Scaled Quail have been kept in captivity for several decades. These small galliformes natural range include Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and western and central Texas into Mexico to Jalisco, Guanajuato, Queretaru, Hidalgo, and Tamaulipas. It has been introduced to Hawaii, Washington, Nevada, and Nebraska, but is only considered established in central Washington and eastern Nevada.
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Altiplano Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata squamata), Northern Scaled Quail(Callipepla squamata pallida), Upper Sonoran Scaled Quail(Callipepla squamata hargravei), and Chestnut-bellied Scaled Quail(Callipepla squamata castanogastris)
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
The Blue Scale is about 10 1/2 inches long at maturity. The sexes are almost identical in plumage color. Their name come from the delicate scale markings in their plumage which varies from slate blue to grayish in color. Both sexes have the cotton topped crest. Males can be detected from females by the plain brownish chin coloration. The females will have light pin stripes in the chin area. In the wild these small birds breed in pairs. The breeding season varies throughout its range and two clutches in a season are fairly common. Hens lay 9-16 eggs with irregular brown spots. The eggs are larger than a Bobwhites. Incubation takes 23 days. In the winter these birds travel and feed in coveys that average 20-30 individuals although groups as large as 150 have been reported. This quail is not considered threatened or endangered in the wild as it is common and widespread throughout its range. In captivity Scaled Quail have a reputation for being flighty or nervous. In reality they are active but have been tamed down enough to accept treats through the wire or from their keeper's hand. Aviaries should be longer than they are wide to allow the quail to move away from you when performing upkeep. Dry, sandy ground is beneficial and areas of cover should be provided to make the quail feel secure. Scaled Quail are generally non-aggressive and can be housed with other quail and "exotic" species; although, keep in mind different species requirements. Hens may lay up to 50 or 60 eggs in a breeding season in captivity. Chicks are easy to raise taking to gamebird starter quite easily. Blue Scaled quail can be raised on wire but it is recommended that through the breeding season they be kept on the ground in a secure aviary. Birds should be protected from predators like dogs, cats, snakes, or birds of prey. Gamebird crumble with a dish of greens and seeds make a very good diet for these quail. Housing several birds together allow them to form a natural covey and pair of on their own during breeding season.
Recent User Reviews
"Wonderful quail with beautiful coloring"
Pros - Beautiful, nice size eggs, hardy
Cons - Their call can be annoying, very aggressive at the beginning of breeding season.
Great quail to raise, beautiful feathers and in my opinion not as flighty as most suggest. Our birds are tame and will eat out of our hands. Their call is annoying to some. They do get very aggressive in the first part of breeding season and establishing pecking order if raised in community pens. Overall a must have for any quail hobbiest.BlackHackle likes this.
"Can Be challenging But Are fun Birds!"
Pros - Beautiful, Profitable, and just a fun bird all around
Cons - Flighty, Stress easy, and are very hard to tame!
Scaled quail can pose quite the challenge to a beginner! I started with bobwhite chicks then bought four sub adult Scaled Quail, Lets just say that they can escape from small holes that no bobwhite can! They are also extremely good fliers. I haven't reared any from chicks yet but I imagine that it too poses-es many challenges. After you get past the challenging part of them, they are wonderful birds! They are very energetic and are always busy in my aviary whereas the bobwhites kind of sit in one spot for a while. The scaled quail aren't very vocal at all and the roosters crow isn't like any other quail....it's...different. But all in all they are great birds that are very entertaining to watch. If given the right environment these beautiful birds we be a delight to your aviary!