Button Quail Problem

Burton Dale

May 22, 2015
West Palm Beach, Florida USA
Have raised a trio of Brown Button Quail for a few months, a male and two females. They are all very healthy and the two females give me religiously an egg each daily. By saving the eggs and opening them easily with my quail egg cutter, I am able to have an omelette once per week. I suspect the Button Quail is unlike my earlier Pharoah Quail because the male Button Quail stays with one of the females, sleeps with her in the nest box. When I raised the Pharoahs, the males did not seem to show much preference, but did scrap among themselves when crowded up too close. They never showed interest where eggs were left, nor in sitting on eggs. The Buttons don't sit, but always lay eggs in the nest box.

I am beginning to think the Button roo is sterile, because out of two separate incubations at 99 to 100 degrees and humidity average 60%, and about a dozen eggs each attempt, none of their eggs are viable.

I collect the eggs daily, store them aproximately 50 degrees in my fridge crisper for no longer than a week (7 days gives 14 eggs). On day 14 I stop turning the eggs. In one incubation I used the automatic turner and the other I turned by hand. Both results were zip with no chicks.

A few years ago, I never had a problem with any of my Pharoahs using a circular galvanized incubator. The new one is styrofoam and much easier to manage with my min/max thermometer. I calibrated with my Braun Human IR thermometer.

Is it unusual for a male Button Quail to be sterile? He appears to have a busy schedule always mounting both his girls, though he is preferential to one over the other. I am thinking of going back to Pharoah quail as the eggs are larger and I never had any trouble with them. I a/m feeding Purena Game Bird Starter (nonmedicated), oystershell and greens, fresh water change daily, remove all manure every other day and give them Red Lake DE for their dust bath. I am not going to bust up my Button family even if the roo is sterile. But do think it time to look for Pharoah birds for more quail eggs.

Does anyone know where I can buy 4 or 5 female and one Pharoah Quail here in Palm Beach County, Florida?

Many thanks from Newbie Burton
Last edited:

Yorkshire Coop

“Limited edition!”
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Aug 16, 2014
United Kingdom
My Coop
My Coop
Hi :welcome

Glad you could join the flock! Sorry to hear you have had problems with your incubation. I've only hatched and raised and raised some cortunix quail and not button. Please do drop by the quail section of the forum for all the quail experts. Here is the link ~ https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/48/quail

Good luck in the future with your quail and enjoy BYC :frow

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
Sorry I know little about quail but, your observations are quite astute. Yorktown Coop has given you an excellent link. I hope the quail folks will be able to offer good suggestions. Glad you joined the BYC flock.

PS I think it is a good idea also that you are keeping that flock intact despite the male problem. I'm sure the hens would thank you.


BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Dec 12, 2013


Keeper of the Flock
7 Years
Nov 4, 2014
East Tennessee.

I don't know anything about quail, but there are lots of experts in the quail section.

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