Raising Button Quail
Button quail incubation method is generally the same as coturnix quail. Once the little chinese painted quail chicks hatch. They will be delicate for the next coming week. Ultimate care is important during this stage. Generally after the first week, they are very strong hardy little birds.
The care of a button quail keeper is rated as an entry level bird.
Caring for your newly hatched chicks
Before your chicks hatch you will want to have your brooder ready. Ensure your brooder has no small spaces where the chicks can squeeze through.. The bottom of the brooder should have wire or a type of flooring that the chicks do not slip on. Any slippery surface can cause splayed legs where the hips dislocate and grow incorrectly. Newspaper is not recommended. The brooder will required a headlamp or heat source. You can use higher wattage and lower the wattage as the chicks age and need less heat or you can move the light higher and higher away from the chicks as well. The bottom of the brooder should be around 95º when you move the chicks from the incubator. The chicks will also require cool off areas in the brooder so that they do not over heat. When measuring the temperature you want to keep the thermometer at the same level the chicks are at. With every week the chicks age you want to drop the temperature another 5 degrees till the chicks are feathered and comfortable at room temperature. Once they are 5 weeks old they can regulate their own temperature.
Feeding your Button Quail
Button chicks can be susceptible to drowning their first week with an improper waterer. A good stable waterer with a small rim is best. Fresh clean water should be given daily. High quality chick game bird, third party tested feed is recommended for best results. 28%-30% protein for growing chicks is ideal but can be difficult to source. 24% can be used. Mature quail should be at around 24%. Low protein can cause aggressive behaviour and they may start picking at each other. Turkey starter is also an option. If you do use chick starter for poultry as that may be all that is available in your area, add chopped up cooked egg yolk and mealworms to boost the protein. For treats, fruit and vegetables can be given, discard after a few hours whatever they do not eat. You can change the feed to game bird layer once they are 5 weeks old which will generally be at around 24%. It may vary from producer to producer. Occasionally it is recommended to offer a mulitvitamin in their water.
Do not feed buttons avocados fruit seeds or pits, chocolate, caffeine of alcohol. it is toxic to the birds and can kill them. Avoid sugar , salt and fatty treats. Button quail also love small seeds such as millet.
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