What Can Quail Eat?

Inside: Once you figure out what quail can eat they are really easy to take care of. Quail really enjoy getting a treat now and again too.

Once you figure out what quail can eat they are really easy to take care of. Despite the quail’s fragile appearance and reputation, they are quite hardy creatures that are relatively easy to feed. Quail also really enjoy getting a treat now and again just like other birds.

coturnix quail in their cage with text overlay

This post may contain affiliate links, see my disclosure policy for more information.

What Can Quail Eat?

Coturnix quail are picky eaters, but once you understand what quails eat and what they need, it all makes sense. When I say picky, I mean that they aren't going to go crazy for every treat like chickens do.

Get updates & freebies delivered to your inbox!

Quail are considered granivores. Granivores have a diet that consists mainly of grains and seeds. However, this does not mean that they won’t eat the kind of things that most birds enjoy, like bugs, worms, and plant matter. 

If you aren’t familiar with your quails’ dietary needs, consider merely sticking to commercial feed formulated for game birds until you are a bit more experienced.

coturnix quail in their cage with text overlay

Treats for Coturnix Quail

Quail, just like chickens like treats too. One of their favorite treats is mealworms. Just like with chickens you don't want to feed them too many.

Scratch grain is a favorite for our Coturnix quail. I give it to them once a week or so, or if the weather forecast is calling for extremely cold temperatures. It is a nice fatty treat.

Corn – give them corn on the cob! Whether it's corn that you have already eaten and you are giving them the cob, or a full cob of corn, they'll love it.

Cucumber – they enjoy fresh cucumber, just slice it down the middle and they'll clean it out.

Peaches and berries are a sweet treat. Just don't feed them too much as they are high in sugar. These are often softer which they seem to enjoy.

Clover – my Coturnix quail go crazy for clover. I grab handfuls of it from the yard for them and they will bounce around their cage like popping popcorn.


Tips for Feeding Coturnix Quail

  • If the feed comes in pellet form, try breaking it up into (quail) bite-sized pieces. Make sure that the pieces are consistent, or the quail will just pick out the pieces they like best and leave the rest. This can result in an in-balanced diet.
  • Avoid mashed feed, if you can. If you must use mash feed, make sure that it is not too powdery. The powder can easily get in between the quail's toes and cause infections.
  • Adult quail will eat about 20 to 25 grams of food a day.

Quail like to eat seeds and greens. They enjoy millet, they enjoy fresh herbs you can grow for them. They are relatively easy to care for and feed, both their main feed and feeding them treats.

Remember treats are not to replace feed. If you want your quail to be laying eggs then they need to be getting the right amount of protein, about 28%.

quail in grass

Don't Feed Quail these:

There are some things, just like chickens, that they just can't have. These items can make your birds sick, or even kill them, neither of which you want for healthy laying birds.

There are 14 things that you need to avoid:

  • High-Sodium Foods
  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Caffeine
  • Highly Processed Foods
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Raw Beans
  • Moldy or Spoiled Foods
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Raw Potatoes
  • Sugary or Artificially Sweetened Foods
  • Highly Spiced Foods
  • Plants Toxic to Birds
  • Large Quantities of Bread

I am not saying that if they get a tiny bit of these foods your quail will die, however, I am also not saying they won't. I don't take a risk with my flocks because I want healthy birds. I want them laying eggs.

You have to decide if you are going to be careful in how you feed scraps or treats to your flock.

Get our FREE Quail Keeper Journal!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What should you not feed quail? Avocado, caffeine, chocolate, grape seeds, meat, parsley, rhubarb, the stems and leaves of tomato plants, salty foods and treats, uncooked potatoes, and most citrus fruits.

    How much food does a quail need per day? Adult quail need between 14 g and 18 g of commercial feed per day.

    Want More?

    Advantages of Raising Quail

    Hatching Coturnix Quail

    How To on Raising Healthy Quail

    Similar Posts