Two years after engaging in this breeding program to improve quails in New Zealand we are starting to see results. Golden Italians, one of the five breeds we are breeding, are 250 – 300 gram live mass for the females and 230 – 250 for the males. Many of the hereditary defects were eliminated and birds have excellent fecundity and vitality. Egg production is constantly in excess of 90%. One of the traits we also select for is temperament and my birds at present are very calm, docile and happy, a trait that is essential for Coturnix coturnix as they are, and always will be, cage birds in New Zealand.
It may be that in the nearby future we may shelve some of the breeds for which progress seems to be slower than for others. Being a small time breeder, numbers are always important and the less breeds you keep, the more you could keep of the remaining breeds and hopefully will make selection and progress more effectively.