Any Information/Advice about Quails? Post Here! :)

Are quails worth it, for eggs? (You can answer for meat too, but I'm not very interested in that).

  • Yes

  • No

  • I'm thinking about it...

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May 17, 2017
Hi! I'm currently raising laying and meat chickens, planning on getting two ducks, and thinking about quails. I don't know much about quails, however, and I'm curious to hear what sort of things you need to know and be cautious about. ANY advice or information is totally welcome and appreciated, and there are several questions I'm thinking about. I thought asking here would be better, since many of you have experience. Here are some of my questions:

-Is feeding chicken starter, grower, and layer all right, or should I feed game bird feed?
-What sort of climate do quails need?
-Are there treats that are okay to chickens, but not to quails? And vice versa?
-I've heard parsley is bad for quails, is this true?
-Do quails need nesting boxes? If so, on the ground or lifted up?
-Do quails need roosts?
-What bedding is suitable for quails?
-When raising quail chicks, do they need a heat lamp? What temperature?
-Are there diseases I should know about that affect quails?
-Where is a good and reputable hatchery to purchase quail chicks from? Is it possible to get them sexed?
-Can chickens and quails live together? What about ducks and quails? I have roosters too, if that's relevant.

Sorry for the onslaught of questions. :p

Any answers to any of these questions are greatly appreciated, and any advice not relevant to these questions are too! Thank y'all so much! Answers to the poll are awesome too. :frow


Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
New Zealand
Chickens can carry diseases that badly affect quail so good hygiene between each type of bird is necessary. Coryza is the biggest concern when there is contact between the two.

Quail are ground dwellers so do not need roosts. They sometimes choose a secluded nesting spot but just as often pop them out where ever they happen to be.

Quail don't raise their own chicks (this ability disappears from quail very quickly when artificially raised) so the chicks need brooding just like chicken chicks.

Quail need higher protein food 22-24% for laying adults, 28-30% for growing chicks (they grow ridiculously fast).

Quail especially like clover, alfalfa and sunflower seedlings for greens. They love bugs too.

Quail are very hardy and don't use coops. They may decide to shelter in a house but more often than not they like to sleep rough. So a covered cage is a good idea.

I'd advise using solid bottomed cages. Wire bottomed cages require thorough and frequent scrubbing to prevent bumblefoot (caused by dried poop injuring a foot). I like to use straw in my cages. It doesn't end up in their water due to them flapping and kicking about. Cages should be no more than a foot high, or 6 foot plus. Quail boink upwards when startled (or just when they are happy and playing together) and a good blow to the head can kill them. 1 foot means they can't get up enough speed to do any damage.

They love to dustbathe! They can also be very tame and sweet.

Anything else, just ask.
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Just like any animals, diseases can be a problem. Personally, I haven't had any problems and have had chickens, guineas, quail, turkeys, and geese for years.

Feed, I mix 22% grower and 16% layer for my quail. It gets them some higher protein, and some of the minerals layers need, both.

Treats, my quail have never been real excited about anything specific. They just seem to be picky eaters, and pick at whatever it is, no matter what it is.

Parsley, I've no idea about. Never heard anything about it. But I don't grow it or feed it, so I never thought about it.

Nest boxes. Yes, I use small tubs of sand, just little plastic bins from Dollar General (or Dollar Tree, etc) that I open up a long side on and fill with sand. They will dust bathe in it as well as lay their eggs in it.

My quail have never shown any interest in roosting on anything. Their ancestral species hid in the tall grasses rather than in trees.

Quail need either short cages about 1 ft tall or tall aviary type cages. Anything in between can end up with dead birds, because when they are startled, they fly nearly straight up, and can hit their heads and literally break their necks. The short cages make sure they hit the top before they get to their full speed, and the tall aviary lets them fly up and arc back down without hitting the top.

As for bedding, ours live on 1/2" x 1" wire (bottom wire is coated kind), and are in structures that protect them from the elements (shed, barn, it varies, depending on where we put them when we get done with our cleaning).

Um... Don't know of any diseases different than chickens. And I have never gotten hatchery quail. I've always gotten them from individuals.

(Edited a zillion times for spelling, grammar, clarity - I'm a perfectionist *shrug*)
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Ah, missed a few things...

Some things you didn't mention, first. In some states, you need paperwork to keep bobwhite quail (Missouri, my state, is one, I know), so I only keep and raise Coturnix Quail.

The eggs are tasty, but one must be careful when cracking the shell open, because the shell is weak, and the membrane is tougher. If you're not careful, you end up with eggshell on your egg, and it's so mangled, it's gonna need to be scrambled. :lau

As for sexing, at hatch, not really, since they're so tiny. Two color varieties can be sexed within about 2-3 weeks, since the females have a bunch of spots on their chests and the males don't (their chests are reddish). Another reason I prefer Coturnix Quail! The "regular" pattern and the Blonde both have those spots. The other patterns are much more difficult to sex by feather color, though the males always have more red on their chests than the females do.

Sexing is very easy with adults, as the males have a large pouch very full of...pardon me... semen foam (best way to explain it) under their tails right behind the cloaca. With that, you can quickly sex them with about a 99% certainty. Maybe a male had just done his business with a female... Their pouch would be rather empty, and the female would be rather foamy at her cloaca. That situation can fool you occasionally. That's why I double-check them again in a few hours or thr next day.

Quail aren't enough like poultry and waterfowl to be able to live directly with them and free range and such. If they are startled, they can be gone forever. And, rather than being big enough for any barn cats or neighborhood cats to understand they're off limits, they are exactly the right side to be what cats instinctively understand as food-sized. They can't help it, it's just instinctive, like using a play toy with them.

As for the species staying together, a large enough chicken could hop off the roost and accidentally land on & fatally injure a quail. There's just too much size differential. Not only that, but the feed and water sources in chicken coops are generally 6 inches or so off the ground at minimum (often even higher), and there's no way a quail could reach such a height. And a duck pool/pond with a quail is just a recipe for disaster.

They really do need their own digs. Good thing about it is that you can make (or buy pre-made) a stack of 3 or 4 cages, complete with poop trays, that would take up less room than you would need to keep a couple of full-size chickens. :D

Think I covered everything plus a few more things you didn't ask. :)
Good luck with your decision! :frow

(Edited this one a zillion times for spelling, grammar, clarity, too. *shrug*)
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Jul 26, 2016
This info is for Coturnix Quail

-Is feeding chicken starter, grower, and layer all right, or should I feed game bird feed? They need gamebird feed or a chicken feed with higher than 20% protien. I changed my chicken over to the gamebird feed also.
-What sort of climate do quails need? They can survive in just about any climate. I give them plenty of straw or hay for them to bed down in when it gets real cold. and add frozen 20 oz bottles of water to their cages when its very hot.
-Are there treats that are okay to chickens, but not to quails? And vice versa? You can feed the quail anything you feed your chickens but mine tend to be very picky as to what they eat.
-I've heard parsley is bad for quails, is this true? dont know never feed any to them
-Do quails need nesting boxes? If so, on the ground or lifted up? no they will lay where ever they are at when its time
-Do quails need roosts? no they will not roost they are ground birds and like things to hide in or under
-What bedding is suitable for quails? i use pine shavings and hay but i know some people that use sand.
-When raising quail chicks, do they need a heat lamp? What temperature? yes just like chickens but you drop the temp sooner. at 4 weeks they are fully feathered and can go outside during the summer, winter i wait until 6 weeks but they go out from under the heat light by 3 weeks. ( I brood mine in a spare room in the house)
-Are there diseases I should know about that affect quails? They are very hearty birds
-Where is a good and reputable hatchery to purchase quail chicks from? Is it possible to get them sexed? Its very hard to sex a quail before about 4 weeks old some like the texas a&m or the tebiten are even harder because they cant be sexed by color.
-Can chickens and quails live together? What about ducks and quails? I have roosters too, if that's relevant. most people will tell you no that chicken can give the quail diseases but Ive never had a problem. I use my bantam chickens to hatch out quail anytime one of them goes broody. other than that no they dont live together because the quails live in cages and the chickens free range you cant free range quail they are dumb little birds and will not come back if you let them out.


May 17, 2017
Thanks, everyone! Very informative. I had no idea quails were kept in cages! :confused:
Hope there's more info to come from others!


Jul 9, 2015
Ontario, Canada
For coturnix quail, the best egg layers and fastest growing meat - You could put them in a small coop, rabbit hutch or cage, a walk in planted aviary would be their dream! they appreciate longer than taller enclosures as they're ground birds :)

Always a good idea to add foam padding or netting to their hard roof with quail because of jumping, which they don't do often but one hard enough hit it enough.

Coturnix quail are great but they are also silly in the sense that they don't really shelter themselves from wind and rain, so you'll have to prepare their cage according to the weather you get.

If you just want them for eggs, get a group of girls so you don't have to worry about a male possibly overmating his favorite.

I keep my quail as pets and for eggs, I would keep them even without eggs because they make me smile a lot, with their frisky popcorn like dance, little tweets and some like to be pet and snuggle, they shove their heads up to their shoulders in my loose sleeves and will just revel in it LOL.

I use an aviary, modified rabbit hutch and a rabbit cage to house them.

They don't seem to realize that they're in captivity, they never try to escape, even with the doors wide open unless I have a treat in my hand that they see - my one group turns into little monsters when they see me walk by with a banana lol!

Even if they don't want you to pick them up, they will only waddle away, at least I've never had a bird try and fly away from me, even if it was outside of its cage. This was in a room and garage but I have also brought out a pair of girls a few times on the deck and they stay in their little sandbox and hang out :p They are tame, but still not fancy on being handled, I do most of my interaction with them by putting my arms in their cage.

Of course like chickens, you can get a few spazzes :p

Pet wise, I would recommend coturnix quail over hamsters, rabbits, gineau pigs, etc. :p

Hope that all of our info and pictures give you more of an idea about coturnix quail :D


May 17, 2017
Thanks for all the info, everyone! Can you tell me where you got your quail from? I can't find any reliable hatcheries online or nearby. Thank you again!

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