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cline01 (1K)

Japanese Quail
(Coturnix japonica)

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cline01 (1K)



Additional Information

Breeding Season:

Breeding Age: Domestic forms will have adult plumage at six weeks and hens will begin producing eggs shortly after.

Clutch Size: Wild, averages from 5 to 9; captive birds are known to produce more than a 100 per year.

Incubation Period:: 16 to 18 days

Description - Male: As chicks, both male and female individuals exhibit the same kind of plumage and coloring. Their heads are tawny in color, with small black patches along the area above the beak. The wings and the back of the chick are a pale brown, the back also having four brown stripes running along its length. A pale yellow-brown stripe surrounded by smaller black stripes runs down the top of the head.

Description - Female:

Status in Captivity: The domesticated forms are bred by the thousands (if not millions) for food production and hobby.

Misc Notes: A very commonly kept species and often kept in horrible, all wire battery-style cages for mass production. It is recommended to give the birds an aviary with natural surroundings. Rather non-aggressive, would be a good ground bird with finches and doves. It is unlikely that hens will go broody and if you are wanting to produce chicks, artificial incubation will probably be needed, but one may gain success in an aviary. Please note that this quail will produce a very large number of eggs per year.

Some of the domesticated forms include Tuxedo in which the overall plumage is dark brown with a white breast or belly; the White, pretty obvious here, all white plumage; Pharoah, Golden Manchurian, British Range, Speckled are some of the forms you will find in captivity.


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Bibliography and Further Reading

  • Brown, D. 1995. A Guide to Pigeons, Doves & Quail, Their Management, Care & Breeding. ABK Publications, South Tweed Heads, Australia.
  • Grewel, B. 2000. Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Local Colour Limited, Hong Kong.
  • Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C., Inskipp, T. 1999. Birds of India. Christopher Helm, London; Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
  • Johnsgard, P.A. 1988. The Quails, Partridges, and Francolins of the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  • Madge, S., McGowan, P. 2002. Pheasants, Partridges, and Grouse. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.


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