I Want My Free E-Book On Egg Laying Chickens

Quail Feeders: 4 Most Common

quail feeders

It’s fine and dandy for quail to be messy eaters in the wild, but their instinct to make a mess of their quail feeders isn’t conducive for confined quail.

Quail tend to waste feed by violently rummaging through their crumbles about—with their heads. Quail are natural foragers, and their main diet consists of grains, seeds, and bugs.

They have to scratch, hunt, and peck for food in the wild. So, when your quails start wasting feed you paid for, the behavior isn’t as understandable. 

If quail are left to their own devices, they will happily make a mess with their feed. And if you’ve ever watched quail eat game bird crumbles, you’ve probably cringed at the amount of wasted feed ending up in bedding or droppings. 

Quail are picky eaters, and they prefer to eat food that is the same size across the board.

So if you have crumbles that vary in size, you will soon realize that your quail are picking through it and choosing only the size of crumble they want to eat. 

Not only is wasted food an expensive problem to have, but it can also cause food to mix with droppings. If your quail decide to eat their discarded food, later on, they may also be consuming harmful bacteria from the droppings. 

Lastly, food-flinging also creates a problem in the quails’ water source— it can dirty the water and promote additional bacteria growth. Keeping your quails’ water clean is essential in preventing poultry diseases.

Best Quail Feeder Options

Now that you know what to consider when feeding your food-flinging quail, you can make an educated decision about the kind of quail feeder you would like to use.

While there aren’t many options specific to quail, there are things you can do to create the perfect feeder for your picky quails. 

1. Use a Chicken Feeder as a Quail Feeder

Many quail owners start with chicken feeders first because, well, let’s be honest, you probably started with chickens first and then moved on to raising quail. It’s common to raise both chickens and quail.

If you do, feeding quarters should be separate because quail feed is much different from chickens eat.

If you use a chicken feeder to accommodate your quails, it will most likely be a self-dispensing cylinder with an open ring around the bottom for food to fall into as it is consumed.

It will do the job if you don’t have other options, but it does nothing to prevent quail from scratching at it or throwing it around with their beaks. 

chicken feeder for quailAnother type of chicken feeder often used is a long, covered tray with a series of holes that provide access to the feed.

Because the holes are intended for chickens, they are usually much larger than a quail’s head, which means they have more freedom of movement—and, you guessed it, more room to fling their food. 

Food in either of these containers can quickly be sorted through and wasted by quail.

However, if this is your only option, you can limit how much feed is in the container to make it more difficult for the quail to reach and make a mess. 

2.  Quail Cage Feeder

Galvanized feeders typically hang on the outside of the pen for easy filling and extend through a measured hole in wire cages.

The tray portion of the feeder enters through the hole, and quail have direct access to the feed.
types of quail feeders
Typically created for small animals, like rabbits, they are not conducive to keeping a flinging-free zone.

If this is all you can find, to begin with, it will do just fine temporarily.

However, you will need to make sure you clean the mess up regularly, so the feed does not spoil in the bottom of the cage or create other problems—like more flinging when your quail decides wasted feed can double as a dust bath!

3. DIY Quail Feeders (PVC)

A quick YouTube search of quail feeders will provide tons of excellent videos from handy, experienced quail owners.

These feeders are often created from PVC pipes, old milk jugs, small plastic tubs, etc. Here’s an example of one of these DIY feeders.

Once you witness your quail’s horrible table manners, you may decide creating your feeder will teach them to mind their peas and q’s. 

Here are a few things to consider when constructing your feeder:

  • Make the head holes just big enough for an adult quail’s head to fit through. This will prevent food from flying out of the feeder and onto the floor. Your quail will continue to fling food, but now it will just drop back into the feeder. 
  • This type of feeder is optimal for ground pen-raised quail, so you’ll want to keep your feeder close to the ground so it can forage. It makes it easier for them to reach in to eat.
  • Construct the food tray, the part of your feeder which holds the food, large enough so you can fill it halfway. Feed within reach ensures that quail gets enough to eat but does not make a mess. 

4. Quail Feeders for Free-Rangers

Range feeders are perfect for the free-range bird or those of you raising quail for sport or release.

These types of outdoor feeders are ideal for feeding quail on your property. They also aid in keeping quail from leaving your location to find the nutrition they need, especially in fall and winter. 

Range feeders are usually large containers that appear hat-like. The “brim” of the hat-like feeder prevents rain from running into the feed and spoiling it. 

Feeders meant for the outdoors may come in various ingenious designs, all made to hold a lot of feed and keep it from spoiling. 

Range feeders are made in many sizes, from 25 lb to 150 lb capacities and everything in between. These large feeders will not provide the “waste-less” features mentioned earlier.

However, food waste is less of a concern for quail being raised free.

Free-range quail can forage for their feed, meaning they can go out and get what they want most—usually grains and seeds.

If they can’t find what they are looking for, they will head back to the range feeder to supplement their diets.

It’s just a way of knowing your quail are getting all the nutrition they need when they are free-range.

Quail Feeders Final Thoughts

You can find most of these feeders at local ag stores or co-ops. However, some specialty stores have quail-specific feeders.

Figuring out whether you will raise quail for meat or eggs can help decide which feeder is suitable for you.

If you are starting, do the best you can with whatever containers you can find, and if you are handy, make something that fits your quail and their adorable behaviors, ideally.

You can always upgrade as your quail-keeping operation grows.

Now that you know what types of feeders you have to choose from, I’m sure you’re wondering what to put in them. You can check out our ultimate quail feed guide for more info.


Quail Feeders


2 thoughts on “Quail Feeders: 4 Most Common

  1. Waoo this was very helpful. I want to know more about raring quails and other birds like chicken layers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *