The Californian Quail originates from the South-western side of North America, hence the name, California Valley Quail.
The Californian Quail has a curving crest or plume, made of six feathers, that droops forward which in males are black and dark brown in females.
The flanks are brown with white streaks. Males are larger and have a dark brown cap and a black face with a brown back, a grey-blue chest and a light brown belly which sometimes comes out in beautiful deep red in the middle. The females and young birds are not as colourful, mainly grey-brown with a light-coloured scaled belly.
Keeping Californian Quail
Some breeders believe that they should be kept in pairs for breeding. We have found that they are highly sociable birds and love gathering into groups while having their daily dust bath or for feeding. Normally their diet consists of various seeds and green leaves, but they love the odd bite of fruit and insects as well. In captivity the Californian Quail is normally fed on chick crumbs or mash. In addition they’re happy to take dried mealworms, fruits and vegetables. They like grapes, apple, kiwi and they just love the leaves of the savoy cabbage.
The Californian Quail requires a lot more space than a coturnix type quail. This is due to their better ability to flying. It’s also handy to install a roost stick into their cages to give them a chance to fly up and sit on a higher ground.
We use tree branches for this purpose. Under standard conditions they lay 12-15 eggs which take 23 days to hatch. They can take the cold fairly well but doesn’t like draughty and wet conditions. With their looks and the lovely sound they produce they are definitely our favourite quail breed.
Watch this short video below about the California Quail in their natural habitat.