Chinese painted quail in nature and in captivity
Chinese painted quail, part of the pheasant family, is often found under the name Blue Quail. He got a middle name due to his unique color.
Chinese painted quail
Among the representatives of the order of chicken-like Chinese painted quail, its size is distinguished. It is the smallest among them, growing in length no more than 14 cm and gaining weight in the range of only from 45 to 70 g.
Females and males of painted quail differ in pronounced sexual dimorphism inherent in these birds, having the following anatomical features in the description, which can be clearly seen in the photo:
- The plumage on the top and the back of the head of the males is painted red with a brown tint, the back of the head is bordered by a black stripe, the feather on the side of the head and neck is gray, from the beginning of the beak, a white strip stretches right up to the eye, under which there is a black stripe connecting the chin and throat, simultaneously framing a white beard, in front of this black stripe forms a wide spot.
- Females stand out in plumage from males with a rib cage of a red with a brown tint color and a white neck, the feather is painted in a sand tint from above, the bottom of the body is light reddish, diluted with black stripes.
Common anatomical features in the external characteristic of painted birds is a black beak and orange paws.
Wild quail rarely diverge in describing the color of their plumage. Under captive conditions among Chinese painted quails, species with color variations of the feather were bred, among which there are white, silver, brown and pink representatives.
Area and places of residence
Today, Chinese painted quail is in China, birds can be found on African territory. The resettlement of birds covers Ethiopia and Zambia, passes through the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, affects the Asian peninsula of Hindustan. Their nests were recorded within the borders of Burma and Thailand, on the Pacific island of Taiwan and Kalimantan, in the Philippines and Java, in Australia and Pacific New Guinea. On such a large area of distribution in the Afro-Asian direction, the painted individuals formed 10 of their subspecies, each of which chose its own habitat for itself.
Originally painted birds from China were kept as decorative birds in a small homeland. They were even carried with them as pets right in the pockets of clothes, warming their hands about them in the winter cold. In Europe, a blue pet appeared at the very end of the XVIII century, it is still popular for keeping among decorative poultry.
As a place of residence, quail from China prefer flat and mountainous areas, where there are dense and rather humid meadow spaces. In these places, they make paths that look like long grass tunnels. In Africa, Chinese quail can be found in small numbers, where it settles in the mountains at an altitude of approximately 1.8 km above sea level.
During the period of their unstable migratory movements, quails from China have to adapt to the rainy seasons, often in bad weather starting the nesting process. For example, quail nests in the Nigeria area begin to build upon arrival at the nesting site when active rains begin.
Chinese quail refers to monogamous representatives, keeping their pairs for mating and reproduction throughout life. The period in males begins with a high three-part sound made by them in the form of a whistle.
The nest of the described species of birds is exclusively occupied by the female. For one egg laying she usually carries from 4 to 10 eggs, in rare cases, the laying of a quail counts up to 12-14 eggs. In this case, the color of the egg shell can vary and be different shades of yellow and brown. Sometimes the eggshell is covered with contrasting bright specks of dark brown, almost black, color.
Like the nest building process, the hatching of the chicks rests solely with the female Chinese quail. The role of the male in raising chicks is reduced to the protection and protection of the nest.
Hatching chicks takes an average of 2-2.5 weeks. Newborns quail the size of a large bumblebee leave the nest on the first day of their independent life. The diet of their food is no different from the feed menu of adult birds. Already after 14-18 weeks, young growth becomes sexually mature and completely independent.
A Chinese quail may have more than one brood per year. Their number directly depends on the quality of the feed ration, and with sufficient adequate nutrition, the removal and rearing of chicks can follow one after another.
Accustomed to the wild, Chinese quail is able to live in a domestic poultry house, but at the same time, adequate conditions for Chinese quail should be provided so that birds can lay eggs and breed.
Regardless of the fact that the Chinese painted quail is small, do not underestimate the area required for their maintenance. The most optimal sizes, allowing you to keep them comfortable, will be the base of the cells and aviaries 2 * 2 meters, since the quail does not stay in pairs, but prefer to live in groups.
When keeping quails in the premises, additive poles and additional branches are not required, since these birds fly extremely rarely, preferring to move more on the ground.
An egg and seeds, such as millet and poppy seeds, are suitable for nutrition during the maintenance of young Chinese quail. An adult bird eats insects and worms, they need to include grain, greens and mineral fertilizers in their diet.
The quail artificially hatched during incubation is taught nutrition by simulating pecking by tapping a match near the food, as the quail teaches in vivo. How this happens, you can watch the video.