The Three Reasons why I will Never Breed Button Quail Again

  1. They're flighty. Not so much when you walk into the aviary, though they are hard to catch, but when they have to be transported. They have the annoying instinct to bolt eight feet in the air when startled or upset, whether or not they have eight feet to jump. This means carriers must be very well padded and cages have to be tall. Not only can they bash their heads, but they can hurt themselves on the way back down. I had a female severely hurt both her legs in this manner.
  2. They have no parental skills. Buttons are native to China where they have been bred for centuries. Much like with domestic chickens, their eggs were taken away as they were laid to keep the birds laying constantly. Now they have lost all instinct to raise their young and probably one in every thousand will actually brood. Most hens just drop their eggs wherever they happen to be. This leaves you with the responsibility of incubating and raising the chicks, which can be a pain. Chicks are weak and clumsy. No they don't have to be handfed like psittacines but I'd rather be doing that. The chicks get into all kinds of trouble. They fall into water dishes and get wet (or drown if it's deep enough). I used to keep a small teddybear in with mine so they could brood under it. They'd squish themselves as far under as possible, all I'd see was a row of tiny feet sticking out. But I had to drastically lower the temperature because many were getting overheated and dying under there.
  3. They're aggressive. Simply put, they kill each other. I've never had problems introducing new psittacines to my aviary. These little guys are very territorial and will attack any new birds. When I first decided to breed I made the mistake of just buying two hens for my two cocks and tossing them in the aviary. I'm used to nice Aussie psittacines who greet newcomers if anything. I thought my males would be thrilled at having some female company. They immediately began to gangbang/attack the hens. This territoriality is a pain. New birds have to be very slowly introduced and even then they might get attacked. The attacks are no laughing matter. I've seen birds with lost toes and even one hen who had a hole pecked in her head (I could see her brain).

So that's why I don't breed buttons anymore. I'll stick to my nice Aussies, thank you.

Feisty Feathers
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1999 Feisty Feathers