Recently I talked to some friends who consider getting quails. They live on a small plot and won’t want to bother the neighbors. So they came by to get a sense of how much noise our quails were making. Needless to say, they went straight to a quail breeder on their way home.
Quails are not loud at all when compared to roosters or ducks. Male quails crow and make noises that sound more like a whistle, but female quails are generally quieter. To put it simply, a male quail crow will not make your neighbor complain as they are nowhere as noisy as a crowing rooster or a quacking duck.
Quail is becoming the backyard bird of choice and there are several reasons for that. Quail are hardy birds, easy to look after, and they need less living space. Quail produce plenty of eggs, around three hundred eggs a year. Quail eggs have high protein and fewer calories compared to chicken eggs. A quail only needs 1 square foot of space but giving a bit more space will obviously make the bird happy. Some hobbyists even keep them in a garage or inside the house.
One of the main reasons, quails should get some space in your backyard is because they are relatively quieter than chickens or ducks. Coturnix Quail, also known as Japanese Quail, is the preferred breed of many urban homesteaders, hobbyists, and farmers.
This breed is not only a good starter breed, but it is also extremely easy to take care of. But how quiet are they or how loud can they get? When do they make noises? The answers to these questions lie in understanding quails as a species.
Table of Contents
Are Female Quails Loud?
Female quails are very quiet and calm. These hens have a good temperament and do not crow. They make a chirruping sound or a sound like that of a cricket, that can hardly be heard from a distance.
They only make a loud sound when they are in distress of being separated from the companions or unhappy about something. The sounds they make are neither piercing nor lingering and is usually a soft cluck. Unlike chickens that get fussy when they lay eggs, quails are not noisy despite the fact that they are prolific egg layers.
Are Male Quails Loud?
Male quails do crow, but it is not comparable to a rooster crow. It is usually a gentle and soft crow to get the attention of the female or to call the female. Some male quails get loud but again it is not comparable to a cockerel’s crow.
The sounds of these crows are similar to a wild songbird; they are not really a nuisance to the peace and quiet and can even be pleasant on the ears. In fact, visiting friends often confuse the sound of our particularly energetic quail (Glenn) with wild birds.
Besides crowing, they can make tilling and chirping noises but not anything excessive. But do you absolutely need to keep a male quail and how many male quails do you need in a flock?
Do You Even Need a Male Quail?
Whether you need a male quail in the flock depends on your needs or expectations. If you want to hatch some chicks then you need fertilized eggs for that and consequently, a male in the flock. Hatching eggs will get you more quails and if you want to butcher quails for meat then it will certainly help you in that aspect.
Mostly, people keep one rooster for four to six hens. Breeding quails ensues that approximately half of the chicks will be male. To keep the breeding group at a reasonable male-to-female ratio, you can prepare the gourmet quail meat to eat or even sell them for an extra income. One happy rooster will not make much noise, and considering the benefits will certainly make a good addition to the flock.
But if you only wish to keep quails for their delicious protein-packed eggs then a group of hens is enough. Keeping “Single” hens is less taxing on the group as well as roosters are often very, ahem, energetic.
Having only hens means that there will be no noise at all in the cage. Without a rooster, the hens lay at the same rate, so you do not have to fret about your egg supply. As long as they have enough space per bird (important), they will be happy and non-aggressive.
Rooster Keeping Checklist
- Need to hatch chicks
- Quail crow is not going to be a nuisance
- Keep 1 rooster with 4-6 hens
How Do You Keep a Quail from Crowing?
Some urban farmers have tried and tested methods to keep their quails from crowing early in the morning. Excessive crowing can be related to territory, dominance, and call for females. Although quail callings are not raucous, it can still upset some neighbors if they live very close to you and are easily disturbed in the night and/or early morning. That can be a challenge in an urban setting or in apartment buildings where the noise may easily reach the next-door neighbor.
Some hobbyists and farmers recommend covering the cage at night so that no light can get inside the cage. Roosters tend to stay quiet in the dark, hence, completely darkening the cage or the space where you keep them will help out.
Crowing is also a territorial behavior so a male quail may crow to claim territory or assert dominance. Having multiple males in the flock means more noise. Having one male in the flock with four to six hens will reduce the noise to occasional crowing. Male quails also crow to call for their family so if you have separated the male from its flock all of a sudden then expect loud crowing.
After reaching sexual maturity, male quails call females for mating. If male quails are kept alone then there will be more of those mating calls. Keeping a male with females in the suggested ratio will eliminate their need for frequent mating calls.
Checklist to Keep Roosters Quiet
- Darken the cage completely
- Set up breeding groups if you have more than one male in the flock
- Ensure the male has female quails to reduce mating calls
Quail Noise vs. Chickens and Ducks
Some urban farmers get a lot of disapproval for keeping backyard chickens and ducks, mainly because these birds can be loud.
Rooster crows are loud enough to wake up you and your neighbor. When it comes to chickens, hens can be pretty loud too, especially when they lay eggs. Ducks are another choice of farmers, but a panicky duck’s quacks are more than just audible.
Comparing quails with chickens and duck in terms of how loud they are, quails win hands down. This is one of the reasons that quail are becoming popular among urban homesteaders. Other reasons are a year-round supply of nutritious eggs and low maintenance needs. If you live in a place with strict codes for chicken keeping and fussy neighbors, consider raising quails as an option. These are considered game birds in most regions and there are often no regulations pertaining to raising quails.
Quails are great birds to keep as a poultry farmer. To keep these birds happy, research their needs and behaviors and then you can enjoy their super healthy eggs and meat. Before keeping quails in your backyard, you may want to listen to their sounds.
There are plenty of recordings and video content available on the internet that enables you to listen to different quail sounds including crowing and decide if it is feasible for you to raise a flock of quails.