Well, what happened ?
I remember that in Belgium and in the Netherlands a few years ago, true rain quails (Coturnix coromandelica) had become very rare, almost nobody had any more of them…
Yes, there were still a few bandits in the north of the country who, crossing males of rain quail with females of harlequin quail, cheated the most credulous and the beginners but for those who knew them well … true pure birds could only be found close to a few still alive “old breeders”.
They had often aged birds, very consanguineous and laying no more so much, or with a fecundity as low as the survival rate of chicks able to extricate themselves from their eggs. Finally, a specie in perdition …
The fault given at the end of the imports but, according to me, more to the breeders themselves who had let degenerate their breeding lines and all those who, for lack of interest, did not know how to distinguish them from the harlequin quail (especially the females) and who hybridized them together for years …
I remember that many breeders were literally crying for a few ones. Dutch and German breeders offered large sums of money. Americans also desperately asked for, and here we were no longer able to raise birds because the females were practically no longer laying eggs and the weak chicks died all.
I’ve seen ads from buyers who wanted to buy everything that could be, and many breeders in Belgium finally have sold …
I also remember having identified on a Google Map all the known breeders in Belgium and by our neighbors and then asked everyone where their animals came from.
I quickly realized that it was everywhere … the same blood !
In vain I tried to make contact with breeders in Turkey because I knew that the species exist in the wild in some parts of this country. The language barrier was really a big hurdle for me.
In Italy too, it was not easy to find breeders but I had more ease with the language and I finally ended up in contact with a breeder telling me the same difficulties and after a few e-mails I learned that his birds came from a known breeder in the Netherlands. Misery, still the same blood !
Except a known good breeder in England, who had bought wild eggs brought in UK by a Pakistani man, and having beautiful birds breeding normally, here we were really … in the shit.
And then, as if by magic, like many other breeders, I saw incredible amounts of rain quail released for sale in 2018 on the major specialized bird-ads websites. In Belgium and the Netherlands, a large number of pairs of these animals could easily be purchased. Some breeders claimed to have raised dozens and then put them on sale. It seemed really incredible. This continued until 2019.
At this moment, birds of this species are available everywhere and all year round but have you seen them?
Many of them are vulgar hybrids identifiable at three meters distance.
Among the males, we find subjects not too bad but more orange than really beige on the flanks.
Among the females, almost all are very dark on the chest and alsoon the throat. In my opinion much too dark.
I looked carefully in the books, on the internet, the wild birds photographed in the nature by naturalists and nature photograph’s.
Just look for yourself how should be a female of rain quail, and then look at all these birds, examine them simply and make your own opinion …
I also saw pictures and videos of young rain quails born by my English friend’s and who are 100% pure from Pakistan, I really would like to have a few of those birds in my aviaries, the others … no.
Well, what happened ?