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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Females lay eggs and they start doing this around 6-8 weeks of age