Breeding Coturnix quail


10 Years
Apr 1, 2009
I am thinking about getting some Coturnix quail. I just want to confirm that they will NOT breed on their own and I will need to incubate. Or has anyone had luck w/ them sitting and hatching eggs. Also what is the "breeding season" so I know when I need to make sure males are separated.
They do breed on their own quite readily.... however in most cases they wont sit and hatch. Breeding season is pretty much year round but it basically takes about 12 hours of light a day to get fair fertility, and 14+ hrs of light a day to high numbers of good fertile eggs in any consistant manner. In some cases folks will have a broody hen that will sit on the nest, but these are rare. Boyz will be boyz.... in the gamebird world as applied to males the saying "Does not play well with others" is a good rule. In a community/covey setting if you have the appropriate sex ratio fighting should be minimal but close observation is needed. best ratio is 1 roo for 4 or 5 hens.
coturnix quail will breed year round and lay an egg a day as long as the temp is above 60 degrees and they recieve 14 hours of light a day. As far as being broody i have never seen a hen spend more than 5-10 minutes sitting on an egg. Its like they want to set the egg but lose interest quick, REAL QUICK. As adult breeders they will need a high protien layer feed. I have not been able to find a layer feed over 18% so i just use regular 16% layer with a few capfulls of dry ADULT cat food that has been blended down to crumbles. As long as you are feeding layer you will not need extra oyster shell.
Yes, I think you meant to say 'brood their eggs', not breed. Coturnix very rarely brood their eggs, and most all of them need to be hatched in an incubator or with another type of bird. It is not completely unheard of for a coturnix to hatch eggs, but it is very rare.

The normal breeding season runs from about April to October/November, depending on where you live. If you keep them on lights year-round, they should continue to lay, though fertility would most likely be low in the colder months.

I have found with my birds that feeding them game bird starter (28% protein, medicated) along with free-choice oyster shells, had increased their egg numbers dramatically. Many of my hens layed non-stop last summer, for at least 3 months. I've tried gamebird layer feed (19% protein) and flock raiser (20% protein), but the gamebird starter (28%) worked the best. There is no problem feeding them medicated feed if you plan on eating the eggs, the amount of medicine in the eggs is so minimal that it will not have any effect on you, unless of course you're allergic
Coturnix are not guppy fish. They will breed on their own, but not set/hatch/brood on their own. Human intervention is required for the final outcome.
I really hate to douse other peoples hopes and dreams, but there is no such thing as a "broody" coturnix hen!
They do not exist! 2000 years of selective breeding makes sure of that.

You will defiantly have to consciously and methodically incubate any eggs, because coturnix can't/will not do it on their own.

You can take that to the bank!
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Sorry worldling, but you are wrong. If you do a search you will find some instances of coturnix brooding and hatching eggs, though it is very rare.
I agree with them being broody, occasionaly... I had a breeder in a nearby city that sold me a box of chicks he had just hatched for 20$, there were 30 chicks. He bred 1000's every year.
When they got older and started to lay, I had kept 2 pairs seperately, and the others all mingled together. One of the hens that was seperated with her partner, when it got older had actualy hatched out a clutch of 7eggs within the first year of me having her. I mentioned it to the guy we bought them from and he said he had never had a hen do that in all his years of breeding... which was about 15yrs... musta been my lucky year
She went on to hatch out only one more clutch of 5eggs a few months later, then she stopped and started to lay her eggs all over the pen and I had never seen her sit on an egg after that.
mysterious lil birds they are, they were coturnix quails...
I respectfully disagree with you both.
The whole "I know a guy" moot with me.

If I do a search...I will find any number of people/animals that do any number of things. I saw a bulldog ride a skateboard...that doesn't mean that my bulldog can ride a skateboard!

COTURNIX QUAIL are not broody. They will not and are not capable of hatching their own young!
It just doesn't happen...unless you have more dollars than sense.

I have "some instances" right here!

Friend2Fowl...put your next coturnix eggs to hatch under a broody coturnix hen. Tell me how that all works out for you.
Here you go!!!!! This has been on our site for awhile:

There are instance were coturnix do go broody. The link above shows that. Unfortunately in this instance the eggs did not hatch due to an inexperienced hen. FairfieldChicks had hers go broody and hatch eggs. Hers was not a " I know a guy" situation.
I agree that it is so few and so far between that for most people it will be something that we will never see. But I cannot see were an all around statement of "Coturnix never go broody" should be set in stone. That statement is wrong.
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went and read this other thread. The bird did go broody but did not hatch. Coturnix are just to nervous to brood correctly. I had heard some would. A leghorn will go broody. But usually will not hatch.

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