Coturnix coturnix
1 000 - 2 000 rub.

Common quail (Coturnix coturnix)

Phylum —chordata
Class — aves
Order — galliformes
Family —phasianidae

Genus – coturnix


The common quail is a small compact bird 16–18 cm (6.3–7.1 in) in length with a wingspan of 32–35 cm (13–14 in). The weight is 70 to 140 g (2.5 to 4.9 oz). It is greatest before migration at the end of the breeding season. The female is generally slightly heavier than the male. It is streaked brown with a white eyestripe, and, in the male, a white chin. As befits its migratory nature, it has long wings, unlike the typically short-winged gamebirds.


These migratory quail have a breeding range in Europe, Turkey, and central Asia to China. They winter in India, China, Southeast Asia, the extreme northwestern coast of Africa, and other parts of Africa, including a Sub-Saharan band in central Africa, the Nile River valley from Egypt to Kenya, and Angola. There are African races in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi south to Namibia, South Africa, and Mozambique as well as in parts of Madagascar.


In general, common quail consume vegetative matter; however, their protein intake is greater than that of Chinese painted quail. Females require a high protein diet for breeding. Weed seeds, cereal gleanings, and small insects and their larvae, including beetles, true bugs, ants, earwigs, and orthopterans are consumed.


Common quail pair-bonds can be very strong. Males arrive in breeding areas prior to the females. They utter loud, guttural "growl calls" in advance of the territorial call. Once the females arrive, they locate a nest site, then respond to the male's call with an "attraction call". The local male in that territory then engages in a "circle-display" for the female by ruffling his throat and breast feathers, his wing nearest the female droops to the ground, and he dances about in a circle around the female while uttering soft notes. Males will also engage in tidbitting. The female responds with an "invitation call" just prior to copulation.

Common quail construct their nests in grass. In Europe the breeding season is from mid-May to late August; in Africa, breeding occurs from September to March, although in Kenya they breed during the wet season, from January to February. Common quail may have up to three clutches per season.

Eggs are pure white and approximately 2.5 cm or slightly larger in length. They weigh approximately 8.5 g. Common quail in Europe lay between 8 and 13 eggs per clutch. In Africa, a clutch consists of 6 to 12 eggs; however, the larger number may reflect laying by two females. Incubation time is 17 to 20 days.

The young quail are able to fly when they are eleven days old.

In captivity

The average lifespan is about 3-4 years.

People have many reasons for raising quails. They are smaller sized birds, interesting-looking and they don’t need to be kept in a large area. But you must know the steps of caring for quail, whether you raise quails for meat or for eggs.

First of all you have to build a suitable house for your birds. Quails are smaller sized birds and they require pretty less space as compared to other poultry birds.

Try to keep your birds safe from predators. Rats are actually a problem to quail, and the first thing you should consider when thinking about raising quail as pets is their security in their runs and housing.

Proper ventilation system is also mandatory, because quail droppings produce far more ammonia than other poultry.

Quails can be kept with or without a run as long as they are provided with a little grass or other greens in their diet. If you have rabbit hutches, then you can use the hutches for raising quails.Rabbit hutches are actually big enough for housing around half a dozen quail, and such hutches provide adequate ventilation and provide the birds a good place to hide to lay eggs. But chicken houses are not good for raising quails.

Quails require special care during winter and summer season. Special caring for quail is very important during the winter season, and provide bedding for them. Using pine shavings, sand, grass pellets, newspaper pellets, non-skid kitchen draw liners, timothy and fir wood chips are good for their habitat bedding.

Giving the birds some hay/straw to make their nests is highly recommended. Doing this will encourage them to start laying eggs and they may even want to have some chicks.

You can also purchase ready-made quail cage for your birds.

Quails need some more other items for keeping them happy. Some essential items/equipment that they require are listed below:

  • Water сcontainer: As quails are smaller sized birds, so they require small water container. The container should not be too deep or big so that they can have easy access to it and not be in danger of drowning. Always try to keep enough clean water in the container.
  • Feeder: Keep adequate number of feeder as per the number of total quails. The birds should be able to get to the feeder easily as well as the water container.
  • Small plants: Growing or potting a couple of plants in the housing will make your quails very happy, if your birds live on dirt or grass. Remember, quails are curious and love different types of plants in their habitat, just make sure the plants aren’t toxic to them.
  • Hiding spots: Your quails will love hiding spots. You can purchase a couple of large hamster huts and place them in the cage.
  • Sand tub: Dust bath is very important for quails, and they generally love dust bathing on a daily basis. Sand is also very effective for preventing annoying parasites such as mites. Keep the sand tub away from the water container, as they make a mess when they dust bathe.

Adequate nutritious feeding is another important part of caring for quail. Feed your birds with different types of food in accordance to their age. Feed the young birds with high protein starter crumb. Non-medicated turkey starter crumb is ideal for them, because such food is higher in protein than chicken crumb.

Change their food to a grower or finisher ration from their 5-6 weeks of age. If you plan for keeping quails for breeding purpose then feed the birds with 18-20 protein enriched food by their 10 weeks of age. Along with proving such nutritious foods, you should provide your birds with grass and other leafy greens for them.

Clean the cage of your quails after every 1 or 2 weeks of age. Cleaning the cage will help to prevent bacteria, mites and diseases. You also should dispose of all bedding hose the cage down, rinse the feeders and water container, replace the tub with fresh sand and refill the feeder and water container with fresh food and water.

Ensure proper lighting period for your birds. The quails can only have up to 15 hours of light per day; otherwise they will not be able to sleep. Quails need plenty of sleep to stay healthy, active and overall fun birds. Don’t leave any lights on or at least move the quail to a dark room so that they can sleep properly.

Try to keep the environment calm. Keep noisy or dangerous pets out of the same room as the quail. Because noisy pet in the room can disturb the quail and cause stress.

Always try to inspect your bird’s health. Keep an eye on your bird’s health. If your birds seem to be acting a bit unusual or are not eating properly then it’s probably because the quail is unwell.

If the birds are cold, then take them out of the cage and place them in a warm box or something alike. But if your birds are ill then you can take them to a vet.

Mite is a major problem for the quails. You can treat your bird by either giving them a good dust bath, buying some mite power or any other safe method that gets rid of quail mites.

Your birds can also be injured sometimes. This is not some sort of illness, but it can be serious. You should remove the injured birds as soon as possible and keep them separated in a separate enclosure until they are fully healed.

Quails also can’t tolerate excessive hot temperature. You can move your birds to a cooler room, provide them with shade or take the heat source away.