Choosing Males and Females

Button Quail Pair: tuxedo male and cinamon golden pearl feamle
Button Quail Pair: tuxedo male and cinamon golden pearl feamle

Young button quail are usually identifiable as male or female somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks. Only the most vibrant, healthy birds should be chosen for breeding.  Avoid breeding aggressive individuals as aggression does seem to have a genetic component by my observations.

Males

Golden Pearl Normal Male
Golden Pearl Normal Button Quail Male
  • In many color mutations, the male will have a  white bib at the throat area.
  • Start to crow and make a pew pew pew call (the crow  is much more drawn out/long noted). Bachelor males who are interested in a female will make a rrrrrrrrrrr sound…it sort of sounds like rushing wind. A bit hard to describe but it seems like they are revving up right before crowing. Males who have a mate do not usually show this “growl/revving up” before crowing as much.
  • They have a more slender build and are usually smaller than females
  • Most males have red or pink vent feathers.
  • You may have to go by behavior and body structure for white birds, some tuxedos, and for some blueface combinations
  • Males will do a little dance to court females which involves running around them and  hanging their wings downs. They may also offer the female a choice piece of food such as a mealworm in hopes of winning her favor.

Females

Both birds below are female. While normal colored females have the lacing on each feather they do not have it on the back; only golden pearls do. The little cinnamon tuxedo is a little harder to tell but the bird has no rust or red feathers and is definitely a young female.

2 button quail females
Normal Golden Pearl on left and Cinnamon Tuxedo on Right.

 

  • They normally don’t have bibs although there are a few mutations that may show one (usually not the bright white the males have though).
  • They do not crow like males but make soft calls. They are capable of making the “pew pew pew contact call but it does sound different than a crow  and you should be able to hear the difference once you have both genders.
  • Females NEVER have pink/red vent feathers.  However, while not very common, it is possibleforfemales to have red or rust color on their tail feathers. The red breasted female below has a good amount of red on her tail…and it is definitely a she as this bird is laying eggs.

    red breasted button quail female with red tail feathers
    Red Breasted Button Quail Hen with red tail feather edging
  • Females lay eggs and they start doing this around 6-8 weeks of age

 

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Hobby breeder of the beautiful little button quail in North Central Florida

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