. European quail
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- Scientific Name: Coturnix
- Common Name/s:
EUROPEAN QUAIL, JAPANESE QUAIL.
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
- Origin / Distribution:
Migratory birds that range through Europe, Asia, Northern India.
Will over winter in the Mediterranean coast, Africa, Asia and
- Habitat In Wild:
Grasslands and farmlands.
- Status In Wild:
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: about
6 - 8 weeks.
- Adult plumage: attained at about
- Best breeding years (estimate):
About 6 months till about 4 years of age.
- Sexing: Monomorphic /
- Colour mutations: Yes, many. 5 main colour types exist but these produce lots of colour
combinations when crossed.
Most bird dealers and pet shops.
- Temperament: Have been bred
for hundreds of years and their temperament more closely resembles
that of poultry than most other "wild" quail. Due to their
domestication traits they are generally compatible with all types of
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx.) $10
- Description Of Adults:
Similar in appearance to the Stubble quail. European Quail are
one of the smallest birds in the pheasant family.
- Length: Approx. 220 mm (or approx. 8.5 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. up to 240 gms (or approx. 8.5 ozs)
Commercially bred European quail are now
larger than their wild type.
Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist
Government Regulations & By-Laws:
Refer to " Government Laws " web page.
Housing Requirements: Refer to "
Quail " web page for general
details on the housing of Quail or read on for specific details for
This species is raised in commercial
breeding farms. These birds are farmed as a meat bird for the
domestic and restaurant meat trade. Their housing requirements are
very basic and as long as the area is clean, dry and temperature
appropriate the birds will lay. In the farm environment the birds
are often raised in wire cages similar to chickens. Many pairs
have lost the instinct to incubate and raise their own young i.e. they
lay like egg production chickens.
Due to their domestication traits they
can tolerate multiple pairs per aviary.
Diet / Feeding: Refer to "
Quail " web page for general
details on the feeding of Quail or read on for specific details for
Natural diet comprises mainly seeds and
Along with the King quail, this species
is one of the easiest of all the species
of quail to feed. Good quality finch or small parrot mix and vegetable green foods as per "Quail" web page.
quail are not reliant on live foods for good breeding
results. The commercial farmers of these birds have developed and
produce a nutritionally balanced pellet food suitable for aviary use.
- Nesting months: All
year round if conditions are suitable.
- Nest location: Many do
not make a nest, they just lay the eggs at random places any where
they like. If a nest is made it is on the
floor usually at the back of the aviary in a
- Nest material: Dry
grasses and plant material.
- Who incubates the egg/s:
Hen / cock / both share. Most strains of European Quail no
longer have the instinct to incubate their own eggs.
Artificial incubation of the eggs is now essential in most
Breeding: Egg Colour
Creamy white with brown patches. Clutch/s per
year...multiple. Eggs per
nest 6 - 10. Incubation
approx. 18 days.
Independent approx. 3 - 4 weeks. The "young" quail
can start laying at the age of only 7 weeks of age!!
Make sure the breeding birds are both
true European quail. As many birds have lost the natural instinct
to incubate and raise their own young it can be extremely frustrating to
many people to have to either abandon the eggs or have to go to the time
consuming trouble of artificial incubation and hand raising of this
species. "Non clucky" strains can lay 200 or more eggs per year.
The quail that do their own nest building, egg incubation and raise
their chicks should be identified and placed back into the aviary.
Commercial traits for commercial production. The natural clucky
traits for our aviaries, especially for the beginner stage
Artificial incubation and hand
rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site. It is
too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.
Health Issues: Refer to "Avian
Health Issues" web page for information and references.
- Worming and parasite control
and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are
considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on
this web site. Refer "Avian Health Issues"
web page option.
- Avian medicine is advancing
at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.
References: Refer to references listed on "Book References"
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 59 No. 9 Sept 2005 Page 198.
- Australian Birdkeeper
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