Japonica. Sometimes called Japanese, Pharoah or Coturnix Quail. These quail
hatch in 18 days and are full grown and laying eggs in 7 weeks. They can lay
over 300 eggs per year.
If you are trying to decide whether to raise the Coturnix or bobwhite quail
for sale to other breeders, food distributors, or directly to restaurants as a
food item, you will find that the Coturnix quail is one of your best bets. It
is ready for market at approximately eight weeks of age. These quail are also
less disease prone and fewer health problems may be encountered with the
Coturnix, although care should be taken to keep their environment clean and
make sure you donít place them under too much stress. Being migratory by
nature, it may fly and never return or could just as easily and around and
between your feet or the dogís feet.
The Coturnix quail is one of the world's finest game birds. Its response to
the hunter and dog is very similar to that of Bobwhite quails and it's ground
holding and flushing behavior is the same as well. Where the Coturnix Quail
differs from the Bobwhite Quail is in the feeding habits. Bobwhite Quail, for
instance never leaves the place of its birth except under duress and normal
migration periods, the Coturnix is entirely different. When the feed runs out,
covies will burst up and individual birds will scatter looking for food.
NOTE TO HUNTERS: A Coturnix Quail that has been caged can have their
flight wings in three days, where as the Bobwhite Quail can take up to four
This Quail has been known by many different names. Early Americans settlers
who raised Coturnix knew it as the Bible Quail. Later, imported Coturnix from
Germany became known as the German Quail. Importation's from Japan since World
War II are known as Japanese Quail. One list includes approximately 100 names
that are used or have been used throughout the world including the King's
Quail, the Emperor's Quail, the Tsar's Quail, the Mediterranean Quail, the
Holy Land Quail and the Nile Quail, all applying to the same Coturnix Quail.
The name Pharaoh's Quail is becoming a popular title. Earliest Egyptian
murals depict this Quail and indicate it was valued as an important source of
food for the Egyptians who constructed the Pyramids and other monuments to the
Pharaohs. One or more of the Egyptian hieroglyphic characters is certainly the
likeness of this Quail. There are Bible references and Roman writings
substantiating the Egyptian records of great flocks of the bird propagating in
Egypt in the days of the Pharaohs.
Males have a brick red or golden cast to their breast feathers and have a
very distinctive crow that occasionally sounds like they are telling someone
to "LOOK AT ME". Males are also known to be aggressive. Females have cream
with brown speckled breast feathers. Her size can be up to 20% larger than the
male. She also has her own distinctive sound that is similar to the chirping
of a cricket. And don't let the myth that females are docile fool you, I've
been pecked at by more females than by males. The eggs are creamy tan,
sometimes with a bluish hue, boldly blotched and spotted in a rich brown. Some
eggs also appear to be coated with a chalky haze. We've tried adjusting the
calcium and other minerals with these hens and still wind up with frosted
For feed we use Turkey Starter for both the chicks (ground through a food
processor) and adults. Millet, fine seed, greens, and grit are added for
treats. These birds require 16 hours of light for best egg production.
Crumbled boiled egg is also served. I recycle hatched and cracked eggs by
washing, drying, and crushing the shells up in the processor and adding it to
my breeding trios for the calcium content.
When cleaning quail, try immersing them in 135 degree water for 10 seconds
and the feathers will slide off with ease.
Incubation is for 17-18 days at 99.7F (40.6C)with a wet bulb of 84-86F
(31.2-32.4C). Increase the humidity to a wet bulb of 90-92F (34.8-36C) on the
15th day. Brood at 95F (37.8C) and lower the temperature by 5 degrees F each
week until fully feathered.
The Coturnix Quail is mature at six weeks of age, and will begin to lay
eggs at seven weeks.