'Successful Breeding can produce 200 eggs per year
from a single bobwhite quail'
section will focus on the breeding of Quail.
Although there are some slight differences in breeding
habits of different quail species, many generalities
can be used.
is the most common method of breeding used in the
United States. This method allows the breeder to
utilize the least amount of pen space - to produce the
greatest number of fertile eggs.
When using this method of breeding, a ratio of 2 or 3
females to one 1 male is used.
These birds are housed in a small cage, usually
measuring 18" x 20". Special cages just for this
purpose can be purchased from several sources (see
Supply Sources). These special cages also have a
floor which is angled enough to allow the eggs to roll
to the front of the cage, which makes gathering eggs
very easy. The cages also have drop pans under the
wire floor which will capture bird dropping. This
makes cleaning the cage as easy as collecting eggs.
Some breeders have success by using larger pens and
placing 75 - 100 birds in each cage. It is important
to note that a comparable male-female ratio is used.
It is not uncommon for egg fertility to go down when
using this method.
Individual Cage Method can also be used to
breed quail. This is perhaps the most successful and
profitable way to breed quail. It's main disadvantage
is individual cost - meaning it will cost more to
house the birds with this method, verses the Colony
Method. A ratio of 1 male to 1 female is used with
this method. Only one or two pair are housed in each
cage or section.
Selection of Breeders is vital to good egg
production. When selecting the birds which you intend
to breed, ensure that you look for promising traits.
If you want to produce birds for consumption - look
for large healthy birds, if your intention is to
release birds - select birds that are quick to flight
and have a wild behavior.
All species of quail have a natural breeding season.
In order to simulate egg production is it important
to provide the correct conditions. Quail can be made
to lay eggs year round by providing at least 17 hours
of light a day and a temperature above 60 degrees. If
conditions are correct, Bobwhite Quail will produce
200 or more eggs a year. Button Quail and Coturnix
Quail will produce 200 - 250 eggs a year.
Egg fertility is reduced after 6 months of
production. It is recommended to cycle breeder stock
on a regular basis.