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

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. stubble quail
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  • An Australian Quail
  • Scientific Name:  Coturnix pectoralis
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: None.
  • Origin / Distribution:  Eastern two thirds of Australia plus southern half of Western Australia. (Tasmania ??)
  • Habitat In Wild:  Diverse, but prefers grasslands and areas of low shrubs.  Will inhabit croplands.  The trait of inhabiting the stubble of harvested cereal crops influenced its name.
  • Status In Wild:  Has benefited in cereal crop production areas.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Secure.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  ?
  • Adult plumage: attained at about ? months
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  ?
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Colour mutations:  None established.
  • Availability:  Bird dealers.
  • Temperament:  Can be a flighty bird and prefers a planted aviary.  Compatible with finches and small parrots.  Can be aggressive and best kept one pair per aviary.  Require adequate privacy / shelter i.e. long grass or low shrubs, to ensure an interest in breeding.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx) $40
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx.190 mm (or approx  7.5 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Up to 125 gms (or up to 4.5 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 and as this species is probably the most aggressive of the Coturnix quail, it is advisable not to house them with any other species of quail.  Aggression towards other pairs and other species of quail increases at breeding season.

If Stubble 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.

Growing tall grasses or cereal grains (eg. wheat) will help this species feel happy and secure.

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 beneficial at breeding time.  As a bird that likes to inhabit wheat crops it will consume wheat as a significant part of its diet.


  • Nesting months:  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:  Dry grasses.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Breeding: Egg Colour creamy buff.  Clutch/s per year.. multiple, often 3.  Eggs per nest  6 - 12.  Incubation approx.  18-21 days.  Independent approx. 3 - 4 weeks.

All the eggs hatch at the same time.  Young should be moved to another aviary when they are independent to avoid aggression from a parent bird.

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 10 No 9 Sept 1956 Page 112.
  • A/A Vol 3 No 9 Sept 1949 Page 99.
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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