Quails are great birds to raise, apart from their delicious meat their eggs are high in protein and nutritious.
You can also raise quails mainly for pets and companionship and before you start you should know which breed is best to raise.
Some of the best quails for pets include Coturnix quail, Bobwhite, California and Elephant quail to mention a few.
If you have been thinking about raising quails as pets then today’s article is for you.
We will discuss 10 best quail breeds for pets, whether you can keep quail indoors, if quails like to be held and if they poop a lot.
10 Best Quails For Pet
There are about 20 different species of quails around the world and we have are our top ten species for pets here:
1. Coturnix Quail
The Coturnix quail also known as the Japanese quail is one of the best breeds of quail to grow as pets.
They are medium sized and usually grow about 6 inches long and 4 inches tall.
The coturnix quail is great as pets and for companionship, the eggs of the coturnix quail are also highly nutritious.
They come in several colors such as Gold, White, Tuxedo, Range and Fawn. They are quiet and calm and do not require much space.
2. Button Quail
Button quail also known as Chinese quail is one of the prettiest quail breeds in the world.
Originally from Asia it is now available all around the world. They are also the smallest type of quail and this makes them quite popular among bird lovers.
The button quail comes in silver mainly but it also comes in other colors. Though they are pretty, button quail is delicate and should be handled with care.
Related: Here is an article I wrote on the reasons why your quail keeps falling over
3. Bobwhite Quail
Named for its ‘bob white’ call, the Bobwhite quail is a wild species of small quail popular in North America.
It’s about 8 or 9 inches long and comes in shades of brown, black and white.
Although it’s a wild breed, the Bobwhite quail has been domesticated over time and it’s a great option for pet purposes.
You can get your Bobwhite quail flock from a good breeder around you.
4. California Quail
The California quail is popular for it’s white rimmed blue-gray feathers and black feathers sticking up from it’s head. It is as popular with bird keepers as the Coturnix quail.
The California Quail measures about 10 inches in length and it has a stocky build. You can get a well bred flock at any good breeder around you.
They are ornamental and usually kept for entertainment.
5. Blue-scale Quail
If you want the thrill of raising a wild quail, then the Blue-scale quail species is the right choice for you.
This breed is rare though they can be found in Kansas and Mexico mainly.
They are quite gentle in nature and take about 6 months to mature.
The hens produce spotted eggs as they can be crossbred with both the Gambel and Bob-white quail.
6. Gambel Quail
The Gambel quail is also quite common especially in North America and they are usually found in Colorado, Mexico and Arizona.
If you plan to raise Gambel quail you should be ready to give them lots of care and attention.
They are less domesticated than other species and they are quite monogamous in nature having mated pairs.
7. Mountain Quail
Like the Blue-scale quail, the Mountain quail is not very common and also can be quite expensive.
The adult mountain quail comes in rich brown olive colors with blue-gray breast.
They are round bodied and take about 6 months to mature. Though they can sometimes be very aggressive they make great pets.
8. European Quail
The European quail also known as the Common quail are popular in Europe, Africa and Western Asia.
The European quail are migratory in nature and love grassland areas with lots of vegetation.
They are usually not easy to catch as they spend a lot of time on the ground and are oftentimes heard but not seen.
9. Montezuma Quail
The Montezuma or Mearn quail birds is a short North American quail species with 5 sub species.
The plumage is usually made of black and white patterns or streaks and unlike quails it has long claws for digging.
The Mearn quail is quite secretive in nature and it is not often seen regularly. It grows to about 8 or 9inches and is very plump.
They are usually found in Western and Estern Arizona, Mexico and Texas.
10. Celadon Coturnix Quail
The Celadon Coturnix quail is a pretty subspecies of Coturnix quail known for their solid blue eggs.
The Celadon are great as pets and for meat and egg production.
They are quite hardy and calm especially when they feel safe. They are native to America and can weigh up to 15 ounces at maturity.
They carry a rare recessive gene which makes their eggs blue.
Keeping quail as pets has its advantages, they are cute, do not make as much noise as chickens and are even low maintenance.
Are Quails Good Indoor Pets?
Quails can be kept indoor depending on the environment where you are living.
If you have your own apartment with different bedrooms you can install their cage in one of the rooms. You can also keep them in your room if you do not mind their sounds.
Although quails make sounds and the males crow, they do not make as much noise as chickens who cluck regularly during the day.
Also if you keep only females then you do not have to worry as the hens are considerably quieter.
You should always buy them in pairs so they can play around with each other.
If you are installing them indoors, build their cage according to the advised specifications and provide their feed and water.
Do Quails Poop A Lot?
Yes quails poop a lot, in fact they can be pretty messy and gross at times. This is one of the disadvantages of raising quails as great as they are.
Regular poop cleaning is one of the cons you have to deal with as a quail keeper.
A flock of backyard quails can create enough poop to fill a feed sack within a week. That’s a lot of manure to have sitting around.
As it is you cannot even spread it out on your garden immediately unlike chicken poop, it has to dry up and compost before you can use it.
And you also have to go about separating it from their beddings like pine shavings, sawdust and the likes.
Also you have to clear up their poop regularly or it’ll start smelling really bad and attract rats, mice, fleas and snakes and possums.
The vermin will not only eat up your eggs, they can destroy your quail flock if they gain access to them.
Do Quails Like To Be Held?
Quail are originally wild birds that have been domesticated by humans over time.
As such they are more flighty in nature and have to be tamed and handled gently over time.
This takes some time and practice and you would have to be patient with the quail at hand.
Do not try to grab them by their legs like chicken as this would only bring out their panic response. It could also cause serious damage and lead to a broken leg.
If you want to handle a quail bird, lift it by its body and gently pet its head.
Doing this regularly over time will help your quail get used to your touch and it will come to enjoy the stroking.
At quails care handling you can see pictorial ways of how to properly handle your quail
We know quails are lovable and you would definitely want to have one as a pet.
There are many advantages to having quails as pets, they are so tiny and super cute. Like they can literally fit into your hand.
Also, they are not as loud as their cousins the chickens and there are also a variety of species to choose from.
The Coturnix and Bobwhite quails are the most popular choice for pets however we leave it to your discretion to pick your choice.