Can Quail Fly? How Fast, How Far & At What Age?

Can Quail Fly

Quails are small in size, easy to manage, and more importantly, bring about all the goodness to farmers. Not surprisingly, these little cuties are the top favorite of all poultry keepers. Many have asked for knowledge in keeping this bird, especially concerned: can quail fly? Let’s take a look at our post below to find out!

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Can Quail Fly?

Naturally, quail can fly if they want to. So, it wouldn’t be a good idea to just let them out of the cage, even if you believe you have a tame flock. If quail is let freely fly, you might not have a chance to say goodbye to them before you even know.

But the good news is quail only use their flying ability if necessary, usually as the last option. The bird prefers to walk on the ground and only flap their wings if they feel threatened by predators.

In the wild, those predators can be coyotes, other birds, or snakes trying to take their eggs. While on the farm, your lovely cat can be their worst hunter.

If this is the case, both chicks and adults will probably run or fly to the closest tree to hide. But, you can leave the cage open for when they may return for food.

Read More: When Will Quail Start Laying Eggs? Here’s when quails start to produce eggs, along with helpful tips and tricks for healthy and regular egg laying!

How Fast Can A Quail Fly?

Based on their physical strength, quails are good flyers. Most quails can reach the highest flight speed of 30 to 40 mph (64 kph).

How Far Can A Quail Fly?

With the above speed, quail can travel as far as 100 yards (91 meters). But this figure is ideal.

Although their wings are powerful enough for such speed and distance, the quail’s body can’t sustain long flights. Instead, they only take short flights which are also called flushing.

quails fly

Read our related article, Can Chickens Fly? Chickens can fly, but not for very high or long distances. Learn fun facts about how chickens fly!

Do Quail Migrate?

With powerful wings, quail can make long migratory trips across the ocean. They can start their journey from northern Europe and finish it at South Sahara, Africa.

But not all quails migrate.

Whether or not this bird migrates is determined by its genes. In a flock, there can be some quails travelling long distances, some land only as far as the southern Mediterranean and some don’t migrate at all.

In recent years, the number of migratory quails is declining due to 2 main reasons.

First, change in weather conditions has given the quails who stay more chance to survive than those who fly away. Because of weather changes, those flying birds eventually lose their population.

The second reason has to do with us, humans. Sadly, migratory quails have the least chance to come back after their trip because they have been hunted for thousands of years in the Mediterranean.

Read our related article, What is a Flock of Quail Called? Discover common names and interesting facts about the wild and domestic quail!

What Age Can Quail Fly?

Usually, baby quail can start to fly at 11 days or 2 weeks old.

Compared to other birds, quail chicks are quite active after they are born. They don’t need much help from their parents and will know how to find food and resting places on their own. They usually follow a line after their parents.

But within the first 30 days, as their legs and wings not fully developed, the chicks are still vulnerable to predators. They can only make short flights at short distances to protect themselves from danger.

Read our related article, How Long Do Quails Live in Captivity? In the wild? We explore different quail species and their lifespans!

How To Stop Quail Flying?

You have already known that flying is the quail’s natural ability and especially as their survival instinct. But now on a farm, they probably don’t need to fly away from predators as much as you need to keep them. Therefore, stopping quail from flying became a necessity for farmers to do.

1. Wing Clipping

clip quail wings

There are some ways you can make it happen, wing clipping is one of them.

The process requires one person to hold the bird and spread one wing out, and another to cut the tip of the longest feather. Use a scissor and cut a small piece of the longest feather that makes it 1cm shorter than the next one.

Just like cutting our nails, this process isn’t supposed to hurt your quail. The purpose here is to create an unbalanced pair of wings that can not lift the bird’s own body, meaning they can neither take off nor fly.

The good advice is to lock your birds in one place while cutting their wings to better keep track of them.

Read our related article on How to Clip Duck Wing Feathers. Clipping your duck’s wings can keep them home. Here’s how to do it!

2. Lock In Coops

If you owns a large number of quails, wing clipping might be impossible and so stressful to do. Keeping them in a locked coops is a simpler solution to restrict flying. Make sure that the coop is not only secure and well-covered but also large enough.

Although this method is easier, it does depend on the farmland size you have.


1. Can Domestic Quail Fly?

Technically, domestic quail, also known as Coturnix quail or Japanese quail, can fly. Breeding and domestication didn’t change the bird’s flying instinct.

However, they only fly if they are forced to do so, usually when they are threatened by predators like snakes, coyotes, foxes, cats,…. Other than that, the birds still prefer to walk on the ground most of the time.

2. Can Quail With Clipped Wings Fly?

Quail with clipped wings won’t be able to fly.

Wing clipping is one way to restrict the quail’s ability to fly. A wing will be clipped, making it slightly shorter than the other. This unequal results in an unbalance, stopping the bird from flying.

Read More: Why Do Canada Geese Honk When They Fly? We discuss flying formations and honking in this fun post!

Final Words 

No quail keepers want to wake up one morning with half of the flock has gone. Quails can really fly. This isn’t weird! So, please be aware of this and keep them well on your farm! Happy farming.

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