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King Quail Breed: Everything You Need to Know About Them

King Quail

Are you planning to have a King quail to add a pop of color to your flock?

This quail breed of Asian origin may be among the smallest of all quails, but they won over many agriculturists’ hearts because of their unique coloration.

The best part is they’re available in many color variations!

But are they really a suitable addition to your flock?

In this guide to King Quail World, we’ll discuss:

  • the origin and characteristics of this blue-breasted quail
  • their uses and lifespan
  • and their needs and breeding habits

By the end of this article, we’ll help you weigh in if quail is suitable for quail farming or not.

Whether you’re considering this breed for your ornamental flock collection or quail farming business, this we’ll benefit you.

But before that, here’s a quick overview of what this breed is and what it can offer.

King Quail Breed Overview

Origin: Asia 
Average Size: Male: 4.7–5.5 inches
Female: 4.7–5.5 inches but usually bigger than males
Color: Blue, brown, silver, black, red, white
Clutch Size: 5 to 13 eggs
Flying Ability: Short distances
Climate Tolerance: Warm
Disposition: Friendly to other birds but shy to people
Lifespan: 3 to 6 years in the wild
13 years in captivity

King Quail Origin and History

King Quails are also known as Chinese Painted Quails or blue-breasted quail.

They are small, ground-dwelling birds mostly found in the wilds of Australia and other parts of Asia, such as China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and many more.

They are popular amongst bird lovers due to their charming personality and striking appearance. 

These blue-breasted Asian quails have a long history of being kept as pets and are believed to have been domesticated in China over 2,000 years ago.

These birds are known for their beautiful feathers, a mix of brown, blue, black, and white. They are also known for their distinctive call, which sounds like a series of whistles. 

In the wild, King Quails are found in grasslands and scrublands, where they feed on various seeds and insects.

Over the years, King Quails have been bred for their beauty and temperament, becoming a popular choice for avian enthusiasts worldwide. 

They are a great addition to any aviary or backyard and will bring joy to anyone who decides to keep them as pets.

King Quail Size and Characteristics

King Quail Characteristics and Appearance

These birds are known for their distinctive characteristics and unique appearance, which make them a popular choice for quail enthusiasts and collectors.

King Quail Size

One of the most notable characteristics of the King Quail is its small size. Usually, females are bigger than males

They are one of the smallest species of quail, measuring only 10-12 cm long and weighing 30-40 grams. 

Despite their small size, they are amazingly agile and can move quickly through dense vegetation.

King Quail Feather Color and Pattern

In terms of appearance, King Quails are easily recognizable thanks to their distinctive coloration. 

They have a brown and buff-colored body, with a black and white striped face and a distinctive white eye-ring

The male king quails have a bright blue patch on their throat, while the females have a more subdued coloration.

Yes, as usual, female king quails are duller than males.

And that’s what helps people tell the sexes apart.

But due to selective breeding, King quails are now available in many color varieties, including:

  • Red-breasted King quail
  • Bluefaced
  • Silver
  • White King quail
  • Golden pearl
  • Cinnamon
  • Tuxedo pied
  • White-winged pied
  • Splash pied

The most popular among these varieties is silver king quail, followed by white.

You may be wondering how breeders created these variations.

Well, breeding quails in different color varieties lead to the existence of other color combinations.

And of the most magnificent of them all is the splash pied, which has white patches that make the quail look like it was splashed with white paint.

Overall, the King Quail is a fascinating and unique bird worth studying and appreciating. 

Whether you are a bird enthusiast or simply curious about the natural world, King Quail can capture your heat.

King Quail Communication and Perception

These quails use a variety of calls to communicate between the sexes.

One of the most fascinating is their way of communication which is the tidbitting call. 

For instance, when a male King quail finds a little worm, he’ll give it to the female while simultaneously uttering brief, monotone “peeps.”

Females occasionally make the tidbits call for the male.

And mating call happens when the male shows up to the female King quail.

When approaching a woman he wants to woo, he will pump out his chest, fold his wings, and move around. 

His breast feathers are reddish-chestnut. He might cluck softly and low.

When no one else is around, both sexes make loud, single-note crowing cries.

Both of them make a three or four-note crow sound. 

When the quail is standing upright with its beak pointing upward, it creates descending tone that sounds like “quee-kee-kee,” “pip-it-kan,” or “pip-pit-it-kan” with the last note having a short length and descending pitch.

Males can also make low, roaring sounds before fully switching to a three or four-note crow.

As their neck and throat swell, the quails squat, fluff their feathers, lift their wings slightly, and make a low, hoarse “korah” sound. 

Female King Quail and Male King Quail

King Quail Temperament and Lifespan

King quails love socializing with other birds. They are mostly seen in pairs or groups on the ground while foraging. 

They don’t like being alone in a place, so they look for companions and form a group consisting of one male to two females.

However, they are shy around people and search for an enclosure to hide to feel secure and safe.

Is King Quail Noisy?

King quails are a quiet kind of bird.

However, the males tend to become noisy during mating season to communicate and send messages and signals to their fellow birds and find a mate.

What is the Lifespan of a King Quail?

The average lifespan of a king quail bird is 3 to 6 years.

If they are in the wild, they can only live up to 1.5 years.

However, in captivity, they can live up to 13 years when given proper care and attention.

Uses of King Quail Breed

Because of the size of king quails, they are not preferably served as table meat.

Instead, they are usually used as ornamental pets and hobbies because of their unique looks.

However, some people breed them for business purposes and training dogs in hunting.

They also kept king quails for eggs and meat, especially for quail meat lovers. 

King Quail Distribution and Habitat

King quails can be found in various countries in Asia, including India eastward, southeast China, Indonesia, South East Asia, the Philippines, New Guinea, and northern and eastern Australia.

They are sporadically spread over north and east Australia.

It is typically seen around the seashore. 

King Quail birds can be found near the shore in tropical and temperate shrublands and grasslands.

They grow in dense ground cover in moist or swampy areas, including grass, bushes, ferns, and herbs.

Foraging Blue-breasted Quail

King Quail Threats and Conservation Status

Due to their miniature size, and poor flying ability, these birds are prone to many threats in the wild, including:

Loss of Habitat

Human activity has significantly impacted this species, especially regarding habitat degradation caused by prolonged drought, land development, improper fire regimes (like frequent burning for fire control), and increased salinity.


Since King Quail often uses burned vegetation 18 to 24 months after a burn, improper fire regimes pose a serious hazard to the species’ habitat. 

King Quail requires dense low vegetation that inevitably opens up after a fire and reveals them to predators. 

It also decreases food availability because regular burning, for example, once a year, makes the habitat uninhabitable.


Aside from losing their habitat, Kinq quails are also susceptible to feral cats and fox attacks. 

Despite being able to fly, many of them fall victim to the hands of their wise predators.

But fortunately, these birds are resilient enough.

They’re currently listed by the International Union of Conservation for Nature or IUCN as “Least Concern” because, based on their assessment last 2016, their numbers have been stable throughout the years.

Silver King Quail

King Quail Breed’s Breeding Habits and Reproduction

These birds are monogamous and build close ties with their partners.

We don’t know much about this species’ courtship and reproduction habits because their mating system hasn’t been properly studied.

But the average female lays 5 to 13 eggs, which she takes care of for 16 days.

Soon after hatching, their young leave the nest and learn to survive independently by observing their mother.

They become independent around six to seven weeks, and in just three months, they reach sexual maturity and can already start breeding and reproducing the next generation of King quails.

How to Care for King Quail 

Since quails are tiny creatures, they need extra care because they’re susceptible to injuries when held by kids.

But caring for King Quail can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

So here are some tips to help you care for these adorable birds in the best way possible. 

Provide Quality King Quail Diet

If provided with a wide variety of high-quality food, plenty of water, and a clean environment, quail are resilient tiny birds. They prefer a calm existence, so try not to bother them too much.

What Does King Quail Eat?

Quails are granivorous.

But if you want to ensure they’re healthy, provide a diet that includes a balanced mix of seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

However, their needs change depending on their age and the biological phases they go through, like egg laying. 

So make sure they receive the best quail feed that’s appropriate for their needs.

For the chicks, give them a starter feed high-protein starter diet until they’re six to eight weeks old.

Then, give them a finisher feed when they’re eight weeks old if you raise them for meat.

But if you’re raising your quails for egg production, provide them a developer feed until they’re 20 weeks old.

If you want your poultry bird to be highly productive, get a layer diet for quails consisting of:

  • at least 11% protein
  • a maximum of 10% fiber
  • a minimum of 4% fat
  • and a maximum of 12% moisture

Treating them like small bugs can also help them live happily and prevent stress.

Additionally, ensure they have access to clean water at all times.

It’s also important to keep their living area clean and well-maintained. 

Make Them a Clean and Spacious Home

Provide them with a spacious and comfortable living environment. A roomy quail cage or aviary will give them plenty of space to move around and exercise. 

It would be best to clean their cage or aviary regularly to prevent the buildup of waste and bacteria. 

Lastly, spend time with your King Quail to help them feel comfortable and secure in their new home.

You can provide your King Quail with a happy and healthy life with a little effort.

Give them Free-range Time

One of the best ways to raise quail birds is the natural way.

So, go give your quails some time to forage for bugs, insects, and other food sources that can help supplement their feed.

But you must set up a fence or enclosure because they might fly away.

So, it’s best to set up a large aviary that replicates their natural habitat if possible.

King Quail for Sale

Where to Buy King Quail?

You can usually find King Quail for sale at local pet stores or online retailers specializing in birds or poultry. 

Try contacting your nearest pet store or checking out websites like Amazon or Chewy to see if they have any King Quail available. 

If you still can’t find one in your area, here are some websites that sell pure King Quail breeds.

These breeders offer purebred King quails and many more.

But to ensure you pick the healthy King quails, it’s best to purchase them from reputable breeders near your area.

Is King Quail Suitable for Quail Farming?

Since they’re a miniature breed measuring only about 5.5 inches and weighing under 2 ounces, King quail isn’t a practical option for quail farming.

There are other cost-effective breeds that are more productive and profitable, like the Coturnix quail.

They’re usually raised as pets or as a colorful addition to your flock.

Pros and Cons of Raising King Quails

To help you decide if this breed is a suitable addition to your flock, we compiled the pros and cons of King quails below.

Pros & Cons of Raising King Quail

  • Cute bird with an amazing personality
  • Quiet and not aggressive before mating season
  • Can live up long when captivated
  • Don’t require a big space
  • Small population
  • Low egg and meat production
  • Require extra care

King quails communicating

Final Thoughts on King Quail Breed

Despite being tiny and not suitable for small-scale quail farming, the King quail breed can provide you with eggs and add color to your flock.

However, you need to know that you should not hand these quails to kids who can’t handle them safely because they’re prone to injuries.

And this charming pet breed needs to have foraging space or at least an aviary to live close to nature.

This way, you can keep them happy and healthy.

Looking for other fancy quail breeds that can with a unique appearance and beautiful coloration?

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