Button Quail, what do they need to be happy?


11 Years
Sep 29, 2008
South Western PA
I want to get Button Quail, I have been reading a lot about them, but a lot of the stuff I read is different depending on where I read it. So some say 2 and only 2 together, I was hoping to have more then 2 but do not want them to fight. I would like to know what type of home you guys have for your button quail, pictures would be nice. Also what else do they need in their home? I read no wire floor and stuff like that, I know they have special waters as well.
Thank you!!

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11 Years
Sep 3, 2008
I just picked up my pair yesterday!

We converted an extra large dog crate into a pen for them. We had to use wire mesh to make it escape-proof.

They are 9 month old and the gentleman I got them from kept them in an aviary room (basically a covered porch). He had nothing special set up for them.

Water in a dish, wild bird seed, some dry grass for next and a couple of plants for them to sit/nibble on.

We decided to use pine shavings for the bottom of the cage, a chicken waterier and a chick feeder (for now). I also made a nest from dry grass and a shoe box for some laying privacy. They seem content in their new environment. I will add a 15W light to the setup tonight, as there isn't enough available light where they cage is right now.

As for feed, we are slowly going to switch them over to chicken feed mixed with wild bird seed. I will post on the progress on that in the coming days.

Once our insulated chicken coup is done this weekend, they will go out there before my chicks.

Hope this helps.



11 Years
Jun 10, 2008
West Central IL
Check out this yahoo group. I have found that I can ask anything and find an answer. Very nice group of people. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/buttonquailusa/

site below shows how to make a brooder from a clear plastic storage container but you can also use it to house your quail in. This is what I use with shavings in the bottom (don't use cedar). Instead of the wire mesh top, though, I use screen wire held in place with duct tape so they don't hurt their heads if they "boink". I have a pair in one and a trio in the other.



12 Years
Jan 12, 2008
easley sc
I recommend game bird feed instead of chcken feed- like you would feed regular quail.When I had them I also gave them a little finch food (for caged birds) and calcisand (for reptiles) for calcium. I chopped fruits and veggies very fine every few days too.They sound so tropical


Coturnix Obsessed
11 Years
Jul 18, 2008
Indiana, Pennsylvania
HI there fellow south western PA-er! LOL

I have button quails, 9 of them to be exact. Started out with a pair.

I actually have two housed outside with a ton of coturnix quails (wouldnt reccomend this unless you've got good tempered birds- all birds are different wether they'll accept other species or not, most wouldnt reccomend it- but my one button quail hen that's in with them was raised from a chick with them so they dont think any different from her, the other they disliked at first so I removed her and tried again days later and she's the boss of these huge almost 1lb birds it's very cute she pecks them right out of her way if they are eating something she wants and they yelp and run off it's really cute to see sucha tiny bird do that).

Most keep them indoors, which is understandable, but i'm keeping those two outdoors all winter long to see how they do so far they are doing great and are doing well with the colder temps so far...if i start to worry about them in they come!

I feed them game bird chick started 20% as well as weekly ground up cat food and now canned cat food as well (extra protien), boiled egg atleast once a week, bird seed, grit, ground up cuttle bone and oyster shell.
I only grind oup their food while they're young, once they're older they do fine on the crumbles as is.

Housing, well I have my 4 chicks in a 10 gallon tank that's being used as a brooder, i have 1/2 thick foam on the top as a lid so when they bop up they are just hitting soft foam....people say buttons only pop up in fear, no way they also do it in play! LOL!

They are not calm or tame birds, they are more look at birds which is fine for me, as I enjoy pets that i just look at and I also enjoy pets i can socilize and pet...which is why i raise coturnix quail as well as they're much tamer. Button quails slipp their feathers easily when grabbed and i've had MANY get loose on me and only left me with a hand ful of their feathers. I keep my button quails wings clipped for this reason because if not, tehres no way in the world i would have caught them all! They can fly HIGH!!!! Put it this way, I had a hen with her wings clipped jump 4 ft straight up into the air...she couldnt fly she did that all with her legs...so just imagine what they can do with flight feathers! AHH!

I looove all the colors they come in, they're just fun lil guys. I"ll keep my indoor button quail in their 10 gallon tank all winter they should be fine, if they aren't, then they'll go in my larger 40 gallon brooder. You can house way more than a pair together, you just have to make sure that they dont have spats, and try to keep the male and female ratio reasonable so that theres not too many males per female.

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