Raising Button Quail

the silver button quail
The Silver Button Quail

Button quail are easy to raise and can produce a lot of eggs, with the right food and environment. They're very cute little birds and many are purchased as pets to keep in the home.

The Button Quail can be found in many different colors, there actually are more than 15. Here is just a short list:

  • Blueface
  • Cinnamon
  • Fawn
  • Golden Pearl
  • Red-breasted
  • Silver
  • Splashed-Button
  • White Button; This variety should be solid white with no other coloring.

Button Quail can sometimes be found in pet stores. I would be very careful about purchasing these Quail from anyone other than a breeder. If you would decide on getting them from a store or even a Button Quail Breeder for that matter, ask for records on the quail your interested in. If they have no records, I would not purchase them. Buying these birds from a pet store could result in Quail that are highly inbred, which can result in disease and early death.

In view of the fact, that Button Quail are so small and cunning, a number of people will buy them to raise in their homes as pets. When they're fully grown, they only reach the size of a baby chicken (the size some people give as gifts for Easter). These little quail can be quite hyper and will need several hiding places, because they scare so easily. Through proper care, time and effort they can become very tame and make great little pets.

Button Quail Characteristics

The miniature button quail can also be kept in fish tanks, however, you would need mesh type cover for the top. This needs to be of a soft material, that allows air in the tank and should be soft, to prevent injury if the quail would fly up. Because these quail are quite active, it is not uncommon for them to track through their droppings. So you should keep some type of slip proof covering or litter on the floor. Something that is easy to maintain.

Buttons also need grit and minerals like many birds to help their digestion and stay healthy.

Button quail can be scrappy among themselves. You will have to keep a close eye on this, because the pecking can result in injury or death. Providing hiding places in their cages can help prevent this situation. Another option is to hang several shiny objects in their cage, which in some cases can become the target of the quail's pecking. If pecking would become a problem separation or debeaking may be required.

Purchasing Button Quail as Pets

Important: keep this in mind, if purchasing Button Quail as pets to keep in your home. These little Quails have an expected life span of 4 to 5 years. This life span can be reduced dramatically if you don't follow a couple rules.

When raising Quail, two things have to come together for them to lay eggs, assuming they are receiving proper food and care.

  1. The amount of light hours they receive per day.
  2. The right temperature.

So if you are raising the Button Quail in your home, they are going to receive this right combination all year round. If not addressed your females will then lay eggs all year. Laying eggs does take a lot out of them. So my advice would be to give your birds at least a 3 month break per year. If you're purchasing these quail as pets only and don't want any eggs, follow this procedure also.

How to Stop Your Button Quail From Laying Eggs

You do this by cutting down on the amount of light they receive. This is best done as a gradual process. You are the only one who really knows the combination of daylight hours and electric light hours that are accumulated in your home.

Whatever this amount may be, you will need to gradually reduce the amount your Quail are receiving by covering them.

Systematically reduce the hours of light they are receiving on a daily basis, until they are down to no more than 8 hours per day. Then keep them at that amount of light for at least 3 months for rejuvenation. Once the 3 month rest period is over, just reverse the process. Doing this will help their productivity and help them live a full life. If you never want them laying eggs, just cover them after 8 hours of light everyday.

When raising Button Quail for reproduction, the possibility of them hatching there own eggs does exist. However, this would depend on the proper type of housing and nesting area provided. But I believe most breeders do incubate.

When pairing your breeders to reproduce. There are just some variables that have to come together that you can't see. Things like compatible and fertile breeders. Their diet is also very important. This is the one thing you do have complete control over. So make sure your breeders are receiving a proper breeder diet.

If you do use an incubator, make sure to follow all proper incubation procedures. Button Quail should hatch in about 16 days, however you can wait until day 22, by then they would have hatched if they were going to.

Final Thoughts on Raising Button Quail

The Button Quail can be a great bird to raise as a hobby or even for pets. However, if you're looking for a quail as a meat or egg provider, this bird is much to small to meet your needs.