We have seven button quail and they are great little pets. We have a mix of male and female, although we are honestly not sure how many are male and how many are female.
They have been outside now with the small Silkie chickens for a few weeks (they do okay with small chickens but would likely not be safe with bigger chickens) after living mostly on the sun porch of our house. As you can kind of tell from the video, we have three different kinds of wiring going around the bottom of the pen they are in, both so they can’t sneak out through the holes, and so that snakes can’t get in and get them.
They seem pretty happy outside but will probably come back in for the winter.
Anyway, one of the main issues with button quail is the noise they make. In pretty much every other respect, they are great pets. The females lay a lot of eggs, although that has slowed down after the first year or so that we had them. And the eggs, although they are smaller, taste pretty much the same as chicken eggs, at least to us.
The quail are really cute and fun to watch. They are also easy to care for.
But, as anyone who has them will tell you, both male and female button quail are noisy little buggers. And they will make noise all day and night. We are pretty used to the sound, but we can’t imagine them working well in an apartment or someplace where neighbors are very close by.
So, for those wondering how loud they are, we made the above video. This is just one minute from an average day in the life of seven button quail and you can hear them make their distinctive, loud chirp/trill noise at least several times.
If you don’t mind what you hear and do decide to get some button quail, we have a couple of other tips:
1) They love small spaces that they can hide in. On the sun porch, they had lots of boards of bricks they hid under. Outside they have found a hiding spot under one of the logs that has a curved space underneath it. They love to go in there.
2) Oddly, ours really loved having stuffed animals. We don’t have any outside, but we had put a few outside on the sun porch and, often, during cold weather, we would find the quail curled up against and/or on top of the stuffed animals. It was like their own little home base and seemed to make them feel safe and comfortable.
3) Finally, its’ good to offer them a little tray of sand, which they love to walk through and play in. The sand helps keep their feet clean. Without the sand, they tend to get little poop balls stuck on their feet. (We previously wrote an article about this.)