It is not unusual to see a farm that raises ducks and chickens, turkeys and chickens and it does not have any serious problem between them.
While those types of poultry can get along in the same space and farmers seem not to have much trouble taking care of them at the same time.
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Can quails and chickens live together?
The short answer is NO. Raising quails and chickens in the same pen is never a good idea.
Even though both quails and chickens are poultry, they have their own distinctive features which are not suitable when living together.
Maybe farmers might have success at first, but it goes wrong quickly. There are more disadvantages than benefits when putting quails and chickens in the same place so you should have an understanding when attempting this difficult task.
Diseases can be spread from chickens to quails
The disease is easily passed from chickens to quails. Quails are not only smaller than chickens, but also weaker than chickens.
Chickens have a stronger immune system, even when they are infected, they just show some of the symptoms. In the meanwhile, it would be hard for quails to survive when having the illness.
The most common disease that quails and chickens encounter is Coryza disease. It is the medical term for the common cold but it is more dangerous than a human cold.
Coryza disease is airborne and spreads directly from bird to bird by contaminated food, water, etc. The bacteria leading to Coryza can thrive in a damp and dirty living environment, so keeping your poultry’s coop clean is a good preventative method.
While chickens can be treated with antibiotics when being infected and overcome the illness, most quails will be dead. When getting Coryza, quails hide their illness and when you start realizing the signs, it is usually too late.
That is one of the reasons why farmers should separate chickens and quails to prevent the illness spread and save their quails.
Further reading: Can geese and chickens live together?
Quails can be bullied by chickens
Chickens are always a bit more hyperactive and dominant than quails. Also, chickens have their own pecking order that only they can comprehend.
So sometimes chickens can be a little aggressive with their order, tiny quails would be the chicken’s attack target. Chickens could keep your quails from food, water, and nesting areas.
In the worst way, they potentially kill quails by their pecking order and even eat them. You should keep in mind that chickens are omnivores so they will not hesitate to nibble your quails like a meal.
Quails fly further than chickens
Both chickens and quails can fly, however, quails are faster and fly further than chickens.
Some people let their chickens out of their enclosures to free-range from time to time. It helps their chickens to stretch their legs and wings but it is also a chance for quails to fly out. (Source)
Quails are considered as a wild species and once they fly out of the coop, it is difficult to manage and they are not able to come back. So you need to have some solutions to tackle the different flight behaviors of them such as:
- You should build a high fence to limit the quails’ area.
- You need to have a proper cover to the coop and prevent quails from flying out.
Chickens eat quail eggs
That is totally true. Chickens are into eating quail eggs and they soon work out how to break them and eat all of the quail eggs.
Quail eggs are very small and they just die to be pecked by chickens. Since chickens have a taste of quail eggs, without no doubt, they will definitely be back for more of the same.
Chickens can also have a new habit after eating quail eggs for a time. Poultry experts say quickly after consuming quail eggs, chickens tend to eat their own eggs.
Therefore, you should keep chickens and quails separate or it can cause negative consequences.
Chickens and quails eat different food
Quails and chickens have different diets. Quails are granivores and it means that their feed consists of mostly small grains and seeds. They also need to have a higher protein diet than chickens.
If you put them together, you will notice that hens do like to eat quail’s food and are a little greedy.
However, it is not good for them to consume too much of it. In the meanwhile, quails would be under nourished when chickens eat all their food and prevent them from having access.
So it would be better if you let quails and chickens live in different places and feed them proper diet for each. It will help your flock develop greater and reach high quality.
For all those reasons, it is never a good idea to let chickens and quails live together. Farmers are more than welcome to raise them simultaneously but in separate pens. Otherwise, they can choose other types of poultry to combine together.
In a nutshell, it would be better for farmers to put chickens and quails in different spaces to get high efficiency and high-quality products.