Button Quail

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Stoykov, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. Stoykov

    Stoykov Hatching

    Nov 2, 2014
    North Carolina
    Normally I breed and raise Budgerigars and Finches, but up until recently a friend of mine was given eight Button Quail eggs, which have now hatched. Her first reaction was to call and ask me if I would take the chicks, being a lover of birds; I couldn't say no.
    I'll be getting them in a few days. I have standard 4' x 2' x 2.5' cage, which is set appropriate for their needs. After several hours of research and setup, I have concluded on one issue that I hope to be answered on this lovely website.
    As newly born chicks, the only thing I am unsure of is what to feed them. I am not knowledgeable of any nearby feed stores, but there is a neighboring Petsmart that I obtain most of my supplies from. I'm wondering if there's any possible home-made recipes and/or alternative feeds available for Button Quail chicks. I have plenty of Budgerigar and Finch seeds, along with live mealworms and oyster shell grit, From my understanding the Button Quail clearly not old enough to be introduced to such food types.
    Please help, is there any Home-made/Alternative foods for Button Quail Chicks besides commercial feeds?
  2. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    You actually have a health problem on your hands at the moment. The first few days of a chicks life is when the most important growth happens. If aren't able to find feed with at least 26% protein you're going to have runted quail.

    Button chicks should get 30% protein game bird starter. If that isn't available you'll need to get 26-28% turkey starter. THere is no product that you will find at a pet store that is appropriate for quail. They sell dove/quail seeds which are basically only a treat for wild quail. They aren't nutritious.

    Any feed store will carry turkey starter and most usually carry purina gamebird feed. You may have a little drive on your hands but at this point it's healthy quail or what's convenient for you. These aren't chickens or a pet rat, they're an exotic bird imported from the steppes of China. We have a responsibility to go out of our way for them once we've gone out of our way to get them.

    Meal worms should stay off the menu till they are 5-6 weeks old and even then they should be cut into in smaller pieces. They look like quail toes and the quail will start picking at each others feet if they get whole meal worms too early on.

    Be prepared to split them into pairs as they age. Button quail mature very quickly just like coturnix and by 6 weeks of age can be fertile although it usually happens between 8-12 weeks. They are a monogamous bird so they will keep their same mate for life and should be caged with only that mate. Here is a great source of button info.
    1 person likes this.
  3. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Songster

    May 28, 2012
    And at this age they should be in a brooder. The temp would be 85-90F for 2 week old chicks. decreasing by 5 degrees each week until at room temp of 70-75F for the most comfort of the buttons.
    2 people like this.
  4. UncleFrank

    UncleFrank In the Brooder

    Oct 22, 2014
    If you can't find a feed store....and most only sell 50 lb bags that you clearly don't need....run by a tractor supply store....they're usually in every town and sell a small 6lb bag of game bird starter feed that will have enough protein for the lil rascals :)
    You can get a red heat lamp bulb at your pet store in the reptile section...and a cheap clamp lamp at lowes or Home Depot. Google homemade quail brooders and you'll find some good info on making a cheap lil brooder to keep them warm.
  5. UncleFrank

    UncleFrank In the Brooder

    Oct 22, 2014
    OH, and you might have to put the game bird starter in a coffee grinder or just mash it yourself to make it small enough for them to eat....they are tiny. The bag of game bird food will have some powder along with the bigger crumbles....sprinkle the powder down on the floor in the brooder and make a path to the feeder you will be using...small jar lids work well when their chicks. Make sure the floor in your brooder has good traction so they don't get splay leg. I use paper towels, some use the rubber shelf liners. Good luck!

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