is very calm towards you, try rubbing the quail underneath its head. If the quail is tame it shouldn’t run away.
- Never approach your quail from above. Prey (usually birds) attack quail from above which is why quail hate being picked up or patted on their back. Even a tame quail will like this; instead they will climb into your hand. Only grab a quail if necessary.
- Create a routine. It’s good to create a routine when taming quail, you will want to interact with them at least once a day.
EditThings You’ll Need
- High quality quail feed
- Spacious cage
- Fresh water
- Be patient, it takes a long time to tame quail. If you get impatient and rush the quail through the process of taming your quail then you will slow the taming process down.
- Quail need a lot of human interaction to become tame, this is why hand raised quail are more easier to tame than others.
- If you are finding it difficult to tame your quail you could always isolate the quail from the others. Put the quail in a small (but suitable) cage and give it plenty of human interaction. Be aware that quails are social birds and can get upset/stressed from being lonely, you might want to consider keeping them in pairs.
- Do not disturb your quail too much. This will cause stress and the quail will get even more frightened of you.
- Don’t hurt your quail just because it isn’t interacting with you or runs away from you. This is just the quails instinct to keep it out of danger.
- No matter how tame your quail is, never let them out in your garden. Prey including cats, dogs and birds will kill them and they can get lost easily when out in the garden.
- Quail are not the type of birds you train to do tricks or to talk. If you are taming your quail so you can get them to perform tricks you will be wasting your time.