Some Common Breeds of Quail


There are numerous breeds of quail in the world. However, these are some of the common quail breeds in the world.

Japanese Quail

Japanese Quails

Standard colors: Light pharaoh, golden, pharaoh, and tuxedo

Classification: Dual purpose meat, eggs, and aviary


Characteristics: Large-bodied, docile with a placid nature, easily handled, hardy and simple to rear. For this reason, they are a popular quail to keep, especially for the beginner.

Utility Aspects: This is a dual-purpose bird both for table and laying. They mature very quickly and reach table weight within six to eight weeks, coming into lay at around the same age. The hens lay in excess of two hundred larger than average eggs per year. Demand for quail meat is increasing although it is still thought of as a luxury product hence the high price it obtains. To ensure egg fertility the ratio of three hens to one cock is recommended.

Italian Quail

Italian Quails

Standard colors: Golden

Classification: Laying / aviary

Characteristics: Smaller than the Japanese very active maturing early. The Italian is also extremely tame and easily handled. In all other aspects, there are similar to the Japanese.

Utility Aspects: These are the best egg layers of the quail breed, often laying over three hundred eggs per year, very quick to mature coming into lay by six weeks of age. Their eggs are of a very even size and in great demand commercially. From experience, it has been possible to keep Italians at a ratio of one cock to six /seven hens without a drop in fertility.

Also Read: 12 Common Poultry Diseases and How to Deal With Them

English White Quail

English White Quail

Standard Color: White

Classification: Laying / aviary

Characteristics: Near in size, nature and laying ability to the Italian quail, the English white is a color variation that is very popular. They are, of course, predominantly white but have small patches of tan.

Utility Aspects: From a commercial basis their value is in their laying ability. Their tame, easily handled nature, coupled with their color makes them popular as aviary birds.

British Range Quail

British Range Quail

Standard Color: Chocolate brown

Classification: Laying /aviary

Characteristics: This type of quail is larger than the Italian, with a speckled deep red /chocolate coloring. They have a very placid nature and are easily reared.

Utility Aspects: Commercially valued for their laying ability and are tame and easy to handle.

ORNAMENTAL QUAIL

Chinese Painted and Pied Chinese Painted. Also known as button quail.

Origin:Found in China, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Australia Measuring only five inches in length the Chinese Painted are among the smallest of the quail species. They come in a variety of colors including white, lavender, pied, fawn and silver grey. Hatching in around sixteen days the young are just slightly larger than a bumblebee however they are very active and resilient despite their size. They mature in approximately eight weeks. They are probably the most widely kept of the ornamentals mainly for the variety of colors, and as ground birds, they add great interest to a mixed aviary. They are relatively easy to breed and keep but prefer more shelter and warmth than the larger breeds.

Also Read: 10 Ways To Reduce Or Prevent High Mortality Rate In Poultry Farming

Tennessee Red, Mexican Speckled, and Normal Bobwhite Quail

Origin: North and Central America. These quail come from the USA where they are managed extensively as game birds for sport as they are fast, short distant flyers.

Bobwhite Quail

Bobwhites grow up to ten and half inches long and are one of the types of quail that like to perch, however, most of their time is spent on the ground. The bobwhite prefers to be kept in groups and when roosting on the ground they form a circle, tails inwards so they can spot danger from any angle; as they would in the wild. These quail are quite wild and nervous in their nature (although they can be tamed) and tend to be more difficult to breed than the Coturnix varieties. Despite this, they are very beautiful birds and one of the more sought after of the ornamental quail. They come in several color variations: The Eastern, Tennessee red and Mexican speckle back.

Gambel’s Quail

Gambel’s Quail

Origin: American native found from Southern California down to Mexico. These quail are slightly smaller than the bobwhite but similar in nature. They are another of the perching quail and quite often roost off the ground. They have been known to use nest boxes rather than nesting on the ground. Both the male and female Gambel’s quails are crested and have striking coloration. For this reason, they are considered by some, to be the most beautiful of the quail breed.


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