Blue Scale Quail
The male and females are similar in appearance.
Sexing can be accomplished when they reach 5 to 6 months old by comparing
their throats. The female has gray lines under her chin, and the
male is brown under his chin. They may lay more than 60 eggs in a season,
with clutches containing over 20 eggs. It is very important to have
unrelated stock to increase fertility among these quail, and the eggs require
23 days for incubation.
Males have a white throat and eye-line, with a dark crown and a black line
that seperates the white on the throat to the eye-line. The lower breast is
mottled white & dark brown; sides have light brown streaks and the back and
rest of the body mottled brown overall; tail gray. The hens are similar, but
her throat and eye-line is buff and her overall color is somewhat lighter.
Bobwhite hens begin laying in mid April and may lay all summer long. The eggs are pure white and are incubated for 21 days. Bobwhites are also induced into laying earlier than normal using artificial light. Some larger farms also use the lights to have hens produce eggs year round. Chicks are easy to raise in the brooder. They require a high protein diet and lots of room, as they are very active and prone to picking if overcrowded. The chicks are kept in a brooder setting for about six weeks, then they are moved to covered, outdoor enclosure. Like many other species of quail, they seem to do best on wire, but can be
kept on the ground if the aviary is well-drained.
Today, the Button Quail buyer now has more
than 15 different color varieties
to choose from. While it would be difficult to greatly improve on the natural
wild type, some of the new mutations are very colorful and quite spectacular
to see. New mutations that have recently made their appearance in the US are,
Cinnamon, White, Red Breasted, Blue-Face, and Golden Pearled. These new
mutations can be interbred to produce a surprising number of interesting
completely new varieties. I have identified 19 different distinct
combinations from these five basic mutations, and there are even a few
additional ones that could be produced.Males are overall dark brownish-blue with a white and black face and throat. The breast is lighter bluish-gray, with a chestnut-red belly. The feet are yellow, bill is black. Hens are mottled brown overall and lack the white and black markings on the face and throat. They will breed year-round if kept under lights. In larger cages or aviaries, one can allow the hen to set and incubate her own eggs. Since the chicks are so tiny, ensure that the wire has some type of barrier or protection to keep the chicks from escaping. ey are able to squeeze through 1/2 inch hardware cloth!! Incubation period is 16 days and the chicks grow quickly. You will need to make sure the waterers for the chicks are small or place some marbles in the fount to make sure they do not get in and drown. The marbles also encourage the birds to drink and find the water, as they are attracted to the shiny colors of the marbles.
Females of this species are easily distinguished,
from their counterparts as
the males have a red crown, with a black face. These quail are hardy birds,
and good for the beginning breeder. They have good parenting skills and if
left alone they will do a great job raising their young. If incubator
hatching gives poor results, try lowering the humidity. Hens begin to lay in April, and will lay 20 eggs at a time for a clutch. The hens lay 40 to 60 eggs for the season, and the incubation period is 22 days. This species is often confused with the related Valley Quail. Males of both species share the black top-knot plume. Male Gambel's can be distinguished by having no scaling on the lower breast, but rather having a yellowish belly with a large black spot. The top of the head is rusty brown with a white border and a black face, forehead and chin; the back and upper breast is grayish brown with rusty brown flanks that have white streaks. Females also have a top-knot, but it is much smaller in size. Her overall coloration is similar to the male, but she lacks the black and white face, the black breast spot and the rust color on her is much lighter. The hen is also slightly smaller than the male.
The largest North American quail, the Mountain
Quail is distinguished from
the other western plumed species in both sexes having straight, narrow
crests. The crests are black and consist of only two feathers, the female's
crest is usually shorter and more brownish than the males (she also more
brown on the back of the neck, compared to bluish-gray in the males),
otherwise the sexes are similar.
Breeding Season: Late March & early
April to June.
Clutch Size: 6 to 15; egg color: Pale buff to cream.
Incubation Period: 24 to 25 days.
Mutations: A white breasted variety has
been developed over the several years.Chicks are prone to toe picking.
Can be controlled by placing alfalfa hay on bottom of brooder, use dimly
lit brooders and/or trim the upper beak back
about 1/3. If you need to feed mealworms to encourage the birds to eat, cut
into small pieces and only feed for a few days (the worms resemble toes).
Often confused with the Gambel's Quail
at first glance, but closer
observation shows that the male is slightly smaller, but share the tear-drop
shaped, black crest. The face and throat is black, bordered a white stripe
above the eye and along the throat; there is a small patch of yellow feathers
at the base of the bill. The back of the neck and head is finely mottled with
black, gray and white; the breast and upper back bluish-gray. The belly has a
blackish-chestnut patch that is surrounded by black buff feathers that give a
scaly appearance not seen in the Gambel.
Female: Hens can be distingushed from the Gambel hen by her smaller size and scaling on the breast and being lighter gray overall.
Breeding Season: April to June.
Breeding Age: First year.
Clutch Size: 12-14 eggs.
Incubation Period: 23 days.
The sexes are easily distinguished by their
color. The males have a black
crown. They breed well, and can be kept in pairs or groups. These are hardy
birds, can be easily tamed, and are good birds for the beginning breeder. The
young require a lot of assistance in the beginning days of life and can be
difficult to raise. The chicks will do well if raised by their natural
parents, but they must be left to themselves and not disturbed.
They will lay 20 to 40 eggs a year, and the incubation period is 23 days.
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