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Bamboo PartridgeBamboo Partridge

(Bambusicola thoracica)

There are two subspecies of this species. The most commonly one seen in captivity is the Chinese (B. t. thoracica), which is native to China and has been to introduced into southern Japan and on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. The other subspecies, (B. t. sonorivox), is found only on Taiwan.

The sexes of this species are similar, with the female being slightly smaller. They have a bright rufous throat and face; gray above the eye and extending to the base of the neck. The breast and back is mottled with black, buff and chestnut. The Chinese subspecies is much lighter than the subspecies from Taiwan.


The breeding season begins in the late spring, when the hen lays her clutch of 7 to 9 eggs. You will probably have to incubate in an incubator or under very small foster hens. The incubation lasts about 18 days.

The chicks are tricky to raise. In the wild, the hen will offer food to the little chicks from her beak, so in captivity, they have a hard time to learn to eat on their own. You will have to encourage them to start eating with the help of a teacher, usually a similar sized chick, or you can use mealworms and offer them with your fingers. Watch the birds carefully and make sure they are getting enough.

General Comments

The Chinese Bamboo Partridge is smaller and more delicate than most other partridge species kept in captivity. They are tropical and need protection from freezing weather. Although attractive and well established, this species is not recommended for the beginner.

Mountain Bamboo Partridge

(Bambusicola fytchii)


As far as I know, this species of Bamboo Partridge is not kept in captivity. There are two subspecies in the wild, (B. f. fytchii) found in eastern China and Vietnam and (B. f. hopkinsoni) from south-western China, India and burma. They are considered rare in their natural range.

Both sexes resemble the Chinese, but have a yellowish throat instead of rufous and have a blackish eye stripe.


In the wild, the breeding season begins in April and 3 to 7 eggs are laid. Incubation is believed to be 18 days.

General Comments

Since this species is rapidly declining in their native lands, a captive breeding program needs to be established.

This page is an excerpt from
The Game Bird and Waterfowl website
by Dan Cowell.
 Click here to visit his website


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