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Breeding Gamebirds Chukar Partridge  (5995 bytes)

'Successful Breeding can produce 200 eggs per year from a single bobwhite quail'

This section will focus on the breeding of Quail.   Although there are some slight differences in breeding habits of different quail species, many generalities can be used. 

Colony breeding is the most common method of breeding used in the United States.  This method allows the breeder to utilize the least amount of pen space - to produce the greatest number of fertile eggs.

When using this method of breeding, a ratio of 2 or 3 females to one 1 male is used.
Bobwhite Quail(4344 bytes)  These birds are housed in a small cage, usually measuring 18" x 20".   Special cages just for this purpose can be purchased from several sources (see Supply Sources).  These special cages also have a floor which is angled enough to allow the eggs to roll to the front of the cage, which makes gathering eggs very easy. The cages also have drop pans under the wire floor which will capture bird dropping. This makes cleaning the cage as easy as collecting eggs.

Some breeders have success by using larger pens and placing 75 - 100 birds in each cage. It is important to note that a comparable male-female ratio is used.  It is not uncommon for egg fertility to go down when using this method.Breeding Cages(8513 bytes)

Individual Cage Method can also be used to breed quail.  This is perhaps the most successful and profitable way to breed quail.  It's main disadvantage is individual cost - meaning it will cost more to house the birds with this method, verses the Colony Method.  A ratio of 1 male to 1 female is used with this method.   Only one or two pair are housed in each cage or section.

Selection of Breeders is vital to good egg production.  When selecting the birds which you intend to breed, ensure that you look for promising traits.  If you want to produce birds for consumption - look for large healthy birds, if your intention is to release birds - select birds that are quick to flight and have a wild behavior.

All species of quail have a natural breeding season.  In order  to simulate egg production is it important to provide the correct conditions. Quail can be made to lay eggs year round by providing  at least 17 hours of light a day and a temperature above 60 degrees.  If conditions are correct, Bobwhite Quail will produce 200 or more eggs a year.  Button Quail and Coturnix Quail will produce 200 - 250 eggs a year.

Egg fertility is reduced after 6 months of production.  It is recommended to cycle breeder stock on a regular basis.
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