The Georgia giant bobwhite quail, resembling a short fluffy chicken, is a popular poultry bird that is native to much of the northeastern United States. The bird, with its characteristic “bob-bob-white” call is readily recognizable once heard. The Georgia giant bobwhite quail is a mutation of the original bobwhite quail and, as its name indicates, is larger than its original species.
The bobwhite quail (scientific name Colinus virginianus) averages between 10 inches to 11 inches in length and has a wingspan range between 14 inches and 16 inches. The birds weigh between 14 and 16 ounces, with the females of the species being slightly smaller than the males. Georgia giant bobwhite quails are exquisitely colored in a subtle mix of golds, reds, browns and grays. The birds are prolific egg layers and some are known to lay eggs up to 300 days a year.
The Georgia giant bobwhite quail is a prey species and a popular hunting bird. According to Web Parton and Thomas Arnold in the book “Wingshooter's Guide to Kansas Upland Birds and Waterfowl,” most wild birds typically do not live to see their second birthdays while captive bobwhite quails have an average lifespan between four and five years.
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Georgia giant bobwhite quails prefer a varied diet that is rich in plant material. Popular food preferences include weeds, stems, leaves, flowers, seeds, insects and cultivated grains such as wheat, sorghum and corn. They feed typically in the mornings and evenings, spending the rest of the day in cover. Their feeding habits vary slightly with changes in the weather, with species extending their feeding activities in the winter to improve metabolism for the conservation and management of body heat.
The Georgia giant bobwhite quail is specifically bred for its high egg productivity, flight ability (long tail and wing feathers) and large size. It has improved disease resistance qualities and is relatively easy to raise. The male uses its characteristic “bob-bob white” call to attract a female during mating season. Georgia giant bobwhite quails are often interbred with regular bobwhite quails
Georgia giant bobwhite quails are typically found in rolling agricultural land with an abundance of brushy edges and thick fencerows, pastureland and farmland. Bushy tree lines on roadsides and cropped field edges are prime habitats. These birds also prefer tall woods with thick, brushy understory, arid slopes and brushy canyons. Georgia giant bobwhite quails do not hold up well in harsh and excessive winter conditions.