2013-10-24 - Italian Coturnix Male No 1 2013-10-24 - Italian Coturnix Female No 2 2013-10-24 - Italian Coturnix Female No 3 2013-10-24 - Italian Coturnix Female No 1 2007-01-03 - Italian Group of Babies 2014-02-24 - Italian Coturnix Group of young Males


I am engaged in this project to improve the Coturnix Quail, consequently, I  monitor a lot of production parameters. One of my groups of Italian females has been in production  for 13 weeks now and has laid 100% eggs per day –  637 eggs in thirteen weeks from 7 hens – PHENOMENAL – and they are still going. (I commence recording egg production at 10 weeks of age). Above are photographs of three of the hens in this group as well as the male, which is from another high performance line I have (all the information at my disposal shows that these two lines are not closely related). I have also included a photograph of some of the chicks hatched out of this group, and young males from the same group at 28 days of age (average mass per bird at 28 days of age is 133 g -range between 123 and 165 g). Out of this group of young males I have selected only two outstanding males for future breeding. All the hens from this hatching are obviously going into the production unit.

I am again inviting breeders who would like to participate in this project to contact me. I am prepared to ship one of these young males FREE to a BREEDER in exchange for some offspring, or alternatively, should you have a phenomenal female of two, I would be interested to breed them at my place, again in exchange for offspring.


  1. very interested,will follow with enthusiasm,very keen to see what you do with the cock bird you was asking what colour it was as i hadn’t seen one like it before only in my flock until i seen your post ,i have bred about 8 males very similar to yours and have started to try and create a line off of them,have you any more pictures of him or his parents,i also have a couple of hens that i think are the female version of them they are half sisters to the cocks i am talking about,Coturnix quail are newish to me but i have bred and exhibited pigeons/cage birds and fowl all my life so most of it comes naturally to me,nice to chat with you ,all the best Phil.

  2. I am incubating at 16-24 % humidity and an average temp of 98 deg F and incubate and hatch in the same incubator and can leave the eggs on the turner and the can jump to the bottom to dry and get food and water or I can just set the eggs in the bottom and hatch I am at 100% hatch if they are fertile when I put them on the turner as well as I put the eggs in water up to 12 hrs before they go into the incubator this weeds out any eggs that may have a micro crack then they go into a tray on the bottom for 5 days without turning or touching them if on the fifth day they show fertile they go onto the turner the others are removed I don’t do a lock down or add water and what ever the humidity is in the incubator is what the chicks hatch at

    • John Thanks for the information – very interesting. Definitely something I shall try – especially the eggs in water and five day initial period. Obviously being in New Zealand the relative humidity of the air is 40 – 50 % in any way, so cannot get to 20%. If you do not have a lockdown period, do you turn the eggs until the end as well and what would the moisture be during the last few days? Thanks and Kind regards Back Yard Farmer

      • I live where the humidity outside the incubator is around 75% humidity the heat in the incubator removes most of the humidity as far as the eggs I candle every day until I can see the chick peep threw the membrane and then I will put it in the bottom area but can leave the eggs on the turner and when the chick hatches the jump down to the bottom area with no harm done to them

  3. Would you be interested in a better way to incubate with an incubator that is designed for Quail eggs but incubates at a much lower humidity

  4. Hi there ,following with interest here in the UK,Very interested in the project,you must be very limited with the gene pool you have to work with,do you pay any attention to Shape and feather pattern and feather quaility when doing your selections for future breeding lines,all the best with your project, Phil.

    • Phil. Thanks for the reply. Yes the gene pool (pudddle) in New Zealand is very limited and all birds are very inbred – hence it is relatively difficult. Yes I do look at shape and feather pattern though not one of the selection criteria, but would eliminate for obvious defects. If I select for too many characteristics, again, progress is much slower. At present egg production, body mass, fecundity, are my main focus areas with strict culling of any defects. Feather quality is an interesting one and even though their is not an exact measure for it, I am a great believer of quality feathering and would not breed from any birds with poor feathering. This is also affected by many other environmental factors, such as feeding, housing, bird density, age, etc. I do find though that there has been a dramatic improvement in the feather quality of my birds over the past year, but I put this down to better management and not genetics. I am new in New Zealand and has only been busy with this project for one year – in the past I have bred Quails for 55 years as a hobby while working as an animal nutritionist.

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