Do you plan on keeping chickens and button quail together? Button Quail, the smallest type of quail, are most like chickens in appearance.
However, before you start raising button quail, it’s important to familiarize yourself with their unique characteristics and how they compare to other poultry.
In comparison to other quail and game birds, the Button Quail is the tiniest at only approximately 4 inches in length when fully grown. Smaller than bumblebees, chicks grow to adult size quickly.
Despite their diminutive stature, they’re a joy to care for and easy to raise. The eggs of Button Quail also often feature a rainbow of colors and patterns.
When Button Quails are reared from hatchlings, they often develop a gentle demeanor. In many households, a Button Quail is the only quail in the household. They are tidy tiny birds that are surprisingly quiet for how active they are.
Although native to Southeast Asia and India, button quails may now be found in backyards all over the world because of the booming aviculture industry.
Button quail have a remarkably shortened lifespan, even among birds. They mature quickly, reaching old age in as little as 18 months after hatching. Button quails can survive up to three years in captivity.
In comparison to chickens, quail might be significantly less work to raise. Quail are more efficient at turning their food into the meat and/or eggs per unit of time and require less room and food than chickens.
Moreover, they maintain a low profile. Brooding and rearing their young is a skill that female quail possess. Quail are also suitable city pets because many cities prohibit keeping chickens but allow quail.
Always exercise caution when arranging a brooding habitat for Button Quail due to their diminutive size. Make sure the temperature inside the brooder and the room can be easily controlled and that there are no drafts.
For optimal leg growth, a non-slip surface is required. You should use caution in the way you distribute water. Quail chicks can easily get their feet wet and chilly if they are placed in a chick waterer designed for chickens.
Button Quail as Pets
If you’re considering adding some button quail to your flock of chickens, it’s important to learn about their care and needs as pets before you make the commitment.
Depending on the breed, your hens may be very friendly and tame. It’s also possible that the hens in your area are hostile. What kind of adjustments will be made by the Button Quail because of that?
Button Quail have a tendency to be a little possessive about their territory. When surrounded by other species, quail, especially males, can become hostile and territorial.
However, if you have female button quail, they will likely adapt well to living with your hens. They’ll learn their place and stop picking fights once they do. The most important thing is to only include female quail or to segregate the males.
Your quail and you can have a conversation. They are more likely to respond to soft noises like clicking, crowing, or chirping. If you speak quietly to a qual, it may come closer to you.
Even quail need to have their brains exercised occasionally. In the animal kingdom, they rank among the more intellectual bird species. Consequently, people need to engage in intellectual pursuits to maintain a healthy and happy state of mind.
Foraging equipment can serve as a source of inspiration. It’ll be a fun challenge for them to figure out how to utilize the tools, and they’ll get valuable experience in the process.
Button Quail History
Small caged birds were hung in gardens around China and were said to bring good luck to Western travelers in the early 1900s. Some people transported the birds and the tale of their good fortune to Europe and North America.
The Chinese blue-breasted quail (Excalfactoria chinensis) may have gained the moniker “button quail” during the First World War.
They were apparently kept as pets in European homes by American troops, who observed them and thought they were “cute as a button” because of how similar the size of the newborn birds was to their uniform buttons.
Nonetheless, the Chinese blue-breasted quail isn’t a true “buttonquail.”
Sometimes attention to detail in writing is essential, and this is one of those times. A button quail is not the same thing as a buttonquail. Because they belong to different genera, reading about them could be confusing.
The only real buttonquail is the ones that go by the single word “buttonquail” (genus Turnix, but not related to genus Coturnix). These birds are closely related to the plovers, and they are hemipodes (meaning they lack a hind toe).
The smallest quails are the “button quail,” a two-word reference to the species of Excalfactoria.
Housing Your Button Quail
Button Quail, like chickens, do well in an environment with temperatures around that of a typical home. Make that the temperature in the quail’s housing unit or coop never rises above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to maintaining a temperature below that extreme, you should also check in on the heater and the cooler on a frequent basis.
Your quail may be in danger if there is a fault in the heater and begins to produce erratic temperature changes. They aren’t able to adapt quickly to new temperatures.
When the seasons change and they go outside, this is also crucial. During the colder or in-between seasons, it could be beneficial to have a foraging space indoors.
Leaving a warm environment, such as their nesting location, and being exposed to the cold outside could cause serious harm.
Nonetheless, if they can make the change from their cozy nesting habitat to a cozy indoor foraging area, their body won’t react quite so strongly.
The number of birds you’re sheltering will determine how large an enclosure you’ll need, but it should have a tall top so they have room to fly. Due to the quail’s small size and ease of predation, the enclosure must be impenetrable.
They need solitude and shelter for their nests, so planting a few small trees or some form of scrub or shrubs inside the enclosure is a good idea.
You can hatch eggs with the help of an incubator or a broody bantam hen. If this is your first time hatching eggs, we suggest a styrofoam tabletop-style incubator.
For 12 eggs or more, use an automatic egg turner. Due to their diminutive size, quail eggs require a rack or cups designed specifically for them to be turned using an automatic turner.
You should also keep their habitat elevated above the ground and out of drafts. Extreme temperature swings, such as those brought on by drafts, can make people sick.
They’ll be protected from potential predators who would otherwise be able to easily reach the quail and its eggs if they were elevated off the ground.
The minimum volume requirement for a dwelling unit is 8 cubic feet, and it should have a rectangular shape. Strong flooring is required. Most animals, including button quail, thrive when given ample space to do as they choose.
Therefore, it is suggested that you construct the most wonderful habitat feasible.
Flying ability is a characteristic of the button quail. Sometimes they may even try to jump and glide. Therefore, a flight cage should be added to both the feeding and housing areas.
They can easily take off and make a dramatic escape if they are spooked or if they just feel like flapping their wings.
If a bird falls short of its target altitude, it could sustain injuries. For instance, if the cage is too small, the animals may gravely hurt themselves by colliding with its walls. As with chickens, quail who panic in a cage run the risk of harming themselves.
The top of the housing unit and the foraging area should be made of soft material to protect them in the event that they decide to fly or jump.
Fabric is commonly used by quail keepers to conceal their aviaries. If the quail jump up to the top of the enclosure, this will assist cushion the blow.
Multiple female quails can coexist with a single male quail in a single housing unit. To a lesser extent, this also applies to chickens.
A male quail is a suitable company for many female chickens. However, it’s not always a good idea to keep birds of different species in the same cage.
It’s up to you whether or not you want to keep your quail with your female hens. Learn a lot about their dynamic by seeing how they interact with one another.
Chickens that are docile and sociable will have a far easier time adjusting to the button quail’s presence than chickens that are belligerent.
Quail males should not be housed with other quail males. And you definitely shouldn’t keep them with any other male fowl, even other chickens.
You should also provide hiding spots for them within the dwelling unit.
At last, you must acclimate your quail to human company. The person primarily responsible for them should do this. We need to spend time with our friends and family every day.
Separating quail into pairs and letting them spend time and forage together is an effective way to encourage socialization and strengthen bonds among the birds.
This can also be done with chickens, though you’ll need to be prepared to split them up if they don’t get along.
How to Feed Your Button Quails
Their feeding habits are very similar to that of chickens. Unlike chickens, though, quail are omnivores and can be content with a diet that includes both animal and plant products.
Their diet should consist primarily of fresh game birds, making up 60–70% of the total. These are commonly sold in pet stores that specialize in birds.
Fruits, veggies, and grit are all good additions to a healthy diet. The quail should be able to sit in the bowl of grit you serve them from.
Water for your quail should be changed every day to keep it fresh. It should be filtered and chlorine-free.
Every pet owner enjoys spoiling their furry friend with the occasional gift, but remember that treats shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your pet’s daily calorie intake. Button quail shouldn’t be given feed like fruit seeds, chocolate, avocados, booze, or caffeine as treats.
The same goes for fruits and vegetables that haven’t been eaten by the end of the day. If you leave them out, your quail will continue to consume them. You don’t want your quail to get sick from eating contaminated food because of how quickly those perish.
Food and water should be stored at a level that is two inches off the ground. In this way, it will be protected from potential contamination by dropped bedding or excrement.