Button Quail (Chinese Painted Quail) Hatching Eggs
Button Quail (Coturnix Chinensis, formerly Excalfactoria chinensis) goes by several other names, including Chinese Blue Painted Quail, Chinese Painted Quail, Painted Button Quail, King Quail, or the Blue Breasted Quail. They are not, in fact, true Buttonquail, which belongs to the genus Turnix or Ortyxelos.
These Button Quail should not be confused with Coturnix Quail, which is a different breed of quail altogether.
Button Quail are the very smallest of the quail and game birds and are about 4 inches long when mature. When they hatch, chicks are the size of bumblebees. Although they are so small, they are hardy and delightful to raise. Button Quail come in all sorts of colors and patterns, and their eggs tend to be a variety of pretty colors as well.
Button Quail are originally native to Southeast Asia and India, but have become increasingly popular in aviculture and are found all over the world in domestic settings.
Button Quail are short-lived birds and have a very compressed lifespan. They hatch in 16 days, start laying eggs themselves in 8 weeks, and are often entering old age by 18 months. In ideal conditions, Button Quail have been known to live up to 3 years.
In general, raising quail can be much simpler and easier than raising chickens. Quail require less space and less food, and from a production standpoint, quail covert the food they eat very efficiently into meat and/or eggs. They are also quiet. Female quail are good mothers and can brood and raise their chicks very successfully. Quail also make good urban or city birds; often people find that although chickens are not allowed, quail are quite legal, according to town or city laws.
Because Button Quail are so small, be very careful when setting up your brooding area. Be sure that there are no chilly drafts and that the temperature within the brooder and the room is easy to keep regulated. Provide a non-slippery surface for proper leg development. Be cautious with how you provide water. Chicken-sized chick waterers are too big for quail chicks, and quail chicks may fall into the water and get soaked and chilled. Use either a quail-specific waterer base, or put stones or marbles in any waterer with larger openings. You want to make sure the quail chicks cannot get wet.
A high-protein game bird starter is the best choice for feeding Button Quail chicks.