A Time Out Box for Quail

In this week’s guest blog post, Nancy Klehm tells us about her unique way of dealing with pesky quail: 

It is a beautiful, lush rainy spring in Chicago and all my birds get a large bouquet of fresh weedy greens everyday to supplement their feed: chickweed, dandelion, clover, shephard’s purse, garlic mustard, stinging nettles.

Besides chickens, I have been raising quail for the past four years – I have both Coturnix and Bobwhite quail. Quail need to be enclosed and can’t ‘free range’. They are top choice of any urban predator: raccoon, possum, stray cat and raptors.

After almost a year of this particular constellation of individual birds living peacefully, unrest flared. Recently, ‘B.B. Curious’, the largest of all the quail became exceedingly aggressive towards the others. She was chasing them and pulling their back feathers out causing periodic frantic scurrying and distressing calls from the others. I checked her body and health. I stepped up their seeds and protein in case it was a protein deficiency causing this. I created visual baffles with extra flower pots (quails love to niche themselves).
And so, after nearly a week of this behavior, my friend Sarah built this ‘quail timeout box’ in a jiffy from scrap wood and a milk crate she found. Needless to say, B.B. Curious, settled into it comfortably and after a few days, was released to rejoin her bevy much more at ease.

Leave a comment


  1. Back in the day we raised around 30,000 quail a year. I let them free range, so to speak, in flight pens that were 200 feet long by 50 feet wide made up of their natural habitat. Loved them but it got to be a full time job.

  2. I do “time-outs’ with hens that become bullies – except for them I take them out of sight of the others. When they come back they’re treated like a new hen and rarely return to their bullying ways.
    BTW, I hear that quail are charming – it’s good to read something about them, even if it’s about one that’s in a snit!

  3. It does seem that all animals need time outs occasionally… I expect when we get our goats in a couple weeks, they will be no different… On the other hand, the nesting box/time out box looks very well made! Good job to your friend Sarah!

  4. we have problem quails, turns out they were both males and thus aggressors. we separated them, the ladies are all in peace now. haven’t had any problems with the ladies yet.

Comments are closed.