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Blue Scaled Quail




Other Names: Blue Racer Quail, Blue Quail, Cotton-top Quail, Top-knot Quail.

Sexes similar As their name suggests, the breast, belly, neck, back are bluish-gray feathers that are tipped with black that gives a "scaled" appearance. The white "cotton top" crest varies from white in the males to a light buff in the females. Terry Smith offers the following tip on sexing Scaled Quail: "If you are sexing Blue Scaled Quail, the head and the crest of the male are a bit larger than those of the hen. The most distinguishing feature is the faint yellow color which appears on the cock's throat. The hen's throat is ashy-gray in color." The Chestnut-bellied males have a chestnut-red color in the belly. Hens may also show this color, but not as distinctive as the males.

Subspecies: Johnsgard lists the following subspecies: Mexican Scaled Quail, found in Mexico, the Arizona Scaled Quail, the dominate race in the United States, and the Chestnut-bellied Scaled Quail, which is found in southern Texas into Mexico.



Breeding Season: As early as April and may last into September.

Breeding Age: First year.

Clutch Size: Twelve to fourteen eggs per clutch, but several clutches can be expected, laying more than sixty eggs in a season!

Incubation Period: 22 to 23 days.


General Comments:

Commonly kept in captivity with a large viable bloodline. The Chestnut-bellied race is also popular with fanciers. 

Scaled Quail are nervous birds by nature and will do best in a pen that has more length than width! Provide plenty of branches and natural cover for the hens to lay their eggs under and to provide the birds with shelter to hide.

They are winter hardy, provided you can place several birds in one pen for them to form a natural covey. We prefer to block all north and west sides of their pens with thick plastic and place dry straw onto the floor of the pen, which is removed when soiled or wet.



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Male Scaled Quail

Blue Scaled Quail Male

Blue Scaled Quail Hen

Blue Scaled Quail Juvenile

Blue Scaled Pair

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