I have ordered a few more button eggs that should arrive tomorrow. My goal is to have eggs from at least 4 diverse button quail breeders from across the United States. I do not like inbreeding and believe that diverse genetics, along with carefully choosing birds to be bred, is the key to robust healthy birds.
I have buttons from Pennsylvania and California so far and the just ordered eggs are from Colorado. I ordered these eggs because the breeder has a gene I do not yet have: fallow. With this color gene, the babies start out with bright pink eyes but as adults their eyes darken to look almost like that of a normal bird. The fallow gene has a neat diluting effect so that a red breasted button quail male for example, will have an orange belly rather than rust-red.
I hope to get eggs from at least one other breeder in the spring which should give me a good genetic base to have great diversity within my birds 🙂
Random Tip: If breeding with the fallow gene it is important to choose birds that have the best eye sight and to cross fallow to a fallow carrier rather than fallow X fallow. Originally, chicks born with this mutation were weak and had very poor eye sight, sometimes to the point of blindness. They also usually died shortly after hatching, if they hatched at all.
Thanks to the excellent work of a few breeders, this gene has become as robust and beautiful as any other…but the above breeding practices should be followed to keep it that way.