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How to Breed Chinese Quails

Updated April 17, 2017

Known as the smallest species of quail, Chinese painted quails are often described as delicate, cute and very social. These birds are low maintenance and house well with birds in aviaries as well as in their own cages. Breeding Chinese painted quails is done naturally or with an incubator. Each owner has his own experience with breeding these birds. Certain owners find that their quails breed naturally, while others find it difficult due to their female not incubating the eggs. Regardless of how you decide to breed your quails, the overall process is short and simple.

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  1. Make a comfortable habitat. Chinese painted quails will not breed or incubate their eggs out in the open. Whether you house your Chinese quails in an aviary or a smaller cage, stock it with plenty of greenery and plants. Chinese quails enjoy sitting on their eggs in private. Include hiding places close to the ground throughout the habitat.

  2. Ensure that the surrounding area is secure. Chinese painted quail eggs are very small. Large gaps in wiring near the ground makes it easy for chicks to escape once they hatch. Reinforce the ground and surrounding areas with pine or cedar shavings to ensure that the chicks are safe.

  3. Place breeding Chinese painted quails in the habitat. During the breeding and incubation period, only place two breeding Chinese quails in the habitat at a time. The incubation period for Chinese painted quails is 16 days.

  4. Leave your birds alone. During the breeding and incubation period, keep interaction with your quails at a minimum aside from providing regular food and water.

  5. Remove the male. Once your hen has laid her eggs and started the incubating process, remove the male from the habitat and leave the hen alone. Continue providing food and water to the hen.

  6. Allow the chicks to hatch. Once the chicks are hatched, ensure that they are properly fed with small meal worms and finely ground starter food specifically for game-birds. Supply water in a jar lid with marbles placed in the lid to prevent the chicks from getting into the water and drowning.

  7. Collect the eggs. Once your hen lays her eggs, collect the eggs and wash them in a mild disinfectant. Store the eggs in a cool, dry place at a temperature of 15 to 18 degrees Celsius. Store the eggs with the pointed end of the egg facing down.

  8. Place the eggs in an incubator at 37.5 degrees Celsius for 14 days.

  9. Remove the eggs and place them into a caged habitat for hatching on day 14. Allow the eggs to hatch naturally.

  10. Provide food and water to the newly hatched chicks. After 24 hours, return the chicks to their mother in a regular cage. Continue providing finely ground starter food and water.

  11. Tip

    Keep male Chinese quails separate from other males to avoid conflict. Never house birds in an extremely small cage. Always ensure they have at least 4 square feet per pair of birds.


    Certain incubators have specific instructions on how to use them. Always check the instructions before incubating eggs.

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Things You'll Need

  • Small cage
  • Plants
  • Cedar or pine shavings
  • Incubator
  • Starter food
  • Jar lid
  • Marbles

About the Author

A.N. Pike has been a professional writer since 2006. She has worked for the "McKinney Courier-Gazette" and her campus newspaper, now freelancing for various clients. Pike earned her associate's degree in mass communications and journalism from Collin College.

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