Japanese Quail

Coturnix japonica

Coturnix japonica

The Japanese Quail is a species of quail found in East Asia. They are a migratory species, breeding in Manchuria, southeastern Siberia, and northern Japan, and wintering in southern Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and southern China. The plumage of the Japanese Quail is a speckled yellow-brown, with a creamy white stripe above the eye. Adults are approximately 20cm in length. The species is abundant across most of its range.
The Japanese Quail is used mainly for table and egg production and is a good dual purpose bird.


Adults become sexually mature at 8 weeks. Hens will normally lay 5-9 eggs in the wild thus having a clutch of chicks in this range. The incubation period is 16-18 days. When domesticated, birds can produce more eggs. This quail will also cross-breed with many birds of the same genus and many wild and domestic hybrids have evolved over the years.


This small bird can be aggressive toward other birds and quail. It is migratory and has been known to migrate over 1000km which is extraordinary for a relatively short flighted bird. Behaviour is similar to that of other quail. They dwell in grasslands and cultivated fields. Birds will forage and hide in grassland only taking flight when disturbed. The bird has a range of vocal calls.


Japanese quail are ground-dwelling birds feeding on seeds, insects and some green vegetables.