Coturnix vs Bobwhites


Sep 12, 2016
Woodville, TX
We are venturing into quail now (because why not, we have chickens and turkeys now

We'll be raising them for meat. I was looking at coturnix as we have them locally available. However, I'm not keen on the fact they don't brood. Which made me look at them more. I read they aren't fliers s they don't need a flight pen, they could be in a hutch. My question is, are the coturnix in essence like the cornish cross chickens and broad breasted turkeys? Simply bred for meat and all the wild qualities are bred out? We were not keen on CC or BBT for meat as they have all their health issues and we're a little weirded out on them. So we went with heritage breeds.

We were leaning to bobwhite quail since they can brood their own eggs provided we make their environment as close to wild as possible. With a lot of animals, I'd love to have quail that brood and raise their own babies. Less work for us.

Are there any pros/cons to the two breeds in addition to my question above?
Hello :) I don't have much experience with bobwhite but I believe they mature a lot slower and lay less eggs than coturnix.

They are also more wild and skittish (I think they roost and like to fly a bit?) whereas the coturnix are in general calmer and don't think they need to escape.

Coturnix can go broody if given the right conditions but it's not common - usually in aviary conditions as they love to nest near grass that's a bit taller than them. Most people incubate their eggs so they can hatch a lot at a time.

Coturnix can lay eggs and be ready for meat as soon as 6-8 weeks - I *think* bobwhites take months longer?

I'm also not sure about this but adult bobwhites need to be paired off? I know coturnix can't mix mature males but can have multiple females living together.
Cotournix mature in 6 to 8 weeks. Ready for the table or to begin breeding.

Bob's take about 16 to 20 weeks to mature. And may not lay eggs til the following year.

Cots. Fly but not real far. They are more or less tame.

Bob's are psycho. Spaz if you get around pen. Fly extremely well.

As far as broody I never let mine have eggs long enough to see. But in a truly natural setting they may both brood.

Cot are 1 male to 5 or 8 hens.
Bob's are pairs or maybe a trio.

If you want meat and eggs cots are the way to go for quick turn around on laying and growth.

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