Blue Scale Quail, Callipepla Squamata, are brilliantly colored native game birds of North America. Blue Scale Quail are sometimes called "Cotton Tops" as the feathers on their heads appear cottony, fluffy, and light especially on a sunny day. But they are mainly known for their blue scales - they have shiny blue-gray feathering with elegant black lacing, resembling scales, covering most of their bodies. Females are similar to males in coloration.
Blue Scale Quail are active birds and sound runners, being able to reach speeds of 15 miles per hour. Blue Scale Quail tend to run, rather than fly if startled. In the winter, Blue Scale Quail will gather into large coveys or flocks, which sleep together for warmth and protection.
The wild native range of Blue Scale Quail is south-western U.S. as well as northern and central Mexico. They usually inhabit open, dry grassland and scrubby desert areas.
Blue Scale Quail can reach mature size in 12 weeks and weigh between 6-7 oz. They are 10 -12 inches in length.
Blue Scale Quail are adaptable and hardy birds and do very well in captive environments. They need space and should not be kept in wet conditions. Providing your Blue Scale Quail with roosting space, as well as sheltering shrubbery or brush would be ideal. Feeding a non-medicated game bird starter crumble would be appropriate.
For hatching eggs, you will need either an incubator on hand or a broody bantam hen that can be employed for incubating the eggs. We recommend a styrofoam tabletop style incubator for your first-time hatching eggs. We also recommend an automatic turner for 12 or more eggs. And because of the small size of quail eggs, you should be sure to have a special quail-size rack or quail-size cups for the automatic turner in your incubator.
Incubation Time: Blue Scale Quail Hatching Eggs will hatch in about 21-23 days.
Temperature/Humidity: Blue Scale Quail Hatching Eggs will hatch best if incubated at 100 degrees F, decreasing to 98.5 degrees F during the final three days of incubation. Humidity should be kept at 50% until day 19 when it should be raised to 60-65% until the chicks hatch. Turning the eggs 3 times a day for the first 19 days is a solid practice. After day 19, stop turning the eggs.
Special Incubation Notes: Start up your incubator 2-3 days before your eggs are due to arrive. This gives your incubator time to fully come to temperature and to stabilize humidity levels. It is also a good practice to let your newly arrived eggs rest at room temperature for about 12 hours before placing them in an incubator. Place them large side up in a clean and dry egg carton. Incubators should be kept in a room with a constant even temperature and out of the sun.