Can You Raise Quail with Chickens? Understanding the Risks.

Can You Raise Quail with Chickens? Understanding the Risks.

Raising chickens can be a very rewarding experience, and many people view them as pets rather than simply as livestock. As such, it’s not uncommon for chicken owners to consider adding other types of poultry to their flocks. One bird that often comes to mind is quail, which are small, relatively easy to raise, and provide a good source of protein. However, the question of whether it’s safe to raise quail alongside chickens is a complex one that doesn’t have a clear answer.

When my husband recently expressed an interest in raising quail, I found myself intrigued by the idea but also cautious. After scouring the internet for answers, I found that there are many conflicting opinions on the matter. Some sources suggest that it’s perfectly fine to raise chickens and quail together, while others warn of the potential risks.

The size difference between chickens and quail

One of the primary concerns when it comes to keeping chickens and quail in the same space is their size difference. Chickens are significantly larger than quail and could easily kill them if given the opportunity. Even if the chickens don’t actively attack the quail, they may still harm them accidentally in their attempts to access food or water.

Disease transmission

Another concern is disease transmission. Some diseases that chickens can handle without issue could be fatal to quail, and quail can also carry diseases that are harmful to chickens. For instance, quail are known carriers of a disease called quail carry, which is lethal to chickens. While some sources argue that it’s safe to raise chickens and quail together, others advise against it.

Quail are expert escape artists

I came across one individual’s account of trying to raise chickens and quail together, and they reported that the chickens were constantly trying to attack the quail through the bars. They also noted that one of their quail managed to escape and was subsequently attacked by the chickens, resulting in a broken rib and punctured lung that necessitated culling.

Another issue to consider is the fact that quail are expert escape artists who don’t return to the coop at night. Unlike chickens, they don’t roost or use nesting boxes, which makes it difficult to keep track of them. This could lead to a potential loss of birds if they wander off and can’t find their way back home.

Dietary needs differ between chickens and quail,

Additionally, it’s important to take into account the differences in dietary needs between chickens and quail. These two species have distinct nutritional requirements, and if they’re not given the appropriate food, it could result in health problems.


While it’s understandable that some chicken owners might want to add quail to their flocks, it’s important to weigh the potential risks before making a decision. Chickens are much larger than quail and could easily kill them, and there’s a risk of disease transmission between the two species.

Furthermore, quail are difficult to keep track of and have different dietary needs than chickens. If one decides to raise these two types of birds together, it’s crucial to keep them separated and ensure that each has its own space and appropriate feed. Ultimately, the decision to raise chickens and quail together should be based on careful consideration of the potential risks and benefits.

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About Jade Polystead

Jade is a homesteader with a passion for raising and caring for animals, specifically chickens, ducks, and goats. She was born and raised in a small town in the midwestern United States, where she learned to appreciate the simple pleasures of rural living.

Jade's interest in animal husbandry began at a young age when her family kept a small flock of chickens in their backyard. She quickly fell in love with the birds and became fascinated by their unique personalities and behaviors. As she grew older, Jade's interest in animal husbandry expanded to include other domesticated animals, such as ducks and goats.

View all posts by Jade Polystead

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