Who’s Who? Male and Female Quail

When I got my first quail chicks they looked like impossibly small balls of fluff. There was no telling who was male and who was female…  I had my fingers crossed for six females. I only wanted the birds for the eggs so males were far less valuable to me.

In the six weeks that they were in the brooder I watched them for differences in behavior and coloring. I noticed that some stood up high and made a sort of crow sound. Although this sound was nothing like a rooster(much more quiet) it seemed to be a male behavior. As it turns out, it was!

Once the brown Coturnix quail were mature it was much easier to tell them apart. My males are slightly smaller than the females and have rust colored feathers on their face and chest. The females are larger and have dark brown speckles on their chests. The females also don’t “crow.”

The difference between males and females would also be quite obvious to you if you observe your mature quail. Once the quail are 6 weeks old, they will begin to mate. Then you can easily spot your males!

Male Coturnix Quail
Female Coturnix Quail

When keeping quail, it is important to have appropriate ratios of males to females. If there are too many males and too few females the males will mate too frequently and cause the females stress. Any stress in females can affect egg production, causing them to lay soft eggs.   I have 2-3 males for my 13 females and they seem to be quite comfortable. I would recommend one male for every 5-7 females for the best ratio.

If there are too many males and not enough females, the males will also fight each other. Which no one wants!

Keep your quail happy and they will reward you with many eggs and years of enjoyment!

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