Quail Sexing – How to find out if it’s a male or female?

We get a lot of emails in which you guys ask about quail sexing i.e. how to tell which one is a male or a female. I have a bit of time now so I’ll give you a little guide here.

Wild color Japanese quail

With the standard wild color Japanese or Jumbo Japanese Quail it’s fairly easy as the color pattern of their chests will tell you who is the boy and who is the girl bird.

The female of the Japanese quail has brown speckled chest on a cream or pale brown base.

Male on the other hand has a plain chest with reddish brown tan. It’s easy as that.

You have a similar situation with the Golden Manchurian (Italian) and the Red Cap Quail;

While the female’s chests are speckled, the male’s chests are plain. You can obviously use the above method only after the quail is feathered enough, from about 2-3 weeks of age.

Have a look at the following pictures, I show you what I’m talking about:

Male Japanese Quail
Female Japanese Quail
Red Cap Quail - male and female

Quail sexing in mixed color Japanese quail

If you keep mixed colour quail, like Texas Quail for example, you’re not going to get off that easy with quail sexing as with the wild coloured ones.

You cannot sex mix coloured quail by the color of their feather. You will have to examine their bottom side for this purpose.

The way you do the quail sexing is to hold the quail securely but gently. Turn it bottom up and examine the cloaca (exit hole).

To do this blow the feathers apart to expose the cloaca and press down with two fingers above and below the opening. If a small ball pops forward when slightly pressed then it’s a male.

If no ball shows up then it’s a female. In the case of a male there might be a lump of white foam that comes out when pressed too. Don’t worry about it, it’s natural.

Some breeders advice that the foam will tell you if it’s a male or female but my advice is not to rely on that alone as if for example you check a bird shortly after mating foam will come out and it can still be a female as that foam was passed to her by the male.

Here is a short video about how to tell the male from a female in colored Coturnix Quail species.

If you were interested about quail sexing you will surely interested in our article about quail breeding. Just click here to read it.

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