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

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. red chested button quail
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  • An Australian Quail
  • Scientific Name:  Turnix pyrrothorax
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  None
  • Origin / Distribution:  Most of the eastern side of Australia and the top of Northern Territory and top of Western Australia.  Not in Tasmania.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Prefers native grasslands.
  • Status In Wild:  Declining due to loss of suitable habitat.  Does not seem to have adapted to cereal and farmland to the same extent as many of the other Button quail species.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Secure, but not common.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  about 6 months
  • Adult plumage: attained at about 3 months
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  6 months to about 3rd year
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Colour mutations:  None
  • Availability:  Bird dealers and specialist breeders.
  • Temperament:  Generally suitable with finches and small parrots in a planted aviary with a layer of leaf litter.  One pair per aviary, but more than one cock bird may be run with one hen if housed in a large planted aviary.  Clipping of wing feather flights may be considered for flighty birds.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $300
  • Description Of Adults:  Generally the hens are larger than the cock birds but the difference is less than that of the other Button quail..
  1. Length: Approx. 130 - 160 mm (or approx 5 - 6 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 50 - 75 gms (or approx 2 - 3 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.  Likes to have low growing shrubs with leaf litter and growing tall grasses or cereal grains (eg. wheat) will help this species feel happy and secure.

If 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.


  • Nesting months:  May 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  Buff white.  Clutch/s per year.. multiple.  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.  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.

They may develop strong pair bonds.

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. 8 Aug 2005 Page 184.
  • A/A Vol 53 No. 11 Nov 1999 Page 243-246 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 50 No. 4 Apr 1996 Page 82-88
  • A/A Vol 35 No. 7 Jul 1981 Page 141-142 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 25 No. 6 Jun 1971 Page 83-84.
  • A/A Vol 12 No   3 Mar 1958 Page 47-43.
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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