15 Different Types of Quail for Eggs, Meat, or Hunting

Different Types of Quail
Photo by Ali Mucci

Quails have long been a sweet delicacy in fancy restaurants due to their tenderness and flavor. These birds are often grown for their meat and egg and are popular among many hunters.

Here, in this article, we shall discuss the different types of quail and their unique features.

What Are Quails?

Quails are short game birds whose natural habitat includes Asia, Europe, North America, and Northern Africa. These birds are mostly raised on farms for their meat and eggs.

Although these birds are omnivores, they eat primarily vegetarian foods. Chicks enjoy eating insects, but their diet gradually turns to plant material as they grow older.

Their food consists of leaves, flowers, barley, seeds, wheat, and fruit, as well as grasshoppers and worms. Because these animals are small, they have many predators.

Some of their predators include squirrels, cats, dogs, foxes, hawks, owls, and rats. However, they tolerate humans, and you can find them in gardens, city parks, and agricultural areas. 

Different Types of Quail

1. Northern Bobwhite Quail

The Northern Bobwhite Quail is a popular hunting quail breed that is also a rich source of meat. Eastern North America is home to a large population of Bobwhite Quails. You can always find them in trees, meadows, open woodlands, and agricultural areas. 

The Bobwhite Quail matures slowly, taking roughly 16 weeks to reach adulthood. When breeding, Bobwhite Quails can be hostile, especially if they are alone.

Females can lay approximately 100 eggs per season, with an average of 12 eggs per litter. These quails are divided into 22 subspecies and have a lifespan of about five years.

Furthermore, bobwhite quails are active birds. However, they get stressed quickly. If you choose to raise these birds, ensure to have adequate room for them to roam freely.

2. Mountain Quail

This is a small bird among the different types of quails. Although mountain quails can dwell in various habitats, they prefer the dense undergrowth of mountains and foothills. They can fly, but they generally walk.

The typical colors of mountain quails are reddish brown, grey, or white. The pointed plume on the top of a mountain quail’s head makes them easy to recognize. 

Mountain quails can reach lengths of 10 to 11 inches on average and have wingspans of 13 to 15 inches. They have small, rounded wings and long, featherless legs. Also, they are the largest quail in the United States, weighing up to 9 ounces when mature.

Furthermore, females lay 9 – 10 eggs every season. Both sexes usually do the 20–26 day incubation phase. These quails have a short lifespan, only about three years old.

Mountain quails can be challenging to raise, and as they get older, they might turn hostile. These birds consume insects, seeds, berries, bulbs, and leaves, though their diet varies depending on the season.

3. Jungle Bush Quail

Jungle Bush is among the types of quail indigenous to South Asia, especially Sri Lanka and India. These quails prefer to live in open forests, dry scrubs, and stony grasslands. You can find them at altitudes of 3900 feet.

Also, you can identify jungle bush quails by their chestnut throats and chins. Their breasts and abdomen are white with distinctive transverse black stripes on them. They have reddish-brown coverts on their chestnut-brown tails as well.

The feet and legs of these quails are orange-yellow, and their beaks are brown with black tips. Females have uniform buff abdomen and breasts, which makes them different from males.

Furthermore, the length of an adult Jungle Bush Quail can reach 6-7 inches. Each season, the jungle bush quail hen lays 4 to 9 cream-colored eggs. There is a 21-day incubation period for the eggs.

A jungle bush quail’s diet consists of seeds, weeds, and grasses. Jungle bush quails make a fantastic addition to any aviary.

4. Japanese Quail

These birds are among the different types of quail but don’t confuse them with the European quail. They’re also called Coturnix Quails. Japanese quail are easier to rear than northern bobwhites.

There are quite a number of different varieties of this bird. One of which can produce up to 300 eggs annually, much exceeding the productivity of some hens!

In addition, people love these birds because of their calm and quiet temperament. The advantages of Japanese quail include their ability to produce eggs earlier than most other species. They also grow very quickly and can reach 12 ounces in 8 weeks.

5. European Quail

The European quail is the only specie of landfowl that migrates during the winter. Western Europe, Northern Africa, and even India are all home to the European quail.

Furthermore, this bird isn’t rare and is not on the list of the IUCN as a species of least concern. However, you can barely see them due to their incredible camouflage.

These quails are often served roasted by European game hunters because of their soft, plump, and juicy meat.

6. Gambel’s Quail

The different types of quail also include the Gambel’s quail. You can find them along the West Coast. Although a population is known to reside on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, they are primarily ground-feeding desert birds. 

You can identify the males by their creamy puffed belly button, black patch, and long plume crest. However, the females are smaller, with grey feathers around the neck and back.

Gambel’s quails can grow up to 11 or 12 inches long and weigh an average of 6 ounces. The typical clutch size of a female Gambel quail is 9 to 14 eggs, with an incubation period of 21 to 24 days. She lays one clutch per year.

Their diet consists mainly of seeds, grasses, and plants. Furthermore, Gambel’s quails can live up to two years in the wild. However, they have a five-year life span in captivity.

7. Scaled Quail

The scaled quail is also among the types of quail that is native to the southwestern region of the United States. It’s also among the New World quail family, and you can find them in most of the western half of Texas.

Scaled Quails are less common in regions with heavy rainfall since they prefer to live in desert habitats. These quails have a bluish-gray plumage, which is ornamented with a scaled feather pattern. Scaled Quail females have brown throats, while that of the males is cream-colored.

Female scaled quail are excellent layers, laying 5-16 eggs per clutch with an average of 13 eggs. The eggs incubate for around 22-23 days. An adult scaled quail can grow to be 9.8-13 inches long with a wingspan of roughly 14 inches.

Furthermore, A scaled quail has an average lifespan of about seven years. In captivity, however, this is reduced to 1.5 years.

Their major diet consists of seeds, insects, berries, and green leaves. These birds are calm and gentle and will make an excellent addition to any backyard farm.

8. California Quail

If you’ve been researching the different types of quails, you would have come across the California quail. This quail is native to Chile, British Columbia, the western United States, and New Zealand. They prefer to inhabit parks, farms, coastal shrubs, and woodland edges.

The California quail plumage is brown and bluish-grey in color. They have a unique white and black pattern on their face.

Also, they have black and brown feather tips which resemble scaled underpants. In addition, their most unique feature is the double plume on their forehead.

Male California quail are slightly heavier than females and weigh about 5-7 ounces on average. California quails can grow to a maximum length of 9.8 inches.

Female California quail can produce an average of 13–17 eggs per clutch. The eggs normally take 22 to 23 days to hatch. These birds live an average of seven years in the wild.

Furthermore, their diet consists of bulbs, insects, seeds, leaves, and berries. California Quail are raised as pets or for shows due to their distinct appearance. They will fit in nicely with little parrots, finches, or softbills in an aviary.

9. Button Quail

The Button quail is also known as Chinese Painted Quail, Blue-breasted Quail, or King Quail. It’s among the popular types of quail among farmers.

A Button Quail’s native range extends from Southeast Asia to Oceania. In addition, button quails are colorful and beautiful birds.

They appear in various colors: blue, silver, reddish brown, and dark brown. Female Button Quails are similar to males but do not occur in blue color. 

Button Quails are little birds that weigh about 1.5-2 ounces. They mature quickly and can reach full maturity at around 12 weeks old.

Each laying season, they lay 5-13 tiny cream-colored eggs. The stress of egg-laying causes these birds to die quickly. 

Furthermore, button quails have an average life span of 3-6 years but can live in captivity for 13 years. Button Quails are a great addition to any aviary and make fantastic pets.  

10. Mearns Quail

This is among the rare types of quail commonly used for hunting. Mearns quails inhabit New Mexico, western Texas, and central and southern Arizona.

Male mearn quails have striking white and black facial markings, often called spinning or harlequin. Their sides are brown with white markings.

Their backs are also brown with white darts. Females are a lighter shade of brown with dark brown, black, or buff markings. 

Male mearn quails can weigh 6.9 ounces on average, with females weighing slightly less. The average clutch size for female mearn quails is 10 to 12 eggs. Both men and females are responsible for the incubation process, which lasts 25–26 days.

Since most of these birds don’t survive in the wild past a year, they are more difficult to find than other breeds.

In addition, they are challenging to raise in captivity, so novice homesteaders shouldn’t try it. Finally, they need a lot more room than other quail and a lot of grass to make their nests.

11. Himalayan Quail

The Himalayan quail is also among the different types of quail. It’s a medium-sized quail that belongs to the pheasant family. This small dark quail has red bills and legs and white spots before and after its eye. 

The male’s supercilium and forehead are white, and he has a dark gray body with bleak streaks. The female has a brow that is gray with dark streaks. It has a smaller white mark in front of the eye and a larger one behind the eye, much like the male.

The Himalayan quail was occasionally spotted at dusk or dawn, staying in tall grassland. They use their legs for escape rather than their wings. It was last seen in 1876 and is thought to be extinct.

12. Italian Quail

These quails are similar to the Japanese and are Golden in color. They are the best egg layers and lay over 300 eggs annually. Also, they mature quickly and start laying eggs at six weeks of age.

Their eggs have even sizes and are in high demand commercially. Moreover, experience has shown that keeping Italians at a ratio of one cock to six or seven hens can be done without a fertility decline.

13. British Range Quail

These are also among the different types of quail. Their standard color is chocolate brown. They have a very calm nature, and you can rear them easily. Also, they are commercially valued for their laying ability.

14. Snow Mountain Quail

The Snow Mountain Quail is a sizable quail that measures about 11 inches (28 cm) in length and has brown irises, a horn-colored bill, and yellow legs.

Female underparts are lighter in color and more heavily barred with black. The Snow Mountains of Irian Jaya, in the Alpine meadows, are home to the Snow Mountain Quail.

The female builds a hollow nest beneath the edge of a grass tussock, where she lays up to three pale brown eggs with dark spots.

In addition, the primary components of the diet include seeds, flowers, leaves, and other plant materials.

15. Brown Quail

You can find these quails in wet grasslands, scrublands, and agricultural areas. They’ve been introduced to Fiji and New Zealand. 

Brown quails move in small groups and feed on seeds, grasses, and small invertebrates. They are numerous and common over their broad territory.

Conclusion 

Those are the different types of quail; although some are now in extinction, many are still available. Quail are lovely, low-maintenance birds you can raise for eggs, meat, hunting, and pets.

Besides, raising them is both affordable and enjoyable. They’re beautiful birds that would look great in any backyard coop.

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