Coturnix or Button Quail, which are better pets?

KenjiQuacker

Songster
Jan 24, 2021
237
503
121
Issaquah Washington
I'd really like to get 2 or 3 quail, I've been researching for around two months now and even have a cage set up, but I'm curious on your thoughts about Button Quail and Coturnix Quail, which are better pets? I'm starting a farm animal therapy sort of thing, so I need non-aggressive, friendly quail. I've read that button quail usually stay skittish, while coturnix tame a bit easier, is that true, or can button quail make good pets? (for holding, petting etc.)
 
Jul 15, 2020
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Coturnix by a Mile. Why have you chosen quail for a therapy pet if you don't mind me asking? : D button quail need really large cages and need to be kept in pairs only, while Coturnix generally need a little flock (especially if there's a boy but without one still I'd go with 3+) and need less space but still don't be fooled by those "coops" at feedstores! Those can't barely hold anything haha
 

Tycine1

Crowing
11 Years
May 26, 2009
2,315
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David, Chiriquí, Panama
Coturnix Quail are happiest if you give them fresh food & water daily, and leave them the heck alone. They don't much like being handled.
I've been incubating the eggs that my coturnix quail lay for years, and even with handling them from day one, they never seem to get comfortable to being handled.
Just saying, it's been my experience that they do not wish to be held and petted.
 

KenjiQuacker

Songster
Jan 24, 2021
237
503
121
Issaquah Washington
Coturnix by a Mile. Why have you chosen quail for a therapy pet if you don't mind me asking? : D button quail need really large cages and need to be kept in pairs only, while Coturnix generally need a little flock (especially if there's a boy but without one still I'd go with 3+) and need less space but still don't be fooled by those "coops" at feedstores! Those can't barely hold anything haha
Thanks for the information! I think I'm gonna go with Coturnix, since I've been reading more and more about them, and they seem awesome! Also, I'm choosing them as a therapy animal because they seem relatively easy to care for (from what i've read) and they're quieter and less messy than ducks, as we were originally planning on getting ducks. My friend has chickens and ducks, so that's where we got the idea of having a farm themed therapy, and since I love birds I decided to look at types of poultry. Me and my mom decided on quail (mostly my mom because she loves quail lol) and so here I am!
 

KenjiQuacker

Songster
Jan 24, 2021
237
503
121
Issaquah Washington
Coturnix Quail are happiest if you give them fresh food & water daily, and leave them the heck alone. They don't much like being handled.
I've been incubating the eggs that my coturnix quail lay for years, and even with handling them from day one, they never seem to get comfortable to being handled.
Just saying, it's been my experience that they do not wish to be held and petted.
Thanks for the info
 
Jul 15, 2020
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Washington State 8a/8b
I hand raised all of my quail, from Coturnix, to Bobwhites to Buttons! Hand raised Coturnix were WAY friendlier than the parent stock I'd bought (which I assume weren't hand raised.) The friendlies quail I'd raised was accidental hatch (6 in the incubator, 1 hatched) so she was for the most part alone and she was very human friendly as you can expect as she was my best friend for a month until our Bobwhites and other Coturnix hatched : D she stayed very friendly even once she became part of the flock of other not-as-friendly-but-still-handraised quail! I'd let her out of the hutch while I was cleaning, feeding, just walking by, Frankie would follow my feet, sit on top of my feet, dust bathe in and next to me while I did chores. She was the best quail I could have ever asked for. Now I'm not sure if recommend doing it. Raising a solo ANYTHING is not a good idea (except maybe humans but I don't know much about that species, haven't raised any and I was also an only haha ;D) I'd get a few chicks and hand raise them and cross your fingers! Even then you still may get one/some who aren't super friendly.

Also I get that it's not poultry, but some of the best not-dog/cat/horse therapy animals I've seen were rabbits <3 they're fairly easy to care for too! I won't bla bla on about rabbits though since you're looking into quail but I just wanted to mention them <3 chickens also make lovely therapy animals! Out of my own flock I'd choose a bantam cochin or an OEGB (and our bantam leghorn is great but she's really different from MANY other leghorns, bantam or not I've seen!)
 

KenjiQuacker

Songster
Jan 24, 2021
237
503
121
Issaquah Washington
I hand raised all of my quail, from Coturnix, to Bobwhites to Buttons! Hand raised Coturnix were WAY friendlier than the parent stock I'd bought (which I assume weren't hand raised.) The friendlies quail I'd raised was accidental hatch (6 in the incubator, 1 hatched) so she was for the most part alone and she was very human friendly as you can expect as she was my best friend for a month until our Bobwhites and other Coturnix hatched : D she stayed very friendly even once she became part of the flock of other not-as-friendly-but-still-handraised quail! I'd let her out of the hutch while I was cleaning, feeding, just walking by, Frankie would follow my feet, sit on top of my feet, dust bathe in and next to me while I did chores. She was the best quail I could have ever asked for. Now I'm not sure if recommend doing it. Raising a solo ANYTHING is not a good idea (except maybe humans but I don't know much about that species, haven't raised any and I was also an only haha ;D) I'd get a few chicks and hand raise them and cross your fingers! Even then you still may get one/some who aren't super friendly.

Also I get that it's not poultry, but some of the best not-dog/cat/horse therapy animals I've seen were rabbits <3 they're fairly easy to care for too! I won't bla bla on about rabbits though since you're looking into quail but I just wanted to mention them <3 chickens also make lovely therapy animals! Out of my own flock I'd choose a bantam cochin or an OEGB (and our bantam leghorn is great but she's really different from MANY other leghorns, bantam or not I've seen!)
Thanks! I'll be hand raising the quail and artificially incubating them lol, so I really hope they'll be friendly! it was fun hearing about Frankie, and that's awesome that you got such a nice quail. I asked my mom about rabbits a while ago but sadly she said no, but thanks for mentioning them, I've heard they make good therapy animals too.
 

KenjiQuacker

Songster
Jan 24, 2021
237
503
121
Issaquah Washington
Oh and I forgot to add, I'm making sure I get at least 2, if not more. If only one egg hatches I'll get it a friend as soon as possible, because i've heard they get very lonely.
 
Jul 15, 2020
1,294
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Washington State 8a/8b
I think 3 would do perfectly for your situation, 3 hens :D don't be afraid to hatch extra, quail fertility in eggs I think is generally lower than chickens? (I think) but most people are generally willing to buy quail (for pets, eggs or meat) on Craigslist so I can't imagine too much difficulty getting extra, however nowhere near me sells baby quail, so getting more depending on where you are could be harder than getting rid of extra! Just be weary ; D
 

oldhen2345

Crowing
5 Years
Jun 22, 2015
938
3,910
281
East Texas
I'd really like to get 2 or 3 quail, I've been researching for around two months now and even have a cage set up, but I'm curious on your thoughts about Button Quail and Coturnix Quail, which are better pets? I'm starting a farm animal therapy sort of thing, so I need non-aggressive, friendly quail. I've read that button quail usually stay skittish, while coturnix tame a bit easier, is that true, or can button quail make good pets? (for holding, petting etc.)
I don't know about Coturnix, but button quail I do. They stay skittish. They often jump high and bump their heads on the ceiling of the enclosure. When they jump up, they can go almost 5 feet up. Had one break her neck doing that. They also can jump at the angle of your arm to gain freedom when you are changing out the water and adding feed . Cleaning the enclosure requires I remove the button quail- stressful for us both. I have had one or two get away from me and then had to go on a treasure hunt- they can hide in small places and even get under doors if there is a gap. I don't recommend them for casual pet owners. They are cute and I love the way each enclosure calls to the others, but it does take some time and energy to care for them.
 

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