Can Quails Eat Corn? Is it Safe?

Today we are seeing a significant resurgence in the popularity of quails. Although they’re nowhere near as popular as chickens or even ducks, these tiny beautiful birds have advantages all their own, including needing a lot less space than those other two species.

a few quails inside a cage
a few quails inside a cage

And though most birds tend to have pretty similar diets, quails, like all birds, do have their own unique nutritional requirements for optimal health.

If you want your quails to thrive, you’ll need to feed them the right foods, and avoid what they cannot or should not eat. How about corn? Can quails eat corn safely?

Yes, quails can eat corn safely. Corn is a great source of energy and some vitamins and minerals, particularly B vitamins, phosphorus, and magnesium.

This shouldn’t be a surprise: most birds love corn and quails are no different. Corn can be a great cornerstone of your covey’s diet, and is always a great source of energy for them.

I’ll tell you a lot more about how corn factors into the diet of quails and answer many more related questions below…

Is Corn Good for Quails?

Yes, definitely! Corn has a lot of benefits for quails, and most namely it is a great source of energy for them and even a little bit of protein.

Corn will provide your quails with lots of calories that can give them energy to sustain activity through the day or to help them get over stress.

Corn is an essential supplemental feed anytime a quail is recovering from illness or injury, molting or laying eggs as all are resource-intensive phases in a quail’s life.

But beyond being merely fuel for bodily processes, corn can provide vitamins and minerals that quails need.

All together, these nutrients can improve organ function, significantly improve feathering after injury or during molting, manage all sorts of cellular processes and even improve skeletal health and the growth or repair of vital connective tissues.

Corn isn’t junk food, that’s for sure, no it should be fed to quails responsibly because too much of it can easily result in unhealthy weight gain.

Corn Nutritional Profile

Corn has a lot going for it. As mentioned, it is quite energy dense and though this is mostly in the form of carbohydrates corn also contains a little bit of protein which will serve your quails well. But vitamins and minerals are also surprisingly abundant.

Looking at vitamins, we see that most of the B complex vitamins are present in good quantities, including riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and folate.

Corn also contains a good shot of vitamin A. The mineral content is also good, and corn contained plenty of phosphorus and magnesium which quails need in abundance, and lesser but still useful amounts of potassium, manganese, iron and zinc.

All told corn is a great nutritional resource for quails and a wonderful source of energy.

Can You Safely Feed Corn to Quails Raw?

Yes, and this is the ideal way to feed corn to your quails. You can buy whole raw corn from most feed stores and serve it as is, or you can get it in a cracked form which makes it much easier for them to eat. Raw corn also has the best possible nutritional profile, too.

Can You Safely Feed Cracked Corn to Quails?

Yes. Cracked corn is fine for quails, and actually a bit easier for them to eat compared to whole kernels. Cracked corn also has the same nutritional profile as raw corn so it’s still very good for your birds.

Can You Safely Feed Corn Husks to Quails?

Yes, but there is no good reason to: quails will struggle to eat the tough husks, and they have very little in the way of actual nutrition so it will not help your quails much.

Can You Safely Feed Canned Corn to Quails?

No. Canned corn invariably has way too much salt and often sugar to make it safe for quail, and even if it does not it is very soggy compared to the usual corn you’d feed them. Together, these two drawbacks make it a poor food for your quails.

Can You Safely Feed Cooked Corn to Quails?

Yes, though you really don’t need to: quail can eat raw corn just fine, and cooking corn will actually reduce its nutritional value.

Can You Safely Feed Popcorn to Quails?

Yes, surprisingly enough! Popcorn can be a great snack for quail, and one they will find interesting.

But there is a catch: you should only give your quail plain popped popcorn – no salt, no butter, no flavorings! All of this stuff is very bad for quails, and might kill them if they get too much of.

Is Corn Still Safe for Quail Chicks?

Yes. But it’s best to let your quail reach at least two weeks of age before feeding them corn because of the risk of them choking on it, and also because their digestive system needs a little time to stabilize.

But once they reach two weeks old or so, there is no reason not to feed them corn safely.

How Often Can Quails Have Corn?

Corn can be a great part of your quails’ diet, but it should not be the only, or even primary, part. It is best to feed your quail a variety of other foods, particularly seeds, with the occasional quantity of corn thrown in.

Depending on your birds and your goals, this might be a small amount once a day, or less often.

In general, corn can be fed every day or two without issue so long as you are not seriously exceeding the calorie requirements of your covey.

How Should You Serve Corn to Your Covey?

It is easy to serve corn to your quails. Simply put it in a bowl and place it on the ground. Quails love the stuff and will usually eat it right away, but if you need to ensure that ever bird gets a fair share, you can scatter it around so everyone has access to an equal amount.

You should also consider mixing corn with other feed to provide an energy boost during the tough times described above (feathering, injury or illness, laying, etc.) and also providing grit with your corn because it can be tough for quail to digest sometimes.

Alternately, you can place whole, shucked corn on the cob out for your quail, and they will happily pick it apart themselves. This can be an interesting diversion for them, too.

Make Sure Any Corn You Feed to Quails is Chemical-Free

Be careful if you’re buying grocery store corn for your quail, as it is often sprayed with chemicals or treated with other substances.

Buying organic corn for them can help protect their health and well-being, but even this is no guarantee of freedom from harmful chemicals.

The very best bet is to grow the corn yourself, or buy it from a local producer you can trust.

Don’t forget that you can also get it in quantity from livestock supply and pet stores, though you should take care to buy a kind that is suitable for poultry.

Don’t Give Corn to Your Quail With Bad Ingredients

I mentioned that you should not give your quail canned corn up above, but that warning applies to any food or dish that is made of or with corn.

Salt, sugar and butter are all common ingredients that can be found in corn-based dishes, and these can all cause serious health problems for your quails.

If you are going to give them any type of cooked or processed corn, make sure to check the ingredients carefully first. Don’t share your “people food” with them even as a joke: you might make your quails deathly sick, or even kill them.

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