General information

What breed of quail is better to breed: tips for a beginner farmer

Breeding and keeping of quails at home is carried out for three purposes: for eggs, for meat and for decorative purposes. Depending on these needs, about 40 different species of domestic quail were bred. Therefore, before you start these birds in your home, you need to decide what kind of breed is suitable for the implementation of your goals. In this material, we offer an overview of the best breeds of quails, their advantages and disadvantages.

Quail ordinary (wild)

Quail common in the wild is found in South and North Africa, Eurasia, inhabits the islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Madagascar, Comoros, Canary Islands, the British, etc. Winters in India and Africa. It dwells in open spaces, on plains and in mountains, on uncultivated or arable fields. In the international classification is fixed under the name Coturnix coturnix.

It nests on the ground. It feeds on plant food, rarely insects. Females lay 8-13 eggs. Duration of incubation is 17-20 days.

Quail common has eight subspecies, which differ in color and distribution.

The population of quail in nature over the past decades has been steadily declining. This is due to several reasons: climate change, the use of pesticides in the fields where birds feed, the active hunting of these birds, the problems that arise during the wintering in Africa.

English white

English white quail refers to meat and egg breeds. It has white plumage, sometimes with separate dark feathers, and dark eyes. Females reach a mass of 140-180 g, males - up to 160 g. The annual egg production of quails is 280 pieces, each egg has a mass of up to 15 g.

The advantages to this breed of quail can be recorded high performance and viability, good preservation of offspring (85-90%), unpretentiousness, attractive type of carcass and eggs.The disadvantages include the fact that females and males do not have external differences before reaching the age of 7-8 weeks, and it is almost impossible to determine their sex. This can be done only after reaching the age of sex on the cloaca. Also, the minus of the breed can be attributed to fairly large doses of feed consumed (40-43 g / day),

English black

As a result of a mutation from the Japanese breed in England, black quail was obtained. It is inferior to its progenitor in the annual egg-laying (in English quails, it is 280 eggs), but surpasses in mass. The weight of the female English black quail is 180-200 g, the male - 160-170 g. As the name implies, these birds wear dark brown, turning into black plumage. Their eyes are light brown. The advantages of English black quail: high egg production and low feed intake (30-35 g). Disadvantages: birds of this breed are characterized by rather low hatchability of chicks (75-85%).

Manchu golden

The plumage of the bird of this breed is colored brown, the middle is lighter - the color of wheat, in the sun gives the individual a golden hue. Quails reach a mass of 140-160 g, quails - 160-180 g. Egg-laying of quails is small - approximately 220 pieces per year (with good care, 260 can be achieved). The hatchability of chicks is low - 75-85%. Advantages of this breed:

  • it is possible to determine the sex of chicks at an early age,
  • one individual consumes quite a bit of food - 30 g,
  • a large egg weight - 16 g,
  • an attractive view of both live birds and carcasses,
  • disease resistance.

Marble quail obtained by mutation of the Japanese breed. Recognizable by monotonous gray plumage with a marble pattern on feathers. This quail belongs to the egg breed. In terms of the mass and number of eggs delivered per year, it is not significantly different from the progenitor breed. The live weight of the female pulls up to 145 g, the male - 120 g. The annual egg production is 260-300 pieces. The weight of one egg is 10-11 g. The advantages of marble quail include a good presentation of carcasses and low feed intake (30 g).


The result of the crossing of white and black quail was the breeding of the tuxedo breed - birds with a dark back and white breast. Adult tuxedo quails reach a mass of 140-160 g, quails - 160-180. Females lay an average of 280 eggs per year. The weight of each is 10-11 g.

The Pharaoh is the most popular meat breed among breeders primarily because of its weight - it is impressive among them: layers - 310 g, males - 265 g. The breed is bred by Americans.

The advantages, in addition to weight, include the possibility of early determination of the sex of chicks, high hatchability of chicks (80-90%) and fertilization of eggs (75-85%). Along with excellent weight indicators, the Pharaohs are somewhat inferior to other breeds in egg production - 200-220 pieces, the weight of one egg is 12-16 g.

Among the shortcomings we can also mention the nondescript color of the plumage (the pharaohs are similar to wild relatives) and as a result of the loss of the species of live birds. These quails also require special maintenance measures.

Texas White Pharaoh

Another meat breed of quails with impressive bird sizes is the Texas white pharaoh. These completely white individuals have a live weight of 400-480 g in females and 300-450 in males. Among the advantages of the breed can also be noted the rapid growth of birds. The negative aspects of the Texas pharaohs include low egg production. (200-220 eggs / year) and the same hatchability of chicks (60%). The weight of one egg varies from 12 to 16 g. The minus of the breed also includes high feed intake (40-43 g / day) and the impossibility of determining the sex before the laying of eggs.

Estonian quail

The best quails belonging to meat and egg breed can be called birds belonging to the Estonian breed. They are characterized as excellent egg production - 300-320 eggs per year, and a decent mass of females - 200 g and males - 170 g. They are also distinguished by high hatchability of offspring (82-90%) and fertilized eggs (90%). The rate of consumption of food by one individual - 35 g per day, which is a lot compared to other relatives. However, this disadvantage is completely covered by the main advantages of the breed: unpretentious care, a high degree of survival and excellent productivity.

Japanese quail

The most popular quail for eggs is Japanese. When breeding this breed, it was the egg production that was put at the forefront. However, having achieved an indicator of over 300 eggs per year, at the same time, Japanese quails lost their incubation instinct. Therefore, breeders should always acquire incubators. The mass of females is 140-145 g, males - 115-120 g, carcasses - 80 g, eggs - 8-12 g. The breed is characterized by high fertility of eggs (80-90%), rapid development and growth, resistance to diseases and unpretentiousness in leaving. The output of chicks is low - 70%.

The appearance of the Japanese quail is characteristic: its body is elongated, the tail is short, the color of the plumage is brown-white.

Japanese breed is fundamental for breeding other species. Thus, if your goal is to get eggs from quails, then you need to choose for breeding the English white quail, Manchu golden, Japanese. In order to get both eggs and meat, choose Estonian quails and Pharaoh. When planning to open a meat quail business, you should take a closer look at the Texas white quail and again Pharaoh.

Rules for choosing breeds of quail for breeding

At home, grow a variety of types of quail. In the CIS countries and Russia they prefer to breed Japanese breed, although in some farms there are other species. From the middle of the last century, specialized farms with high profitability were created for this purpose.. Nowadays, in the CIS countries, peping is not yet very common, and poultry farmers are breeding the breeds that are on sale.

Only professional quail professionals prefer to grow one particular species and do not allow it to cross with others. If you also plan to breed these birds, we recommend that you read the material of this article. In it you will find useful tips and practical advice on the selection of suitable individuals.

The best breeds of quail for beginners

The Japanese type is considered one of the best because it has high egg production even during shedding. The birds of the Pharaoh species, although they have a high body weight, are not very suitable for beginners, since they require regular renewal of the herd, are demanding for feeding and maintenance and are not distinguished by high egg production.

Figure 1. The most common types: 1 - Japanese, 2 - Pharaoh, 3 - kitevers

A good choice will be the Estonian kite-breeds, which appeared thanks to the work of Estonian breeders who crossed the pharaoh and the Japanese quail. A distinctive feature is the weight increased by one and a half times (in comparison with the Japanese). Figure 1 shows representatives of the most common species.

When choosing, one should take into account the goals of the poultry farmer, as well as its financial capabilities and direction of productivity.

Meat quail

All meat quail species are hybrid, and have been bred by breeders for more meat. Despite the fact that these species appeared relatively recently, they are highly popular (Figure 2).

The main meat breeds of quail are:

  1. Pharaohs they are distinguished not only by high slaughter meat yield (male weight reaches 260 grams, and females - 920 grams), but also by relatively high egg production. In addition, representatives of this species are characterized by rapid growth, and within a month after hatching they reach a weight of 150 grams. However, to grow the Pharaohs is quite difficult, since they are very demanding to the conditions of detention, and the dark plumage can spoil the presentation of the carcass.
  2. Texas white Quail appeared relatively recently, but already won the hearts of many poultry farmers. This is due to many reasons. First, the birds reach a sufficiently large weight (360 grams in males and 450-500 grams in females). The birds have a calm character and they are not as demanding to the content as the Pharaohs.
Figure 2. Meat species (from left to right): Pharaoh and white Texas

When planning to breed quails, you should consider the purpose of growing. If you want to get high-quality carcasses - you should give preference to Texas white. Her white plumage, good looking carcasses and high slaughter yield will make breeding profitable. However, if the main goal is to get eggs, the advantage should be given to other species.

Quail egg breeds

Quail eggs are small, but they are much more useful than chicken. They do not cause allergies and are recommended for baby food. In addition, a high content of vitamins and nutrients in eggs will be useful for adults (Figure 3).

Note: Breeding of quail is beneficial because these birds are characterized by high egg production (one female can produce about 250 eggs per year). At the same time they consume little feed, and you can keep the birds in the cages.

There are several breeds that are grown to produce eggs:

  1. Japanese quails are small, but they are distinguished by high egg productivity and precocity. Females begin to nest already at the age of one and a half months, and in a year more than 300 eggs can be obtained from one individual. It is noteworthy that it is recommended to keep females for not more than a year, since in the second year of life their egg production is halved.
  2. English white considered promising not only because of the high egg production, but also because of the white plumage, which does not spoil the presentation of the carcass. It is noteworthy that with a sufficiently high egg production (about 280 eggs per year), English quails are also quite large. Therefore, after a year, when the egg production of females decreases, they can be sent for slaughter.
Figure 3. Popular egg species: Japanese and English white

A distinctive feature of egg quail is unpretentious to the conditions of detention and feeding. Due to this, it is possible to grow such birds not only at the dacha, but also on the balcony of a city apartment.

Meat and Egg

In spite of the fact that the meat-egg direction of productivity is isolated separately, it is rather conditional. Most modern species of quail are characterized by high egg production and sufficient weight for sale.

However, it is worthwhile to dwell in detail on certain breeds, which refer specifically to the meat-and-egg direction. First of all, it includes Manchurian golden quail, which have an unusual color. This breed is recommended for beginners, as the birds are quite large (about 200 grams), they bring a lot of eggs, are unpretentious in content and consume little feed.

Another universal meat and egg breed is considered to be Estonian. Birds are distinguished by good health, unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention and high survival rate of the young. At the same time, birds quickly gain weight with low feed intake, and the egg-bearing period in females lasts much longer than in other species.

How to choose a quail

First of all, a novice poultry farmer must learn to distinguish between the sex of a bird. Males have a larger beak and differ from females in terms of plumage (the breast in females is light gray with black specks).

Easy to distinguish by color and gray Japanese quail:

  • The male’s head and throat are rusty brown, and the breast is light brown,
  • The plumage on the breast of females is covered with black dots, and the front part of the body is covered with lighter feathers,
  • Female white English individuals are completely covered with white plumage,
  • The male on the head has a few black dots,
  • English black and tuxedo quails can be distinguished by the color of the skin around the cloaca. In males, it is pink and it is easy to distinguish a thickened gland (by pressing on it, a white liquid begins to stand out)
  • In females there is no gland, and the skin is blue-gray.
Figure 4. Sex determination: 1 - by plumage in the Japanese species, 2 - female English quail (completely white), 3 - male English quail (with black dots on the head), 4a - appearance of the male cloaca, 4b - external female cloaca species

Figure 4 shows the distinguishing features of the sex of quails of various breeds.

Males that are not intended for breeding are fed for meat, females are intended for egg-laying for a year, and then also fed for slaughter.

Note: It is already possible to be engaged in sex determination from the thirty-day age of the bird and, accordingly, to divide the young.

This video describes how to correctly determine the sex of quail on the cloaca.

Features of meat breeds quail

Quail meat breeds are not very diverse. The small size of the birds plays a key role in this. Besides, when breeding for meat, quail need a special diet.

The special diet allows the feathered to gain weight more intensively. To do this, it is recommended to add vitamins, mineral supplements and herbs to the feed. If this is not done, the birds will not gain weight and will often hurt.

The resulting meat is classified as a dietary product. It contains almost no cholesterol and is low in calories.

Eating this product helps to get rid of certain types of diseases and helps strengthen the body's immune system. Therefore, despite the small size and some difficulties with growing, quail meat breed is quite popular, although few representatives of its kind.

Here are the most common suppliers of quail meat and their brief characteristics.

Breed pharaoh

This is probably the most popular breed of quail meat today. Like all broilers, it does not have a large egg production rate (only 200 eggs per year), but it has quite impressive sizes. Adult males weigh about 270 grams. The weight of layers passes for a mark in 300 grams. Against the background of small fellows, this is considered an excellent indicator.

Breed is widely used for home breeding in Russia and abroad. Among the drawbacks is the coloring of birds, which gives it a similarity with its wild congener. This gives the carcass unpresentable appearance.

Texas White (American Albino)

This is the best meat breed for home breeding. With proper maintenance, the males of this breed reach a weight of 350 grams, the hens easily roll over the 400 mark.

Birds are unpretentious to the conditions of detention and are gaining weight fairly well. Among the shortcomings I want to mention the increased feed intake. In order to have a stable gain in weight, you have to spend money on food.

Before the period of laying eggs, it is impossible to distinguish birds of this breed by gender.

Features of egg quail breeds

Breeding quails for eggs is a fairly popular type of business. This product is distinguished by its useful and even healing qualities.

Unlike other areas of domestic poultry, quail eggs can be eaten raw. At the same time, the threat of infection with various infections and the possibility of food poisoning are minimized.

Дело в том, что температура тела у перепелов составляет 42 градуса. Большинство бактерий, которые способны вызывать инфекции, погибают уже при 40.

Кроме того, стоит отметить и раннее откладывание яиц. Например, домашние куры, начинают нести яйца лишь через 8 месяцев. Quails reduce this period by ten times. The period of egg production in them usually begins after 8 weeks. If you add all the advantages together, it becomes clear why it is egg quail breeds that are popular.

Here are the most popular types of egg breeds and their brief characteristics.

Japanese quail

The best and probably the most common type of quail for eggs. The breed was bred as a result of selection with the expectation of increasing egg production. As a result, the hens began to lay eggs more intensively, although they lost the instinct to hatch them. therefore An incubator will be needed for breeding.

Females can easily lay over 300 eggs per year. Birds are unpretentious to the conditions of detention and little susceptible to various diseases. Tellingly, females begin to rush after 1.5 months.

Estonian quail

With its nondescript appearance, this species of birds is very popular among Russian and foreign breeders.

The egg production of females is somewhat lower than that of the previous breed. About 280 pieces per year. The laying period begins in 35-40 days. It would seem that this is not the best indicator, but compared with their relatives, Estonian females have one indisputable advantage. They are great not only for producing eggs, but also for breeding.

Fertilization of eggs is about 90%, hatchability - 80%, and this is practically at 100% survival of the offspring! Such indicators, no one else can boast.

English black quail

Representatives of this breed were bred artificially as a result of crossing Japanese quails with other members of their family. The resulting breed is slightly greater than its ancestor in body weight, but inferior in egg production. Females lay about 290 eggs per year.

From the peculiarities of this species, I would like to note that in order to get nutritional and therapeutic protein, it is recommended to keep the hens separately, and the male to sit down only for a certain period.

There is another type of this breed - English white quail. As the name implies, birds differ only in the color of the feather. For all other indicators, birds are absolutely identical.

Manchu gold

This breed can not boast of high rates of egg production, but it is also widely distributed among quail breeders.

With a fairly average egg production - only about 220 pieces (although with special care and a balanced diet, this figure can be increased to 260), they are not much inferior to the more prolific Japanese breed.

The point is most of the eggs. In Manchu gold, the average masonry weight is about 16 grams. In addition, the birds have a very nice golden tint of a feather.

They are not picky about food and unpretentious to the conditions of detention. Resistance to various diseases makes this variety very popular for home breeding.

"NPO" Complex

Bred in artificial conditions, the breed appeared as a result of the crossing of layers of marble rock and males of the Pharaoh variety. By its characteristics, this species is almost completely identical to the previous one. They can be bred for the purpose of obtaining meat and eggs, but you should not expect much performance from birds.