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Japanese Quail

Fun Pets with Edible eggs!

Japanese Quail. They're amusing creatures. They have several habits that make them great fun and horribly frustrating. They're a weird mix of stupid and alert, yet wonderfully silly. Their first annoying habit is bouncing straight into the air when you have a food bowl in hand. If they even see a bit of seed on the bottom of their food bowl as you place it in their cage, they will leap a foot straight up and run the risk of knocking themselves out cold. Like I said - They're not the brightest wicks on the menorah. However, they're a hoot to play with. When they're on the floor, they will follow you from room to room. Once they're use to your hands, they make wonderful lap pets, though for a bird that's 6 inches long, they kick like a horse. The're virtually silent, except for the Cock's whip-crack like call and the flocks' daily chittering whistles. They're perfect apartment pets if you like small, quiet pets that give you breakfast on a regular basis.

Their second irritating habit is their eggs. They lay, like chickens, an egg every day of the year for the rest of their lives. I don't mind this too much, as I love fresh quail eggs, but it's hard on the hens' bodies. I find that if I forget to put a piece of cuddle bone in the cage with them for even two days, they start laying wind (shell-less) eggs almost right away. That, in turn, puts them at a greater risk for egg binding and other egg related problems. I highly reccomend feeding them a game bird crumble from a feed store. Even Turkey crumble will do. If all else fails, feed them insectivore diet with berries. it's important that their feed is low in iron, as they can suffer from iron storage problems.

Their third bizzare habit is that they will eat just about everything - unlike parrots that will eye strange food as if an alien grew from the spot. This is a boon when raising parrot chicks, as they make awsome mentors. They'll approach strange food almost immediately and within a minute the quail are pecking at it with gusto. This is wonderful when trying to train your birds to eat new foods, as if the quail eat it, the other birds will eventually eat it too! It's frustrating, though, if you accidently spill stuff in the cage and it's not ment for them. They come rushing over and you've got a herd of birdy cattle to wrangle . It's amusing, frustrating, yet a gaggle of fun at the same time. :-)


Squick and Farscape, my two hens.

J. Quail Breeding Faq


At a Glance

Bio Facts:

# of eggs : They lay continually all year - up to 300 a year.

Length of incubation: circa 19 days

Fledging: about 19 weeks ?

Weaning: about 2 months / 8 weeks

Adult at: 4 months

Recomended breeding age: 19 weeks

Ease of Breeding: These guys will lay non stop, but will not incubate their own eggs. If you wish to have Quail chicks, you must purchase or make a decnt incubator.

Potential Problems: Egg binding, Wind (Shelless) eggs, calcium deficiency

Notes: It is rare that a Japanese Quail will sit on their own eggs. Most cases you must incubate the eggs yourself. it's a relatively simple procedure if you know what to do and master the basics. Most important is the correct incubator teperature! (95-100 F) . Eggs are edible and taste like chicken eggs, but less tangy.

Personal Notes:

My first Quail: Chase, Farscape and Squick - bought summer of 2005.

First started breeding: I started breeding J. Quail Summer of 2005.

Cockatiels and Conures and Finches, OH MY!