GOLDEN ITALIAN – COTURNIX QUAIL
These birds are beautiful fawn coloured with speckles all over and no bars. Males often have a brownish head that appears to belong to different bird. The Italian Quail has specifically been bred for maximum egg production and is slightly smaller in size than the other breeds, even though it lays an egg of equal size. Temperament is very docile and calm.
At present there are a few true breeding mutations of the Coturnix coturnix Quail, of which the GOLDEN ITALIAN is one. It is my intention to keep this breed pure and not mix it with other breeds such as the English White, Tibetan and Faroahs (Wild Coloured Quail) all which I also breed. Each of these breeds has specific characteristics such as plumage, conformation and size, temperament, egg and meat production ability, etc. These characteristics I intend to maintain and develop for each breed within the limitations provided by the limited genetic material available. Careful responsible breeding and strenuous selection would result in birds with as low an inbreeding co-efficient as possible and hopefully a more disease resistant, highly fertile, healthy, happy, beautiful and productive quail at the end of the day.
TIBETAN – COTURNIX QUAIL
These birds are small, dark plumed and very spirited. The Tibetan Quail is both good for meat and egg production and is slightly smaller in size than the other breeds. The temperament is aggressive and it is a strong and fast flying Quail. For these reasons, Tibetans are often bred and released for hunting.
At present I am using both Tibetans and Tuxedos to breed this strain and since the Dark Colour is dominant and Tuxedo is recessive, I hopefully will soon have pure dark Tibetans only. Tuxedos is not a breeding mutation, but a cross between a Tibetan and White Quails in any way.
WHITE – COTURNIX QUAIL
These birds are on average somewhat larger than the other Strains, but in New Zealand show a lot of variation and poor quality with many birds obviously highly inbred with resultant loss of vitality and size. White plumed with the odd dark spot. Birds are well adapted to cage conditions. The White Quail is both good for meat and egg production and has been developed at A & M Texas University as a real Dual Purpose bird. Also in the UK a White variant has been bred that is smaller than the USA variety. I suspect that initially both breeds were present in New Zealand, but due to small numbers have been crossed and highly inbred. These quail are poor flyers and has never been bred for release and hunting. I am selecting for uniformity, vitality and size at present, but unlike many International Breeders do not place too much emphasis on size only. I think it dangerous to go for larger and larger birds all the time like the Americans many a time do.
PHAROAH – COTURNIX QUAIL
The domesticated Pharoah Quail is similar in characteristics and colour to the wild Coturnix coturnix. These birds are native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. Migratory habits resulted in some birds landing in Egypt and this is where the initial domestication has happened. Since the twelfth century these birds have been raised in Japan for meat , eggs as well as pets and for their singing. Coturnix coturnix Quails were introduced into the United States in 1870. Even though the Domesticated and Wild Quails are very closely related they normally do not naturally interbreed, even in Europe where wild flocks of both breeds would be found in the same area. Yellow brown speckled plumage with a white strip above the eye. Males have rusty brown breast feathers. The Pharoah colouring is exactly as for the Wild Quails. Birds are well adapted to cage conditions.