Quails are a small, plump ground-dwelling bird varying in colour, ranging from red brown to grey brown with fine white streaks and black barring above, and chestnut brown below. The eye is red to yellow, the bill black and the legs and feet orange-yellow. Quails rarely fly, preferring to hide unless disturbed, then they fly low to the ground, with a rapid whirring flight.

Quails make interesting pets and they can be housed in an aviary with one or more pairs of finches and finch like birds, but they can sometimes be found in aviaries housing the smaller docile parrots. Quails are often put in an aviary to help “clean up” the floor.

Things you might need

  • Bird Cage
  • Food – seed mix, grit, treats
  • Food and Water Containers
  • Perches and Stands
  • Toys
  • Cuttlefish
  • Iodine Bell
  • Wormer/Mite and Lice Spray/Sulpha
  • Perch Covers and Grit Sheets
  • Vitamin Supplements

Looking After Quails

Quails feed on the ground in the early morning or evening, in the wild they mainly on seeds and green shoots, but also on insects. Food requirements for pet quails are fairly basic. A good quality finch or small parrot mix, insects, some vegetables, seeding grasses and sometimes a pre-mix soft food is suitable. Quails are often put in an aviary to help “clean up” the floor.

A clean fresh supply of water should always be available but care should be taken when the young are running around to ensure they do not drown in the water bowl. A number of methods to minimize the drowning of baby birds include placing clean pebbles or small stones in the bowl, place a mesh screen in the water (preferably stainless steel) to minimize the depth, or replace the water bowl with a shallow dish.

All species of quail build a nest on the ground. Best results occur when the quail build the nest in the covered part of the aviary. The incubation/hatching times as well as the time a young grows and reaches independence can vary due to varying weather conditions and temperatures. In colder conditions the time taken to hatch and grow can take longer. Equally during hotter months the times can be less than average.

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