Bobwhite Quail Hatched in Captivity

Discover how bobwhite quail will hatch their eggs in captivity when provided a natural environment.

Share with a Friend...


It made sense to share this second batch of wonderful baby quail.

There are eight and talk about busy little birds, they’re all over the place and some have even figured out how to zip through the chicken wire.

This really wasn’t much of a surprise and the funny thing is they zip right back most of the time.

Female Bobwhite quail looking over her flock

Observing quail behavior is the best part of a natural environment.

This experience has given me an opportunity to learn more and really discover how interesting and resourceful they are.

For starters the adults don’t really hover over the babies after they’re a week old.

They tend to keep more of a look out as the little ones go off and discover nearby.

If a threat is present they zoom in and handle things while the little ones just keep doing what they’re doing.

Bobwhite quail with her young

The entire adult flock looks over the young and last week when a few escaped they started called out and eventually made it back home.

This sanctuary wasn’t really designed for hatching baby quail because in the beginning I was purchasing day old quail chicks.

They were raised in brooders and entered the sanctuary between 3 and 4 weeks old; escaping wasn’t an issue.

Now that I know it’s possible to hatch quail in captivity my next sanctuary will include a simple modification of additional boards towards the bottom to work as low level wall.

I don’t want to go too far up because we still want bugs to enter.

Baby Bobwhite Quail

I’m going to guess this quail is female; her markings are much lighter than some of the others.

At two weeks her feathers are coming in and by next week she’ll have fully feather wings.

It’s amazing how fast they mature, the process is slower in the sanctuary because they’re not under artificial light.

The experience is better when nature takes over; I could honestly sit and watch them for hours.

Female Bobwhite with her baby quail

In this photo I wanted you to see the size difference, these little ones are tiny.  Newborns are a little larger than a quarter if that helps put it in perspective.

They’re level of curiosity is priceless because everything is a new discovery.  I LOVE that!

Bobwhite quail hatched naturally in captivity

This image may be a better comparison, this quail is standing next to landscaping timbers.  In another week he’ll be walking upwards to discover higher ground because they enjoy mimicking the adults.

I’ve supplemented their diet with a little feed but for the most part they’re out and about foraging, which is fantastic because their instincts are strong.

Many times they just take off from the adults only to look up in a panic to notice they’re alone.

When this happens they squeal and one adult will go back and find them and they call out.

During the day when the temperatures are warm the babies are more active.

Male Bobwhite sharing a meal with young

Round two has so far been a great success and once these little ones are four weeks old I’ve decided to box up all the quail including the adults and take them to the new property.

Since we’re right next door to a wild life preserve it makes sense to set this batch free.

In the meantime if quail have sparked your interest stick around and keep reading more about these awesome little birds that are too often overlooked.


Share with a Friend...


  1. Mike says:

    Do the Cortunix Quail hatch out their own?

    1. Carole says:

      I never tried, they’re a very domestic breed. You would need to raise them in a natural environment for that to even be a possibility- undisturbed. They do like to brood but with quail breeds in general the minute that nest is disturbed the majority of the time they will leave it. Don’t handle your coturnix, let them live naturally and it could be possible.

  2. So sweet! We used to have quails when I was a child – they were always my favorite.

  3. Jane says:

    I wish I could visit! I just love these sweet babies…I think we’d all love to sit around and watch them.

    1. Carole says:

      They are pretty fantastic, I do enjoy watching them they’re very resourceful..

  4. Cecilia says:

    How awesome! I think I could watch them for hours too! I’m very curious how releasing them will go. Will watch for your updates!

    1. Carole says:

      It is really awesome I released a few last year right in my garden and it was incredible. They stayed around for about a month and then when November hit they eventually took off. I had a few come back this year to visit, I’m assuming they’re from that same batch and some of my neighbors (acres away) have mentioned they have quail at their place. Releasing is so cool, words cannot express but happy tears pretty much says it all.

  5. George Lloyd says:

    Thanks for sharing, Carole. I am about to retire and am planning on raising chickens, mostly for eggs but if you have chickens I gets it will sometimes be about the meat too. I am tossing around the idea of raising quail as well. Your information is valuable and appreciated. It gives me confidence that I could do this as well, so again thank you.

    1. Carole says:

      Yes better to embrace raising chickens for eggs and meat, it’s a good thing so don’t name them.. I just refer to the chickens as birds, ladies or sir.. They are some really neat dual breeds you may enjoy. The quail though that’s where it’s at, I love these birds and I’m so glad others are enjoying this information. These birds are often over looked due to size. I believe if the desire is there you can accomplish anything. If I can help answer questions please feel welcome to ask.

Comments are closed.