Inside: Discover the benefits of natural light and ensure your quails are getting enough. Quail need sunlight just to lay eggs!
Quail are a type of poultry that is often overlooked. They are not as popular as chicken or turkey, but they can be just as delicious and are prolific egg layers. Quail are also very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. One of the most important things to consider when raising quail, however, do quail need sunlight through the winter.
This post contains affiliate links, see my disclosure policy for more information.
Do Quail Need Sunlight?
Quail are a type of poultry that is gaining popularity among backyard chicken farmers. But quail have different needs than chickens, including how much sunlight they need.
Get updates & freebies delivered to your inbox!
While quail can tolerate cold weather better than some other poultry, they still need access to sunlight. Quail need at least 4 hours of sunlight each day in order to stay healthy.
But if you want them to lay eggs, they need about 14 hours of sunlight. Here in Nova Scotia, around the middle of September, I notice that my birds' egg production starts to really slow down. This is when our days start to get shorter.
Sunlight is important for quail just like chickens. It helps them produce vitamin D which is essential for calcium absorption, which is necessary for strong bones and good egg production.
Benefits of Forgoing Additional Light in the Winter
As light decreases naturally, so do a quail's egg-laying hormones. This is the natural flow of laying for birds. Some like to like their birds lay naturally, taking a break in the winter. But it can be an inconvenience if you are relying on those eggs.
There are people who that claim if you “force” them to lay by using artificial lighting you will shorten the bird's lifespan. I do not know if this is true, I believe it's more likely that you will shorten their laying period overall instead.
It really is a choice each has to make for themselves on whether or not to provide additional light during the fall/winter.
The Benefits of Providing Additional Light
If you need eggs all year long, then yes, provide your birds with additional light! There are many different lighting options available, pick something that works best for your needs.
Personally, I am looking for solar options for all my birds – chickens and quail. I don't want to increase my electricity bill to get more eggs.
Don't want to provide your birds with additional light but still want eggs through the winter without buying them? Try glassing them throughout the year. We water glass eggs so that we don't have to buy them throughout the winter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do quails need sunlight to lay? Yes, at least 8 hours a day.
Do quails need to be outside? No, but they are going to thrive outside more than they would inside.