But the fact that they mature at 6 weeks makes them perfect for anyone interested in genetics. But other than they are a delight to behold (not to hold, they don't like that!) they are great hoovers for anyone that has a messy parrot of cockatiel.
What's the point of having a cat? A dog? A fish? A parakeet? Do you have to have a "use" to keep a certain bird?? I've been invovled in aviculture (private & public) for the better part of two and half decades, I've yet to eat a bird (other than purchased from the store) and I have been asked this exact question (insert a variety of species in place of button quail) from non-animal people, neighbors and was very surprised to see it posted on an animal forum!!
Button Quail are charming little birds that are a blast to keep, Yes, they are very tiny and have no use for those who raise birds just to eat, but if you enjoy having a beautiful bird that doesn't require a lot of space or eat very much (not mention the male's call, observation of natural behaviors for children, appreciation of animals for children, etc.), the Button Quail is perfect for you. We have kept the species on the floor of hookbill and finch aviaries to help clean the messes left by these birds... do we need a point to keep the hookbills & finches as well?
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I was reading on here that someone bought like 160 button quail eggs, and I thought that was an awful large number to just have as pets. I have dogs, yes, but not 160 of them! LOL! I just wasn't sure if there's a useful excuse for having them, like eggs or meat, or if the excuse is that they're pretty. Or if there was some other purpose that I was unaware of.
I think they're adorable, and I would love to have some, but there's no way I can have a bird that doesn't provide eggs or meat. Can't afford it. The dogs are even tough, but at least I don't have to worry about ppl in the neighborhood breaking in LOL. I dunno, it would be fun to have something that tiny (saw one lady post a pic of a baby inside a six 6 ring....that's tiny!). Anyways, thanks again guys!
A few buttons don't really eat that much, but so far I'm finding that in my area people don't really want the adult birds. From a business standpoint, I do better selling their eggs for hatching. As much as I enjoy having them, I may have to phase them out.
My purpose is they are quieter, less messy, easier to care for, and to me cuter and more interesting than pet birds like parrots, cockatiels, finches, or other flying/perching birds. I always wanted a pet bird but they always seemed so much work. Buttons can be kept like small mammals in similar setups for about the same amount of work and money. Bonus the eggs are actually useable. It just takes lots of them but luckily buttons lay lots of eggs. 10 button eggs can replace 1 chicken egg or if you have the patience to peel them they can be hard boiled and used as interesting hors d'oeuvres on relish trays.
160 little 4" birds is not compareable to dogs. I raised gerbils while in highschool and had around 50. Before that we raised guinea pigs and had around 24. 50 gerbils or 2 dozen guinea pigs is less work than 1 dog. 160 buttons is more like 4 or 5 dogs and if you really make a business out of breeding and selling them you can make back at least some of the cost while having fun raising cute little birds of various colors.