Quail are usually not very noisy birds, it is possible that your neighbors make more noise than the quail themselves, but sometimes, and due to certain determining situations, a quail can emit constant sounds that can become annoying, especially at night.
Why can such a small bird make noise at night? In reality, this is something totally natural if you conceptualize it from a point of view that the quail is a living being with social and physical needs and can express itself according to these needs.
Usually, the various reasons why a quail makes a noise at night have to do with insecurity or discomfort in its environment, but the most common and frequent reason is the call of the males, which obviously becomes much more noticeable at night when there is less environmental noise.
The call of the male quail
The song of the male quail forms an essential part of a complex mating system where the males sing to make themselves detectable by the females and other males. The females only become detectable when they respond to the calls of the males.
In short, the male quail is the noisy one.
Different calls made by the quail have been documented, but no songs as such. The call for meeting or reanimation has three syllables: “cu-ca-caw” and is often emitted whenever an individual is away from the group.
There are two songs that are exclusive to sexually mature males: a vibrato under “rwan-rwan” that is repeated 3 or 4 times in a series (about once per second, 65-70 dB at 1 m), and a clear, melodic and powerful trisyllabic sequence (“tuit-tuit-tuit”, 80-85 dB at 1 m). Unpaired males that do not directly participate in sexual courtship emit both songs.
During a time span of about 1.5-2 hours, the male alternates singing bursts with silences. As soon as he begins to court the female and while mating with her, the male stops singing
The call of contact is made during the group movement when there is food being discovered. Unmated males give their call at the beginning of the reproductive season, which is a short monosyllable (caw).
During the breeding season, the males give an aggressive call, which is a series of cutting syllables delivered with the head positioned backward.
How to stop male quails calling?
This is a frequent concern among quail breeders that the noise could bring them inconvenience, either because they live in urbanized places where they must maintain minimum noise levels out of respect for their neighbors and regulations, or for some other reason.
But it is very difficult to go against the nature of an animal, roosters are much noisier than quails and there are methods to minimize the roosters’ crowing.
It is impossible to prevent a rooster from crowing, just as it is impossible to prevent a quail from generating sound, in which case it could only be minimized or controlled by other means.
Some roosters use collars fitted to their throats to minimize the noise of their crowing, a collar will not prevent the male quail from making his call.
Another technique used by roosters is to lower the roof of their cages so that they cannot stretch their heads when singing, but in the male quail, this would not work the same since the quail does not adopt the same position when making its call.
So, in case you live in an environment where you necessarily need to reduce the noise to the minimum possible but still want to breed quail, I could suggest two options:
The first option is that you have a group of female quails, the quails can have eggs without the need for a male, having female quails is very likely to reduce the noise to its maximum if you keep in mind other aspects, which I will explain later in this topic.
The second option, if you want to have both male and female quails and you need to reduce the noise, is that you prepare an isolated space where you can put the cages, obviously, you must have enough space and invest in building as if it were a kind of closed hut to cover it with a good noise isolating material.
Other measures to prevent quail noise at night
We already know that the call of male quails can be a little intense, but not only male quails can generate noise in their call in search of a mate, all quails can make noise at night depending on certain situations.
Quails are scary birds that can emit sound if they feel threatened as a way of alerting others.
There are two different alarm and escape signals: a series of short “trett …. trett … trett” emitted in flight by the male, and a high-pitched whistle “rrwwiiit”, emitted by the female, but to hear the calls, the quails must be at the same level.
If you hear quails making constant noise at night there is a possibility that some predator or animal is prowling around your cage and the quails are frightened, this is something you can control up to a certain point by keeping the quail cage in a quiet and safe place.
It is a good idea to raise the quail cages above floor level to a level where you can prevent any predators from pulling on their legs.
It is well known that quails can be easily stressed and this can be a factor in triggering noise. Generally, keep quails in a quiet, dimly lit place where there is no loud or constant noise.
Also make sure that you have enough space available for your quails where they have several points for food and water, the fact that the water or food is insufficient may be a reason for the quail to make constant noise.
Bear in mind, as far as possible, to keep the water in the quails clean, to avoid illnesses caused by bacteria, this could also be another reason for quails to growl.