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
Breeding Season: As early as April and may last
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.
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