Blue Scaled Quail

Scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) are a small, chunky, short-tailed, round-winged, ground-dwelling bird. Gray-brown head with white-tipped crest, Gray-brown upper wings Blue-gray about neck, upper back and chest with black scaling. Buff belly scaled with black, is chestnut on males in south Texas Gray flanks with white streaks Female has less conspicuous crest and dark brown streaks on sides of face and throat Immatures similar to female. Scaled quail, often called blue quail or cotton top, are native to the Chihuahuan desert and the surrounding grasslands of the southwestern portion of the United States and Northern Mexico.

Scaled quail can be seen in the early mornings and late afternoons feeding on sunflowers, cactus, green vegetation, and a variety of other plants and seasonal seeds. Scaled quail have a very high natural mortality rate and are short lived. Generally seed eaters, scaled quail usually feed in the early morning and late evening. The scaled quail is a runner, able to reach speeds above 15 miles per hour. Despite being a bird of the desert, the Scaled Quail heavily relies on water. Come early March, scaled quail start thinking about reproduction.

Raising Blue Scaled Quail

Scaled Quail are nervous birds by nature and will do best in an aviary that has more length than width. These quail also feeds on insects such as beetles and grasshoppers. Generally, Blue Scale quail are very good layers. From the time the birds are taken to the brooder house, a preventative dosage of BMD (Bacitracin) can be added in the drinking water about every two or three weeks to prevent Quail Enteritis.

They are winter hardy, provided you can place several birds in one aviary for them to form a natural covey. These birds are 11 inches long on average and weigh between five and seven ounces. One end of the pen can be boxed in with an opening for the birds to enter this area and a lift-up lid so eggs can be gathered. Most of the birds have paired up by the first of April.

Widespread and common throughout its range, the Scaled Quail is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.