P>In the oesophagus, mucins, which originate from oesophageal submucosal glands, play an important role in the mucosal protection as a pre-epithelial barrier. In this study, the structure of cervical and thoracic parts of oesophagus of Japanese quail during the post-hatching period was compared, and the contents of carbohydrate and gastric mucin MUC5AC of the oesophageal glands in these parts were analysed at the light microscope levels by applying conventional histochemical and immunohistochemical methods. The oesophageal glands were present at hatching, located in the laminae propria. The numbers of glands were different in the cervical and thoracic parts, but the differences were found to be insignificant. The thoracic part has the oesophageal tonsils which are associated with the glands. Oesophageal tonsil was formed from day 5 after hatching. In quail of all ages, the secretory epithelium of glands contained neutral sialomucins and weakly sulphomucins. The cells in the neck region of secretory units contained sialomucins, while the cells of excretory ducts had strongly sulphomucins. Sialomucin containing cells in the secretory units increased with the advance of age and glandular development. But, in the secretory units, the sulphomucin content of glands was more in the thoracic part. The secretory epithelium of tonsil-associated glands contained mostly sulphomucins and a little sialomucin. From the hatching, MUC5AC mucin was detected in the cells of excretory ducts. Although the lymphoepithelium of the tonsil units exhibited negative reactions to all histochemical methods, it showed positive reaction to MUC5AC mucin antibody. In conclusion, the cervical and thoracic parts may be functionally different and the thoracic part of oesophagus was transformed into an immunological organ following day 5 after hatching.