Little Button Quail
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. little button quail
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  • An Australian Quail
  • Scientific Name:  Turnix velox
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  None
  • Origin / Distribution:  Most of arid and semi-arid Australia but not Tasmania.
  • Habitat In Wild:  As diverse as their range, including the arid interior.  Adapted to cereal crop farms.
  • Status In Wild:  Secure, but subject to predation from feral introduced animals such as cats and foxes.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Secure.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  about 3 - 4 months.
  • Adult plumage: attained at about  ? months
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  6 months to about 3rd year
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic.  Non breeding birds can be hard to sex.
  • Colour mutations:  None.
  • Availability:  Bird dealers and specialist breeders.
  • Temperament:  Easy to breed provided the quail are given suitable aviary and conditions.  Best results are with one pair per aviary (or one hen with two cock birds) but are generally compatible with finches and small parrots.  As with other quail, they prefer an area of long grass and shrubs to feel secure.  Without adequate cover the birds may fly vertically and hit the roof and cause head injury or death.  Wing feather clipping is commonly used to avoid the birds hitting the roof.  Does not "call" at night so will not upset the neighbours.  Hatchlings can get through 13mm (half inch) aviary wire netting.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $120
  • Description Of Adults:  As its name implies, it is one of the smallest of the Button quail.  Hens are generally bigger and heavier than cock birds and they have brighter plumage.
  1. Length: Up to approx. 150 mm (or up to approx. 6 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. up to 60 gms (or approx. 2 ozs)
Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

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 bird.

Compatible with most finches, small parrots, doves and pigeons. Best breeding results are with one pair per aviary.  Growing tall grasses, New Guinea grass or cereal grains (eg. wheat) will help this species feel happy and secure.

If little Button quail are startled they tend to fly off the floor at a steep angle and often hit the roof at a solid speed.  This can cause severe head injuries or at worst the death of the quail.  Wing feather clipping can minimize this potential problem.  Wing feather clipping also minimizes the risk of the quail flying into or onto the finch nesting sites and disturbing the nesting or roosting finches and/or small parrots.

Diet / Feeding:  Refer to " Quail " web page for general details on the feeding of Quail or read on for specific details for this bird.

Good quality finch or small parrot mix plus insects and vegetable green foods and seeding grasses as per "Quail" web page.  May eat some of the commercial poultry pellets.  Adequate supply of insects is essential at breeding time.  Mealworms, small cockroaches and small crickets are ideal.


  • Nesting months:  Will breed year round.  Seasons spring to autumn are generally the most productive.
  • Nest location:  On the floor in a nest usually at the back of the aviary in a secluded spot.
  • Nest material:  They may build a substantial nest of dry grasses and other materials and lined with soft materials.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / Cock / both share.

Breeding: Egg Colour Off white with dark brown speckles.  Clutch/s per year.. multiple, usually 2 - 3.  Eggs per nest 3 - 5.  Incubation approx. 14 days.  Independent approx. 3 - 4 weeks.

Compatible with most finches, small parrots, doves and pigeons. Best breeding results are with one pair per aviary.  They develop strong pair bonds.  Easy to breed if the aviary is to their liking.  Once the hen has laid a full clutch many aviculturalists will remove the hen so the cock bird is not distracted from his duty of incubating the eggs and raising the young.  When the babies hatch the cock bird supplies food from his beak directly into the babies beak.  Generally the hen does not get involved in the feeding and raising of the young.  The young will start to feed themselves during the second week.  The cock bird will offer the young food till they become independent at the about the 3rd or 4th week.

Adequate supply of insects is essential at breeding time.

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.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 59 No. 9 Sept 2005 Page 198.
  • A/A Vol 50 No. 4 Apr 1996 Page 82-88
  • A/A Vol 10 No 7 Jul 1956 Page 86-87.
  • A/A Vol  5 No 10 Oct 1951 Page 116-118.
  • A/A Vol  3 No 9 Sept 1949 Page 99.
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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