Obviously you should always encourage children to wash their hands after handling birds.

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Normally, the Japanese quail has been considered to possess an underdeveloped sense of taste, this being evidenced by their inability to distinguish different kinds of carbohydrates presented to them. However, studies have shown that a limited ability to taste is indeed present. Evidence for this includes quail individuals exhibiting preferential choice of sucrose-containing solutions over simple distilled water and the avoidance of salty solutions.[9]

Eggs tend to be laid in the few hours preceding dusk.[9] Incubation of the egg starts as soon as the last egg in the clutch is laid and lasts an average of 16.5 days.[9][13] Japanese quail females carry out most of the incubation of the eggs, becoming increasingly intolerant of the male throughout the incubation process. Eventually, the female will drive the male away before the eggs hatch.[9] Thus, the females also provide all of the parental care to the newly hatched young.[12]

Through nasolateral conversion of the eyes, the Japanese quail is able to achieve frontal overlap of the eye fields. Long distance perception occurs with a binocular field accommodation. In order to maintain focus on a certain object while walking, the quail will exhibit corresponding head movements. The Japanese quail has also been shown to possess color vision, its perception of color being greater than that of form or shape.[9]

By 10 weeks of age, quail that are being kept for their eggs or breeding require a breeders feed which contains 18-20% protein.  Some specialist quail feeds contain seeds as well as pellets. Adult quail eat around 15g of food per day.

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Though there is still much to be understood about the sensation and perception of Coturnix japonica, some has been revealed through various scientific experiments.

Like most birds, Coturnix like to take dust baths in hot weather. Their eggs should be gathered daily, in hot weather as much as 2 to 3 times per day, to assure freshness. This quail appears to be susceptible to most of the diseases that affect domestic poultry and, therefore, raise your birds separate from chickens and turkeys. As a matter of fact, having chickens or turkey on the same property, increases the chances of your quail contracting disease.

Feather pecking can occur if quail get bored but also if the birds are low in protein. Feathers are made up mainly of protein which is why birds will eat them. Check their feed contains sufficient protein (see the article on feeding quail for more information). Quail can also over-preen (which looks like feather pecking) if they have lice. Treatment for lice is the same as for chickens.

The female of the Japanese quail has brown speckled chest on a cream or pale brown base. The male has a plain chest with reddish brown tan. It's easy as that. You have a similar situation with the Golden Manchurian (Italian) and the Red Cap Quail; The female's chests are speckled and the male's chests are plain. You can obviously use the above method only after the quail is feathered enough, from about 2-3 weeks of age.

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Do quail sit on their eggs for short periods of time? How do I know my quail are naturally taking care of their eggs so we can have baby quails?

The Japanese quail mainly eats and drinks at the beginning and end of the day: behavior shown to closely follow the photoperiod. However, they will still eat and drink throughout the day as well.[9]

The diet of the Japanese quail includes many different types of grass seed such as white millet and panicum. They also feed upon a variety of insects, their larvae, and other small invertebrates.[5]

Though the Japanese quail possesses an olfactory epithelium, little is known about its ability to sense smell. Despite this, certain studies have revealed that these birds are able to detect certain substances using only their sense of smell. For example, they have been reported to be able to detect the presence of certain pesticides, as well as avoid food containing a toxic chemical called lectin, using only the sense of smell.[9]

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With the standard wild color Japanese or Jumbo Japanese Quail it's fairly easy as the color pattern of their chests will tell you who is the boy and who is the girl bird.

The Japanese quails are domesticated forms of common quails just like domestication of Prussian carp into goldfish.

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The type of relationship exhibited between male and female members of Coturnix japonica has returned mixed reports, as they have been seen to exhibit both monogamous and polygamous relationships. A study of domesticated specimens reveals that females tend to bond with one or two males, though extra-pair copulations are also frequently observed.[10]

There is more information on quail feed in this article.

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Raising japanese quail - By Maurice Randall, Former Livestock Officer (Poultry) and Gerry Bolla, Livestock Officer (Poultry) - Japanese quail are hardy birds that thrive in small cages and are inexpensive to keep. They are affected by common poultry diseases but are fairly disease resistant.

Japanese quails show peak breeding activity during the summer season, when Testes increase in size and testosterone hormone concentrations hit their peak.[11]

Runs should also have boards around the bottom edge around 6 inches high for the same reason. Other pets such as dogs and cats should be watched carefully at first. We haven’t had a problem, our cats and dogs have ignored them and our quail have been fairly relaxed near them but I have heard stories of dogs getting excited and startling quail causing them unnecessary stress.

Japanese Quail

Dangers to your quail that you can prevent, by having prior knowledge:

Young quail can be fed a high protein starter crumb. Whilst specialist feeds don’t usually exist specifically for quail, a non-medicated turkey starter crumb is ideal for them because it is higher in protein than chick crumb.

Japanese quail eggs are a mottled brown colour and are often covered with a light blue, chalky material. Each hen appears to lay eggs with a characteristic shell pattern or colour. Some strains lay only white eggs. The average egg weighs about 10 g, about 8% of the bodyweight of the quail hen. Young chicks weigh 6–7 g when hatched and are brownish with yellow stripes. The shells are fragile, so handle with care.

The Adult Female are slightly heavier than the male, weighing from 4 to 5 1/2 ounces (120 to 160 grams). The body coloration of the female bird is similar to the male except that the feathers on the throat and upper breast are long, pointed, and much lighter cinnamon. Also, the light tan breast feathers are characteristically black-stippled.

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Chicken’s housing is wasted on quail. They don’t need such elaborate nest boxes although they will appreciate somewhere dark to lay. Quail don’t always make nests; they will usually lay their eggs in discreet places in their bedding. Perches are also wasted on quail and most coops are raised off the ground, which is also a problem.

Quail can be kept with or without a run as long as they are provided with a little grass or other greens in their diet. It’s probably best to start by converting housing you already have, ensuring it has adequate ventilation, or to buy a rabbit hutch. Rabbit hutches are usually big enough for half a dozen quail and provide adequate ventilation and a place for them to hide to lay eggs.

Thank you for the advice! My quails are doing well so far.

Japanese quail eggs have orbited the Earth in several Soviet and Russian spacecraft, including the Bion 5 satellite and the Salyut 6 and Mir space stations.[16] In March 1990, eggs on Mir were successfully incubated and hatched.[17]

As well as being entertaining to watch, my pet quail have been very productive in the egg department. They are capable of laying around 230 eggs (some have laid up to 300) if kept in the right conditions, given some light during the shorter days and adequate protection from the cold over the winter.

Quail like to spend their time on the ground and are not keen on climbing so will not use a ramp to get into their house. Housing must be close to the ground. If their house is too close to the ground, rats can burrow underneath so a compromise must be reached, or a concrete floor used under the house. I have had success with a house raised around 4 inches off the ground using a shallow, wide ramp for them to use to get in through the pop hole.

Pet quail do not over-eat so can be fed ad-lib. They should be fed different feeds according to their age:

Breeding sites of the Japanese quail are largely localized to East and Central Asia,[3][4] in such areas as Manchuria, southeastern Siberia, northern Japan, and the Korean Peninsula. However, it has also been observed to breed in some regions of Europe, as well as Turkey.[5]