A Forest Garden - Record of Progress / Sustainable Living

Japanese (Coturnix) Quail Dust Bath

This is hopefully the first of many articles about my Japanese Quail.

They are delightful little creatures, curious, friendly, individual, and wary of strangers.

They are smarter than what I was expecting, and have charmed their way into our family as the egg supply, not as the meat supply!

So here in this video we have one of the hens having a dust bath, and she seems to be loving it.

Watching over is the cock, or the roo, as they are sometimes alternatively referred as (but I just call them ‘males’, sometimes even ‘the MAN’).

As you can see, the dust bath is a regular habit at Quail central, and that reminds me that I need to buy another bag of sand.

It so happens that they like some dried coffee grounds thrown in with the sand (triple washed sand pit sand is the kind I use), and just guess who happens to have a spare ton or so of the stuff lying around?
+Shane Genziuk

21 thoughts on “Japanese (Coturnix) Quail Dust Bath

  1. I dont believe it! I sight dedicated to quails! And just around the corner from me. I am in the city of portphillip. We have a sweet girl called laiyle the quail and she lights up my life constently! She’s an indoors gal and just loves her cuddles and kisses. I never tire of her crazy antics and she is allways up to something or into something. She can hear me when im coming home and calls out insesintly untill I get in and give her cuddles. She loves fussing around the place and I love it when she snuggles into my neck and croons softly to me. Sheer bliss!
    Id love to pop a photo of her up here and a video of her being a laiyle. How do I go about doing that?
    Love and light, dassi.


  2. Pingback: Dust bathing quails « Croydon Food Swap

  3. Pingback: About Quail – Coffee Grounds Dust Bath | Coffee Grounds to Ground

  4. Yes! She gives us a pretty little egg every day! We cooked one up into a fried egg. It was so cute. The eggs are remarkably large for such a little bird. It was really funny, because we didn’t know whether she was a boy or girl until one day when we found a little egg on the floor! We would find them all over the place and, in fact, one day my son was holding her and showing her to a friend and she dropped an egg out right on the floor! But now that we have her little home all set up for her, with her dust bath, food and water inside, she usually lays them in her dust bowl. She was like clockwork every day, until I freaked her out by rearranging the furniture. She got really territorial, and started attacking anyone who was wearing white shoes or socks if they came withing about 5 or 6 feet of her two “safe” spots – under the computer desk or under the tv. It was pretty funny, because she would put her head down, fluff up until she looked about 3 times her real size, stick her little bottom in the air and charge at the intruder! She would just keep throwing her little body at your foot until you moved out of her “zone”. For a teeny little bird, she looked quite fierce, and your natural instinct is to run away. Quite effective, actually. She eventually readjusted, but I’ll think twice before I rearrange the furniture again!


  5. I also have a little Coturnix quail for a pet. We got her when she was 3 days old and she was just a little ball of fluff! She’s an indoor, free-roaming girl, and is such a sweetie! She lets us hold her, and my 8 year old daughter even wraps her up in a towel and carries her like a baby! She’s picked out a couple of places that she mostly hangs out in, and we put newspaper down in those areas, but she really doesn’t make much of a mess. Her name is Cheep Cheep and she also LOVES her dust baths!


  6. This is very interesting and has got me interested in keeping quails too! We have chooks now. How are they compared to chooks? Pls write more about them so we can learn the requirements. Thanks!


    • Well Karen, I’m still learning about quail (learning as I go!), and from what I can tell, they are similar to chickens but smaller. Maybe a big difference is that you can’t let quail out to roam without some kind of barrier between them and the outside world. I have a mate with chooks and he let’s them walk around the block like dogs, but these quail would not last very long unprotected, and likely to fly straight into a wall or fence as soon as they get spooked.
      Thanks for leaving some comments on the site, hope you enjoyed the post.


      • My boys are very keen after they saw your video. I’ve read that they don’t need a nesting box and will lay anywhere they like, is that true? Also, are they happy just to stay in their cage all the time? Our chooks also roam freely in our yard and complain when they are not let out on time!

        Do you know what category they come under in the council limits and hence how many can we have max? I only know they don’t count as chooks, that’s all.

        Also, any ideas where to get them from? Looking forward to learning more from your posts!


      • Hi Karen, just to answer back on those questions.
        The quail are happy in their cages and will lay eggs in their dust bath most of the time, although even today there was one just next to their feeder tray.

        I think their category is determined by your local council? I’m in Glen Eira, and they specify that you need a permit for:

        keeping more than six poultry, 20 pigeons or any general livestock.

        I’d suggest you check out your council website and see if they have something similar to ours. So what I can tell is that they are considered poultry, and the males do crow but very little and never early in the morning.

        As to buying them – give this site a go – http://www.quailsaustralia.com.au/ForSale.aspx. They seem to have a few breeders on there and another option might be to do a general google search and see what comes up in your area. I might get into breeding them so one day who knows!!
        Many more quail posts to come, thanks for writing in Karen.


      • Thanks for all the info. I will surely check with the council as they have listed poultry, pigeons and other caged birds. So need to ask them what quails fall under.


    • Such an inspiration we’ve been home veg grwroes for around 10 years, but now have a new house where we are starting again not quite from scratch The oldie who lived here was 90+, and his favourite thing was growing onions! I dug the soil through a few weeks ago, and it was ALIVE with worms Wow.My next aspiration is the meat side of eating, so I’m glad I’ve found your blog, courtesy of The Design Files!


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