Keeping Button Quail as pets?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by mudmonkey, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. MissCluck

    MissCluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have six button quail as pets. Hatched from eggs.

    I have them in guinea pig cages about 28 inches long by 18 inches deep. I think that's a little small but it's the best I could afford at the moment. I padded the top so when they boink they won't hurt themselves. They are GREAT flyers and will whirr out of the cage when I open the doors for feeding or cleaning. I'm used to having wee quail trotting around in the room with me while I take care of them, and then I scoop them up and put them back in.

    The babies are about 4 weeks old and I did have to place some paper across the sides of the cages because they can slip through if panicked. I use pine shavings and they have a small hut to hide in and a sandbox, and silk plants.

    I love the little birdies. Since only one of the six is a hen I have her paired with a male and then the other four boys are together. I'll be moving two of the boys to their own cage since I'm told pairs is best.

    It's got to be the game food I'm feeding but they do have a "chickeny" odor and I change the bedding frequently. I'm beginning to feed them some fruit, vegs, greens and some finch seed in with their food. They are gorgeous little birds!
  2. Plain_View_Farm

    Plain_View_Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Central Virginia
    You can also mix in some of the "fines from Alfalfa in their feed to give additional Plant Protein.
    Larger big box stores and some feed stores sell bags of it for rabbits and hamsters.
    Try and find one low in Sodium as additional Sodium isn't good for them.
    They also LOVE fresh Broccoli

  3. MissCluck

    MissCluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've got some fresh broccoli... I'll give them a bit and see how they like it! Thanks for the tip about the alfalfa.

    I've added some Herb Salad by Twin Beaks Aviary and they love that.
  4. mudmonkey

    mudmonkey Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 13, 2010
    Seminole, Florida
    I read somewhere that they can eat mashed up hard-boiled egg. So I put a little dish of that in too. They went crazy for it.
    They will even peck it off my finger tips when i put my hand in.
  5. MissCluck

    MissCluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:That's good to know! My finches and canaries get an egg food once a week. I usually keep the shells on and crush the entire egg to small bits.
  6. Whiskey Bay

    Whiskey Bay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Button Quail are generally a novelty little bird used to 'clean up' the bottoms of bird cages.Because of their size.People would put them under the wire floor of the large cages to clean up the crumbles and such.Most people nowadays like them just for the cuteness and size.They will set their own eggs and most I have known of have even raised them up.If the males get agressive to them they would need seperation.I have not had any of my own yet,but know many people with them.I will be picking up my first few next weekend.
  7. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

    Feb 6, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    I wouldn't keep one [​IMG] THey are monagamous little birds and do well in pairs. It would get awfully lonely without a mate [​IMG]
    Susannah4040 and AClassicalLife like this.
  8. xxSonja

    xxSonja Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2009
    They can be used as 'cleaners' in avaries, but i keep and sell mine as 'eye candy' pets. I love watching them, they can be a variety of colours and the sounds they make.. Adorable!
    Most of my birds will take treats from my hand but thats as 'hands on' as you will generally get with them. I do have a couple i can pet gently but thats about it. They do not like being held or handled. And will generally move away from an intruding hand in their cage, although a hen with chicks will charge and chatter at you if she feels threatened lol.
    They are not worth eating due to their tiny size, but you can pickle the eggs or use them as a novelty food. Ive even seen them made into develed eggs, way to much fiddle work for me but they looked great.
    They do need to be kept in male/female pairs. They are monogomos so they will choose one mate and defend their territory by running off any others if kept in groups.
    I keep mine in homemade cages. The bigger the cage the happier the birds but minimum size i would recommend and use for a single pair is 15 inches wide, 24 inches long, and 16 inches high. I use a wood base, and 1/4 inch wire mesh. They do tend to 'boink' so a soft or padded top is a must.
    Inside my cages i use hydrosorb pine shavings to cover the floor about 2inchs deep. I have food and water dishes obviously. A wood hut or plastic plant pot as a hidey hole, it doesnt need to be huge, just big enough for them to both snuggle in. I have a plastic bowl or even a take away container filled with sand for bathing, they love it. In some of my bigger cages i have fake plants that they love to hide in.
    Mine incubate and brood all their own young, i rarely have to remove a male due to aggression towards chicks. I have even had males help their hens sit on eggs lol
    I feed my birds mostly game crumble with some added seed.
    For treats i use broccoli, boiled egg, alfalfa as well as plain old grass.

    I get alot of enjoyment out of having buttons. Hopefully you will too.
    If you need more info or want to see pics you can use the BYC search. There are some great older threads worth a look.
    Susannah4040 likes this.
  9. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I have 19 buttons. [​IMG] ( Read in my siggy )
    I hatched out 3 buttons this summer and one of them was super sweet and I handled him alot ... he is grown now and will come up to the cage and offer my food! [​IMG]
    I house mine in wire cages and then sew screwn wire ontop the cage, all of my cages have bottoms with shavings, wire is hard on their feet. [​IMG]
    You can however, house them in fish tanks ( with mesh tops of course ), Rubbermaid tubs, Parakeet cages ( with the bottom out ) just about anything! They need to be house in pairs though, no more then 3 in each cage. ( Funny I'm saying this, I have 3 males and 1 female all in a huge cage! [​IMG] They're starting to "Fight" over the only hen though! [​IMG] )
    I will try and post pics later.
  10. Justme2

    Justme2 New Egg

    Apr 5, 2011
    I bought some button quail last summer for my girls two pair. However we are at the moment keeping them in regular bird cages. A friend told me that they love rolling in sand so I got them a little container of sand and now they are loosing their feathers. What do you suggest I do? I'm removing the sandbox. We have had them for 6 months now we lost one male and but the other female with the other pair so it is not alone. However I have to admit I don't know anything about them they are a first for us. What to do now?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by