An Overview of Button Quails

Button quail, also known as Chinese painted quail, are small, ground-dwelling birds that are native to East Asia. They are popular among bird enthusiasts as pets due to their unique appearance and low maintenance requirements. Button quail are often kept in aviaries or as indoor pets and can be easily cared for with a proper diet and living conditions.

Button quail are known for their distinctive appearance, with males having a blue-gray head and a chestnut-colored breast, while females have a brown head and a cream-colored breast. They are also known for their small size, with adults typically measuring only 4 to 5 inches in length. Despite their small size, button quail are active and social birds that enjoy the company of others of their species. They are also known for their distinctive vocalizations, which include a variety of chirps, whistles, and trills.

Button Quail Overview

Button quail, also known as Coturnix chinensis or Excalfactoria chinensis, are small birds that are commonly found in Asia, Africa, and Australia. They are also known as king quail, blue-breasted quail, or Andalusian hemipode. In this section, we will provide an overview of button quail, including their species and taxonomy, natural habitat, and physical characteristics.

Species and Taxonomy

Button quail belong to the family Phasianidae, which includes other quails, pheasants, and partridges. There are several species of button quail, including the Coturnix quail, which is the most common. The male and female button quails are similar in appearance, with the male having a slightly brighter plumage.

Natural Habitat

Button quails are found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, forests, and wetlands. They are ground-dwelling birds and prefer areas with dense vegetation for cover. Button quails are also found in agricultural areas and are often kept as pets.

Physical Characteristics

Button quails are small birds, measuring only 10-12cm in length. They have a plump body, short tail, and small beak. Their plumage varies depending on the species, with some having a brown or grey coloration and others having a more colorful plumage. Button quails are known for their distinctive call, which sounds like a series of buttons being clicked together.

In conclusion, button quails are small, ground-dwelling birds that are found in a variety of habitats. They belong to the family Phasianidae and have several species, including the common Coturnix quail. Their physical characteristics include a plump body, short tail, and distinctive call.

Behavior and Temperament

Button quails are known for their unique and interesting behaviors. Their temperament can vary depending on a number of factors, such as age, gender, and environment. This section will explore the social behavior, flight patterns, and vocalizations of button quails.

Social Behavior

Button quails are sociable birds and enjoy the company of others. They are often seen in pairs or small groups and will interact with each other by grooming, preening, and chirping. They are not aggressive towards each other, but can become territorial during breeding season.

Flight Patterns

Button quails are capable of flight, but they tend to only fly short distances. They will often take flight to escape danger or to move from one place to another. Their flight pattern is erratic and they tend to fly in a zigzag motion.


Button quails are not known for being particularly noisy birds, but they do make a variety of sounds. They will often make a soft chirping sound when they are content or communicating with other quails. During breeding season, the males will make a distinct “bob-white” call to attract females.

Overall, button quails are fascinating birds with unique behaviors and temperaments. Their sociable nature and flight patterns make them a joy to observe, while their vocalizations add to their charm.

Housing Button Quails

Button quails are small, active birds that require a suitable living space to thrive. In this section, we will discuss the housing requirements for button quails, including cage requirements, bedding and maintenance, and temperature control.

Cage Requirements

When it comes to housing button quails, it is important to provide them with enough space to move around freely. A single bird requires a minimum of 2 square feet of living space, while a pair of birds will need at least 4 square feet of space. The cage should be made of wire mesh or plastic, with solid flooring to prevent injury to their feet.

The cage should also be well-lit and draft-free, with plenty of ventilation to ensure good air quality. If you plan to keep multiple birds, make sure to provide perches and hiding places to prevent aggression and stress.

Bedding and Maintenance

Button quails require a clean and comfortable living environment. The cage should be lined with a soft, absorbent bedding material such as wood shavings, straw, or shredded paper. The bedding should be changed regularly to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria and parasites.

In addition, the cage should be cleaned and disinfected regularly to maintain good hygiene. This includes removing any uneaten food, feces, and debris from the cage.

Temperature Control

Button quails are sensitive to temperature changes and require a stable environment to stay healthy. The ideal temperature range for button quails is between 65-75°F. If the temperature drops below 60°F, it can lead to health problems such as respiratory infections.

To maintain a stable temperature, it is important to place the cage in a location that is free from drafts and direct sunlight. You can also use a heat lamp or a ceramic heater to provide additional warmth during colder months.

Overall, providing a suitable living space for button quails is crucial to their health and well-being. By following these guidelines for cage requirements, bedding and maintenance, and temperature control, you can ensure that your button quails live a happy and healthy life.

Feeding and Nutrition

Dietary Needs

Button quails have a high metabolism and require a diet that is high in protein to maintain their energy levels. Game bird feed is a good option for their daily diet as it contains the necessary nutrients that they require. It is important to ensure that the feed is fresh and free from any mold or contaminants.

In addition to the game bird feed, button quails also require live food such as mealworms and fresh vegetables and fruits to supplement their diet. It is important to provide a balanced diet to ensure that they receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals.


Button quails require calcium for strong bones and egg production. Crushed oyster shells can be provided as a calcium supplement to ensure that they receive enough calcium. Grit should also be provided to help them digest their food properly.

Multivitamin powder can be added to their food to ensure that they receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals. It is important to follow the dosage instructions carefully to avoid over-supplementing.

Overall, button quails require a balanced diet that includes game bird feed, live food, fresh vegetables and fruits, calcium supplement, and multivitamin powder to ensure that they receive all the necessary nutrients for their health and well-being.

Breeding Button Quails

Breeding button quails is a fascinating process that requires patience and attention to detail. These small birds are native to Asia and are known for their unique characteristics, such as their distinctive call and their ability to lay eggs at a young age. In this section, we will explore the different aspects of breeding button quails, including mating and reproduction, incubation, and hatching.

Mating and Reproduction

Button quails are social birds that are happiest when they are kept in pairs. Breeding pairs should be selected carefully, as male and female button quails can sometimes be aggressive towards each other. It is recommended to keep one male with two or three females to prevent fighting.

During the breeding season, male button quails will begin to court females by performing a courtship dance and vocalizing. Once a pair has mated, the female will begin to lay eggs. She can lay up to 10 eggs in a clutch, which will be incubated for around 16 to 18 days.

Incubation and Hatching

Incubation is a critical part of the breeding process, as it determines the success of the hatch. Button quail eggs should be incubated at a temperature of around 99 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity level of around 50 to 60 percent. The eggs should be turned several times a day to prevent the embryo from sticking to the shell.

After around 16 to 18 days, the eggs will begin to hatch. The chicks will be born with feathers and will be able to walk and feed themselves within a few hours. It is important to provide the chicks with a warm and safe environment, as they are vulnerable to predators and cold temperatures.

Raising button quail chicks can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful attention to their needs. The chicks should be fed a high-quality game bird feed and provided with fresh water at all times. As they grow, they will need more space and may need to be separated into different enclosures.

In conclusion, breeding button quails requires knowledge, patience, and attention to detail. By following the proper procedures for mating, incubation, and hatching, you can successfully raise a healthy and happy flock of button quails.

Health and Wellness

Common Diseases

Button quail are generally hardy birds but they can be affected by a number of diseases. Some common diseases that button quail can suffer from include respiratory infections, mites and lice infestations, and egg binding. Respiratory infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi and can lead to symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Mites and lice can cause feather loss, itching, and skin irritation. Egg binding occurs when a female button quail is unable to lay her eggs and can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Preventative Care

To prevent diseases in button quail, it is important to provide them with a clean and healthy environment. Regular cleaning of their enclosure and providing them with fresh food and water can help prevent the spread of disease. It is also important to quarantine any new birds before introducing them to an existing flock. Keeping the enclosure well-ventilated and providing adequate space can also help promote good health.

In addition to preventative care, it is important to ensure that button quail are receiving a balanced diet that includes a variety of vitamins and minerals. Calcium is especially important for female button quail as it is necessary for egg production. Providing a calcium supplement or crushed eggshells can help ensure that they are getting enough calcium. A balanced diet can also help boost the immune system and prevent disease.

Overall, with proper care and attention, button quail can live long and healthy lives. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian who is familiar with avian care can also help ensure that any health issues are caught early and treated effectively.

Button Quail as Pets

Button quails are becoming increasingly popular as pets due to their small size, low maintenance requirements, and charming personalities. They are a great option for those who want a pet bird but don’t have the space or time for larger birds.

Taming and Interaction

Button quails are generally easy to tame and can become quite sociable with their owners. They are naturally curious and will often come to investigate when their owner approaches their enclosure. It is important to approach them calmly and gently to build trust and avoid scaring them.

Once they are comfortable with their owner, button quails can be very affectionate and enjoy being petted and held. However, they are not as social as some other pet birds and may not enjoy being handled for extended periods of time.

Activities and Enrichment

Button quails are active birds and require plenty of space to move around and fly. They enjoy having a variety of perches and toys in their enclosure to keep them entertained. It is important to provide them with opportunities to forage and explore, such as hiding treats in their enclosure or providing them with a shallow bath for them to splash around in.

Button quails are generally quiet birds, but they can make some noise when they are excited or alarmed. They are not as noisy as some other pet birds, making them a good option for those who live in apartments or have close neighbors.

Overall, button quails make great pets for those who want a small, low-maintenance bird with a charming personality. With proper care and attention, they can be a delightful addition to any household.

Conservation Status

Threats and Preservation

Button quails are considered to be of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to their widespread distribution and stable population. However, certain populations of button quails are threatened by habitat loss and hunting.

Button quails are ground-dwelling birds that rely on natural habitats such as grasslands and forests. Habitat loss due to deforestation, urbanization, and agriculture has led to a decline in button quail populations in some areas.

Button quails are also hunted for their meat and eggs in some countries, which poses a threat to their survival. The illegal pet trade also contributes to their decline in some regions.

To preserve button quail populations, conservation efforts are focused on protecting their natural habitats and implementing hunting regulations. Some conservation organizations also work towards raising awareness among local communities regarding the importance of preserving these birds.

Overall, while the conservation status of button quails is currently stable, continued efforts are necessary to ensure their survival in the long term.

Additional Information

Button Quail Varieties

Button quail come in a variety of colors and patterns. The most common varieties include white, barred, and silver. Chinese painted quails are also a popular variety, known for their unique and colorful plumage. Each variety has its own unique characteristics and can make a great addition to any aviary.

Comparison with Other Birds

Button quail are often compared to other small birds, such as doves and finches. While they may share some similarities, button quail have their own unique traits that set them apart. For one, they are much lower maintenance than many other small birds. They require less space, less food, and less attention overall.

When compared to other quail species, such as coturnix, button quail are generally easier to care for. They are smaller and require less space, making them a great option for those with limited space. However, they may not be as hardy as other quail species and may require more attention to keep them healthy.

Overall, button quail are a great choice for those looking for a low-maintenance, small bird with unique and interesting characteristics. Whether you are an experienced bird owner or just starting out, button quail are sure to make a great addition to any aviary.

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