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Raising Quail in Thailand | Quail vs Chicken vs Duck

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

A quail will give you 100 tasty nutritional eggs before a chicken even lays one!

If you are short on space, raising quail in Thailand is well worth considering.

Quail vs Chicken vs Duck

We look at how the tiny quail punches well above its weight when compared to keeping chickens & ducks on your Thai homestead.

They really could be the bird perfect bird for you.

Holding a Japanese quail on our farm in Thailand.
Toon holding one of our Japanese quail.

Quail description

The European quail or Common quail is a tiny ground-nesting game bird that originates from the pheasant family.

They measure just 18.0–21.9 cm & weigh 91–131 grams.

Popular breeds of quail:

Coturnix / Japanese











Manipur Bush

Jungle Bush

Raising quail in Thailand. Our Japanese quail are kept in cage systems for protection from predators.
A few of our Japanese quail on the farm.

Quail vs Chickens vs Ducks.

Why should you choose to keep quail in Thailand rather than the more common chickens or ducks?

Here 10 reasons to consider keeping a few quail in your back garden:

1. Quail for meat production.

In many countries, quail meat is considered a delicacy.

It does not have the same gamey taste like pheasant.

Nutritionally quail meat is similar to chicken (depending on the breed of chicken).

Although duck meat is very healthy, it is higher in cholesterol than quail meat.

2. Processing quail for meat.

It is much quicker & easier processing quail than chickens or ducks.

There is also much less waste when rearing quail for the table.

3. Super healthy tasty eggs

Quail eggs are more nutritional than chicken or duck eggs.

They have more protein, fat, minerals, & vitamins, you just need more of them!

4. How long before quail start laying eggs?

Chickens take 28 weeks before they begin to lay eggs.

Ducks take 20-30 weeks before they begin to lay eggs.

Quail take just seven weeks before they begin laying.

5. Quail egg production figures (depending on breeds).

Chickens lay about 150-200 eggs per year.

Chickens lay about 175-300 eggs per year.

Quail lay about 225-300 eggs per year.

6. Quail are an excellent additional source of income in Thailand.

There are far fewer people raising quail in Thailand than there are raising chickens & ducks. This fact doesn't mean people aren't as keen on eating quail eggs or meat. It is because many people are under the impression that quail are difficult & expensive to keep.

7. Short incubation period for hatching quail eggs.

Chicken eggs take 28-35 days of incubation before hatching.

Duck eggs take 21 days of incubation before hatching.

Quail eggs take just 17 days of incubation before hatching.

8. Low noise levels of quail.

Quail are far quieter than chickens. Even chicken hens are louder than male quail. If noise levels are a concern, then quail are the perfect bird for you.

9. Minimal space required for quail.

Chickens need about 12 square feet per bird (depending on breed).

Quail require about one square foot per bird.

If space is tight on your Thai homestead, then quail are the perfect bird for you.

10. Other uses of quail.

Quail love to eat ants & tiny bugs, whereas chickens & ducks tend to prefer bigger morsels.

Quail manure is not as rich as chicken manure so can be applied directly onto plants, It is also quite dry & collected easily with less odor.

Holding an adult Japanese quail on our farm in Thailand.
An adult Japanese quail. A small but robust bird.

What are the drawbacks of raising quail in Thailand?

It's not all rose-tinted sunglasses keeping quail in Thailand. Here are five things you should know:

1. Quail predators.

Thailand poses many threats to the tiny quail. Snakes, rats, larger birds, cats & dogs are just a few. Your quail coop needs to be robust enough to repel these threats, or it'll only be a matter of time until the inevitable happens.

2. Quail can fly.

Quail are great flyers so build their enclosure accordingly.

Here on Porpeang farm Thailand we raise our quail in cages off the floor. Each cage holds approximately 100 quail.

3. Trouble sourcing good quality quail food.

Because raising quail isn't that common in rural Thailand, locating a good quality quail food can be a problem.

If you are struggling to get hold of feed locally, look online for a company delivers.

Many quail farmers in Thailand use chick crumb as feed, but a specialized quail one is better.

4. Short life expectancy of quail.

Healthy quail only live for 2-3 years.

Most quail farmers in Thailand replace their birds every 1.5-2 years.

Backyard chickens can live for more than 10 years, although egg production reduces.

The average life expectancy of a domesticated duck is 10 years, although egg production reduces.

5. Dander from quail.

Bird dander is a white powder produced by the feathers that are closest to the skin.

Bird dander causes an increase in airborne particles which can accumulate & cause health problems, especially for those sensitive to allergies. It can also trigger the onset of Asthma in some suffers.

What is the best breed of quail to raise in Thailand?

Japanese quail

The Japanese quail is the most common species of quail in the world. It is found mainly in East Asia.

They are a subspecies of the common quail.

In 1983 Japanese quail were distinguished as an individual breed.

The Japanese quail is a dual-purpose breed of domestic quail. Its raised for both eggs & meat production.

They are easily managed birds & grow relatively faster than other breeds of quail.

They are raised mainly in commercial farms throughout the world. Their meat & eggs are considered very good for consumption compared to ducks & chickens.

Japanese quail is a robust & hardy bird, active, ground-living species. The natural habitats of these birds are river banks, grassy fields, & fields.

They grow relatively faster, generally, eat and drink at the beginning & end of the day, although the birds in commercial farms can eat throughout the day.

Japanese quail peak breeding season is the summer.

They are excellent egg layers & have superb meat.

Species - Old World Quail

Weight - 100 and 120 grams (commercial lines up to 300 grams)

Climate Tolerance - Most climates

Egg Color - Mottled ranging from white to blue to pale brown

Egg Size/Weight - 8 to 13 grams

Egg Productivity - Up to 300 eggs a year

Color - Brown with markings

Place of Origin - East Asia


We highly recommend introducing Japanese quail onto your Thai homestead because:

  • Quail provide high nutritional value to your diet

  • Raising quail requires minimal space

  • Quail is a relatively quiet bird

  • They produce many eggs from as early as seven weeks

  • Quail egg incubation is only 17 days

  • Quail eggs & meat sell very well in Thailand

  • Free manure for your Thai fruit & vegetables

Cooking spicy thai quail. Tasty pad pet quail dish.
Toon cooks a great Pad Pet quail dish . . . Aroy mak!

Using quail in Thai cooking

Quail meat is not commonplace in Thailand's big city restaurants.

Head out to the more rural parts of Thailand & you will see quail used much more in traditional Thai cooking.

Quail on Porpeang farm Thailand.

Here on our farm, we keep over 170 quail in cages off the floor.

We sell our fresh quail eggs for 80 Thai baht per 100.

We select any surplus cock-birds for meat.

This year we have begun to incubate quail eggs for the first time with good results.

Due to Thailand's climate, we always get premature hatches from the farm's poultry.

The quail have been no different. Our two first batches of eggs to date both started hatching on day 14!

Feel good factor

If you thought chicks & ducklings were cute, wait until you hatch your first lot of quail eggs.

Just be careful if you have limited space available because breeding quail is highly addictive.

Happy times.

Eating quail eggs - The nutritional facts


Quail eggs are very low in calories. A serving of five eggs contains just 70 calories -- 4% of your daily calorie intake in a 2,000 calorie diet & about the same as one large chicken egg. A serving of quail eggs provides you with 6 grams of protein that helps to support the health of your skin & hair. Quail eggs contain 5 grams of fat, including 1.6 grams of saturated fat. Saturated fat can increase your blood cholesterol levels & contribute to heart disease; you should eat quail eggs in moderation.

Choline & vitamin A

Eating quail egg boosts your intake of vitamin A, as well as choline. Your body uses choline to help maintain healthy cells & to support your nervous system. Vitamin A has several health benefits, including improved immune function & maintaining healthy vision. A serving of quail eggs gives 120 milligrams of choline & 240 units of vitamin A. This provides 22% of the daily choline & 8% of the vitamin A daily intake for men, as well as 28% and 10% of the recommended daily choline and vitamin A intakes for women, respectively.

Iron & selenium

Eating quail eggs will provide you with a great source of essential minerals. They're rich in selenium & offer even more iron than chicken eggs. Iron helps you to make adenosine triphosphate, a chemical that fuels your cells' day to day functions. Selenium helps activate enzymes that your thyroid needs to function. Your body relies on iron to aid in red blood cell function & needs selenium for muscle metabolism & to nourish your blood vessels. A single serving of quail eggs provides you with 1.6 milligrams of iron, 20% percent & 10% percent of the recommended daily intakes for men & women, respectively. They also contain 26% of the recommended daily selenium intake. In contrast, a large chicken egg, in contrast, contains only 1 milligram of iron.


Quail eggs are high in cholesterol; each serving boosts your cholesterol intake by 380 milligrams (more than the 300-milligram recommended limit, & nearly twice the daily limit of 200 milligrams recommended for people suffering from high cholesterol or heart disease.) Cholesterol in quail eggs can raise blood cholesterol if you're sensitive to cholesterol in your diet. Eat quail eggs in moderation to avoid regularly exceeding your daily cholesterol limit.


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