|The Late Bloomer
|Lil Annie was the smallest of the incubator birth group. She is now a robust peeper.
Excalfactoria chinensis is a delightful little quail
commonly known as Button Quail or Chinese Painted Quail. Buttons are the smallest of the "true" quails, about four inches
long, and are native to Australia, Southeast Asia, India, etc. In their natural habitat, they are found only in China but
have found their way into the homes and hearts of people in almost every country in the world.
Most often they are used as micro janitors in the bottoms
of aviaries, where they do a good job of cleaning up seeds other birds leave behind. They are also used widely by commercial
butterfly breeders and in greenhouses, where they help keep insect and spider populations under control.
small, neat, and relatively quiet, (although they do have a fairly extensive "vocabulary"). Their antics are always amusing,
and they are very active, always searching the ground for seeds and other finds. Button quails can become very tame, especially
if raised by hand, and may be willing to eat from your hand or even let you scratch under their chin!
In addition to
the normal "wild type", they come in silver, white, browns and various combinations and shades of these colors, also known
Buttons do not have a very long life span; females' can be
as short as 18 months, but if they are given proper care and nutrition a button hen can live three to four years or even more.
Males average four to five years but have lived to be as old as nine!