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Raising Quails with Ducks: What to Keep in Mind

When it comes to raising animals on your homestead, it’s always great to explore different options that would work well together. One perfect match that you may have never thought of before is raising quail with ducks.

Both birds have different characteristics that complement each other, making them an excellent addition to any homestead.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits and challenges of raising quail with ducks—that way, you can make a choice that works well for everyone.

Do Quail and Ducks Get Along?

Quail and ducks are both popular choices for homesteaders, but they have very different personalities.

Ducks are famously loud and outgoing, while quail are shy and introverted. This can lead to some potential conflicts when they are raised together.

Ducks may see quail as easy targets to bully and pick on. Quail, on the other hand, may be intimidated by the larger and more assertive ducks.

One possible solution to the quail and duck dilemma is to raise them separately.

Many homesteaders prefer to keep different types of poultry in distinct pens or coops to avoid potential conflicts.

This method allows you to provide each species with their specific needs without having to worry about them attacking or harming each other.

Raising Quails With Ducks: What to Keep in Mind

Are you considering raising quail and ducks together on your homestead?

While both of these birds make great backyard pets, they have different needs and temperaments.

Here’s what you need to know.

quails in a pen

You Should Have a Separate Run

The first thing you need to keep in mind when raising quails with ducks is that they need separate runs. Why?

Well, quail can’t free-range as they can easily fly away and not return.

On the other hand, ducks like to be in an open run, but quail need to be enclosed. Therefore, to ensure their safety, it’s best to provide them with separate housing.

Ducks Like It Damp

Another important thing you should know is that ducks like to be in a damp environment, while quail prefer dry ones.

Ducks need lots of water to thrive, while quail prefer living in a more arid environment. That is why, as mentioned, having separate housing for both birds is a must.

They Need a Different Diet

Quail and ducks also have different dietary needs. Quail are granivorous, which means they mostly eat grains and seeds, with the occasional insect or bug.

They require a diet high in protein to keep them healthy and active.

Ducks, on the other hand, are omnivorous and love to eat pretty much anything that comes their way, including grains, seeds, insects, aquatic plants, and even small animals.

Therefore, it’s encouraged not to feed them together to ensure they both receive the nutrients they need.

You Can Keep Them in the Same Coop, But…

Ducks and quail can live peacefully together in the same coop, but you need to take certain precautions.

It’s important to start them together in the same brooder to make sure they get along.

However, it’s also important to recognize that they have different instincts.

Ducks are much larger and may accidentally harm the smaller quail if given the opportunity. So, make sure to provide separate areas within the coop where the quail can retreat to safety.

quail eggs to harvest

Ducks Like to Eat Quail Eggs

Once ducks get a taste for quail eggs, it’s hard to stop them. So, if you’re raising quail for their eggs, make sure to protect the eggs from the ducks.

Collect quail eggs frequently to prevent the ducks from discovering and developing a taste for them.

Another option is to provide the ducks with their own eggs in a separate feeder to prevent them from seeking out the quail eggs.

They Can Share Diseases

One of the most important things to keep in mind when raising quails and ducks together is that they can share diseases.

This means that if one of your birds gets sick, it could easily spread to the rest of your flock.

One example of a disease that can be shared between quail and ducks is coryza, which is a bacterial infection that can cause respiratory problems.

To prevent the spread of diseases, it’s important to keep your birds in clean and hygienic conditions and to separate any sick birds from the rest of the flock.

Ducks Can’t Have Access to Food All Day

Another thing to keep in mind is that ducks can’t have access to food all day. Ducks tend to overeat and pig out on food, which can lead to health problems and obesity.

Quail, on the other hand, tend to eat very small amounts very often.

To make sure that your ducks don’t eat all the food before your quail has a chance to eat, it’s a good idea to feed them separately.

You can also use feeders that are designed to only allow small amounts of food to be eaten at once.

Ducks Can Be Bullies

Ducks can be bullies and aggressive towards other birds, including quail. They may peck at or attack your quail, which can cause injury or even death.

To prevent this from happening, it’s important to provide your quail with plenty of hiding places, such as bushes, grasses, or other structures that they can hide behind or under.

You may also want to consider keeping your ducks and quail separate, especially if you notice any aggressive behavior.

how to take care of a duck

Ducks Are Messy

Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. Ducks are messy. They love to splash in water, and their feces contain a lot of moisture.

This can lead to wet, muddy areas around their coop, which can be a breeding ground for parasites and bacteria.

Quail, on the other hand, are relatively clean birds. They don’t need as much water as ducks, and their droppings are drier.

If you plan on raising quails with ducks, you’ll need to make sure that you keep the coop and run clean and dry.

You can do this by providing plenty of fresh, dry bedding and by frequently raking or removing wet areas.

Quails Have Poor Predator Resistance

One thing to keep in mind when raising quail alongside ducks is that quail have poor predator resistance.

They’re small and flighty birds, which means that they’re more likely to be targeted by predators like hawks, owls, and foxes.

Ducks, however, are larger and stronger and have better predator resistance. If you want to raise quail with ducks, you’ll need to make sure that your coop and run are predator-proof.

This means using sturdy materials for fencing and covering the coop with wire mesh to keep out predators.

Quails Really Like to Fly

While ducks are ground-dwelling birds, quail really like to fly. They’re not strong fliers, but they can fly short distances to avoid danger or to perch up high.

If you’re keeping quail with ducks, you’ll need to provide them with adequate space to fly and perch.

This means having a coop and run that is tall enough for them to stretch their wings and including perches or roosts inside the coop for them to sit on.

You should also make sure to keep overhead obstructions, like low-hanging branches, away from the coop to prevent quail from injuring themselves while flying.

quails need clean water

Quails Need Clean Water

Another thing to keep in mind when raising quails with ducks is that quails need clean water.

While ducks like to splash around in water, quails require clean drinking water.

If you’re keeping them together, you’ll need to make sure that your watering system is set up in a way that prevents ducks from contaminating the quail’s water. This can be done by providing separate waterers for each species, or by using a system that keeps water moving and clean, like a nipple waterer.

For Meat, Quail Are Easier to Process

For meat, quail are easier to process.

Unlike ducks, quails can be slaughtered and cleaned in less than 20 minutes.

Quail meat is also very tender and flavorful, making it a top choice for those who want something that’s healthy and tasty.

However, if you’re looking for a larger amount of meat, ducks can provide that for you. Ducks can live for several years, and they can reproduce quickly.

This means that they can provide a steady source of meat for your family, but they will require more work when it comes to processing.

Ducks Need More Winter Protection

Another thing to keep in mind when raising quails with ducks is winter protection.

Ducks are cold-hardy, but they still need a dry, draft-free shelter to keep them warm and snug during the winter months.

Quails, on the other hand, are more sensitive to cold weather and require more protection.

They need a well-insulated coop with plenty of bedding material, as well as a heat source to keep them warm.

But if you can provide both species with the right amount of winter protection, they can thrive together.

Quail Will Never Live as Long as Your Ducks

Quails will never live as long as your ducks. They have a lifespan of about 5-7 years, but they are ready for processing at around 6 weeks old.

This makes them an ideal choice for those who want a quick source of meat for their family without having to wait too long.

Ducks, on the other hand, can live for up to 10 years or more, and they can provide you with a steady source of eggs and meat during that time.

If you want to keep both species together, you can start with quail and add ducks later on for a more diverse homestead.

Can Quails and Ducks Mate?

When it comes to keeping homestead animals, it’s not uncommon to wonder if different species can mate and reproduce.

The concept can be intriguing as well as beneficial, with the possibility of hybrid vigor creating stronger offspring.

First off, while quails and ducks may appear to be similar in shape and size, they are two very different species.

It’s not just about their physical characteristics—there are also biological differences that make reproduction between them unlikely.

To conceive offspring, two animals must be biologically compatible, and in the case of quails and ducks, their reproductive systems don’t align.

How to introduce new birds to flock

What Birds Can Be Raised With Quail?

Quails are social birds and enjoy the company of their own kind. When it comes to raising quails with other birds, it’s essential to choose compatible species.

While you now know that ducks and quails don’t necessarily mix that well, the good news is that quails can share a coop or pen with other small flying birds, such as finches, canaries, and doves.

However, avoid raising them with chickens and ducks as they tend to bully and intimidate quails.

If you’re considering raising quails with finches, the best option is society finches. These birds are friendly, non-aggressive, and can coexist peacefully with quails.

The same goes for canaries. You can house them with quails as they’re also docile and won’t disturb the quails’ nesting or foraging.

Another bird species that can be raised with quails are doves. Unlike finches and canaries, doves are ground-dwelling birds, which means they won’t compete with quails for nesting or perching spots.

They also have a tranquil demeanor and won’t harass or attack quails.

If you want to add some color to your quail coop, you can also raise them with parakeets.

Parakeets are active birds that enjoy interacting with their owners. They’re also small enough to coexist with quails and won’t be a threat.

However, make sure that you provide enough perches so that the parakeets won’t perch on the quail coop’s roof and drop droppings.

Raising Quails With Ducks: Final Thoughts

Raising quail with ducks can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be an experience that’s rife with stress!

In general, most experts don’t recommend keeping quail with ducks. Simply keep the two separate.

However, if you do decide to allow the species to intermingle, remember that they have different needs and behaviors.

To successfully raise both species together, it’s important to keep them separated during feeding times, provide plenty of hiding places for your quail, and make sure that they have access to different living spaces with different temperatures.

By following these tips, you can create a healthy and happy environment for all of your birds.


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