Native to Australia, Southeast Asia, India and China,
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Red, White, Gray and Blue
There are various of Button Quail but in the normal form males have a brown back with dark streaks.
The face is white outlined in black. Normal type hens are brown with dark streaking.
Both sexes have long slender black beaks, which curve downward, and red-orange tarsus.
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
They inhabit warm grasslands in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia. There are 16 species in two genera, with most species being found in the genus Turnix and only one being found in the genus Ortyxelos.
The temperament of each bird may vary widely. Buttonquails are small, drab, running birds, which avoid flying. In length and 1.9 to 4.7 ounces (53 to 134 grams) in weight, with the female significantly larger than the male. Incubation period of 12 to 13 days. We considered them more of a novelty bird or even a clean up bird in finch cages. Button quail need a shallow water bowl. If you want high egg production, give them 14 hours of light per day. Many commercial breeders feed turkey mash or turkey crumble. The crumble needs to be ground to the rightsize.
Recent User Reviews
Pros - Small- Can easily fit into any home.
Quiet- They make soft noises
You need 2- I consider this a plus.
Cons - Can't hold them
Poor parenting skills
I'm giving a review in hopes this helps other beginner button quail owners.
Small- Can easily fit into any home. More importantly, can have more than two!
Quiet- They make soft noises, except for Jazz, most of the time it's hard to even hear them. Sometimes they have on loud call, and they use that call when lost and looking for their mate, or for a mate.
You need 2- I consider this a plus. This gave me an excuse to get more than one. They need to be in pairs, either male x female or female x female. Males may fight each other.
Super cute- Especially if they just hatched! My cold dead heart melted that day, and has barely frozen over since then! (lol) The adults are all super cute too! Their antics make me smile at least once a day. See if you can catch them dust bathing it's funny.
Aviary bird- They can be kept in an aviary with certain birds. They clean up the leftover seeds, but they still need their own food!
Can't hold them- I was able to hold Jazz when he was a chick until one day he decided that I was a scary monster now. They lose feathers when scared to slip away from a predators grasp.
Smell- This might just be my bird, Latte, but after sitting on her eggs for a while when she gets up to poop she lets out a real stinker! I have no idea if this is normal. Otherwise cleaning it once a week for two birds and spot checking seems to work on smell. An open window on warm days helps as well.
Fragile young- Be very careful, I had 3 die from either sickness or the cold.
Poor parenting skills- Don't expect to see broodiness to last, if at all in your buttons. Don't expect good parenting either. My latte only raised one chick to adulthood after letting her nest 4 times. 3 out of 4 nest attempts had chicks. She left the nest too soon every time so a chick failed to fully hatch each time. When she leaves with the first chicks go and check if she left any still hatching. Then go to this website and ask for help. REMOVE the male if you see any signs of aggression towards the chicks. He will not get better. He gets to go to "bird jail" until the chicks are grown up. ("Bird jail" is just a temporary separate home.) If the mother is aggressive then just brood them yourself.
Boink factor- When they freak out they fly straight up. This can be remedied by putting a soft top of their enclosure. I use a netting from an arts and craft store with binder clips to cover the top.
"Sweet little birds"
Pros - Don't use a lot of resources, enjoyable to watch, lay lots of eggs, active, nice call, come in many colours
Cons - Get spooked easily, quite fragile, usually not tame, sensitive to cold, hard to catch
If you research how to care of them properly, these little quail will be very easy to look after. Their eggs are too small to really be eaten but they make a nice treat for other pets like dogs or cats. They adapt well to different environments but are easily effected by the cold. They are not good to keep with young children because they spook very easily. their bones are very delicate and being held a bit roughly could break a leg or wing. for the most part they hate to be held or disturbed but they won't mind you quietly watching them. Watching them is vey fun because they hop around, males will feed the females, they chase each other and they will sometimes preen each other. They can actually fly quite far. I had one that flew onto a neighbours roof once. So you have to be careful when opening their door or catching them. To be happy, all these birds basically need is a dry, warm enclosure with a shelter they can hide in, water, shell grit, game bird starter feed and seeds.
"Not for Everyone, Perfect for Me"
Pros - Small, Colourful, Interactive and are very interesting
Cons - Needs experienced owners, not always friendly, very delicate, and hard to raise/keep
Button Quail, white both adorable and small are not a pet I'd recommend to anyone I know. I currently have 3 and am hatching more because these little birds are addicting, they make lovely sounds but can be extremely loud when alone or without a mate, and they need a lot of space to be truly happy. These little birds are very interactive and even when they're not hand raised they can become conditioned to human interaction. If you have other birds you may think you are ready to tackle a button, but trust me, these are very difficult birds to hatch, buy, own and raise. Their eggs are very small and sometimes they can accidentally crush them, and your fingers might go right through them while you are collecting. Not many people own these in large quantities so its hard to even find them if you are interested. It's also difficult to make a home for them not only because they need a large space to live but the roof has to be "boink proof" and if you don't know what boinking is, its when the buttons are scared or nervous they will launch themselves up to escape the threat, except when there's a roof they will knock them selves on it, and it can scalp these birds if its not cushioned properly. It's very hard to raise these birds too because they are so small and so fast and aren't usually very docile, much more flighty.
These cuties are not for everyone, they are a HUGE investment for not much reward if youre careful, I would choose Cotournix or bantam chickens over these guys, or even pigeons or doves. Not for the inexperienced pet owners.