Do Quails Have Salmonella?

Quails, like chickens, have the risk of carrying the deadly Salmonella. Although quails don’t have a higher risk of carrying these bacteria than chickens, ducks, and Guinea fowls, their meat and eggs can get contaminated with Salmonella, pathogenic bacteria responsible for food poisoning in humans and animals, including birds such as quails.

Quails with this bacterium are at risk of dying. Luckily, Salmonella in quails can be preventable.

What Is Salmonella?

Also known as salmonellosis, Salmonella is a bacterial condition that affects humans and animals. These bacteria live in humans’ and animals’ intestinal tracts. Birds like chickens, quails, Guinea fowls, turkeys, and ducks get these bacteria from food and water contamination.

The most apparent symptom of this bacterial infection in birds include inconsistent diarrhea. Most quails develop fever and diarrhea within hours of infection. Quails can die within days if they don’t recover from the sickness that comes with these bacteria.

Because Salmonella lives in the quail’s intestines, it is hard for quail keepers to notice when their birds have a salmonella infection.

Can You Get Salmonella from Quails?

Yes, it’s possible to get Salmonella from quails and other birds because these bacteria affects birds and humans. However, the risk of contracting Salmonella from quails is pretty minimal. You can get Salmonella if you eat undercooked quail eggs.

Ideally, the eggshell of a quail egg should act as a barrier to infections. However, some quail hens lay eggs with Salmonella before forming eggs starts in their bodies. Undercooked eggs from such hens have the highest risk of carrying Salmonella.

Undercooked quail meat also has the risk of carrying Salmonella. Quails can eat foods or drink water with salmonella contaminations. The bacteria from such contaminations can spread to the quail meat, especially during the butchering process. You can get Salmonella from infected quail meat if you don’t cook the meat long enough to kill the bacteria.

Can You Get Sick Eating Quail?

It’s rare to get sick from eating quails unless you are eating infected quails. After all, quails are some of the most disease-resistant birds. Even wild quails rarely die of diseases. Instead, these birds die following attacks from predators.

However, you can get sick after eating quails for different reasons. For example, you will easily fall ill if you eat meat from a quail that has been eating poisonous foods. Out of four persons who eat infected quail meat die from coturnism, a disease that causes  extreme muscle tenderness, especially after consuming quail meat or eggs. Coturnism can also lead to severe kidney failure.

Furthermore, you may suffer from kidney problems if you eat excessive amounts of quail meat. Excessive consumption of quail meat can also lead to other issues such as Alzheimer’s disease and dermatomyositis. Consuming excessive amounts of quail meat can also increase your risk of heart failure.

People with arthritis, knee pain, or joint pain shouldn’t eat quail meat because the high percentage of protein in quail meat can increase body inflammation, causing extreme pain for people with such conditions. Furthermore, persons with egg allergies shouldn’t eat quail meat more frequently because quail eggs can aggravate their allergy symptoms.

Can Quail Eggs Make You Sick?

Quail eggs are pretty nutritious and healthy. They are more likely to make you sick than chickens and duck eggs. However, quail eggs can make you sick in some cases. Eating plenty of quail eggs at once, for instance, can cause stomach problems. You can experience issues such as intestinal gas if you eat plenty of quail eggs. You can also suffer from flatulence and intestinal blockage if you consume many quail eggs.

Quail eggs have loads of nutritional value compared to chicken and duck eggs. You can get sick if you eat over 4 to 5 quail eggs at once. Your stomach can’t handle the nutrients in excessive amounts of quail eggs, and therefore you should consume quail eggs in moderation.

Eating over six quail eggs a day can subject you to the risk of obesity. The more quail eggs you eat, the higher your chance of becoming obese. Furthermore, the more quail eggs you eat daily, your risk of getting sick is higher.

Most commercial quail eggs don’t undergo the proper pasteurization process. Therefore, these eggs aren’t properly heated to kill the harmful bacteria in their shells. Because of improper pasteurization, quail eggs may make pregnant women sick. They are also detrimental to people with weak immune systems, especially if such persons eat undercooked quail eggs.

Overall, quail eggs are less likely to get you sick than eggs from other birds. These eggs can be good for your stomach if you eat them in moderation. After all, they contain beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants. Because of their high alkaline content, quail eggs are a good remedy for gastritis and stomach ulcers. Most importantly, quail eggs are a rich source of beneficial minerals, including magnesium, vitamin B6 and potassium.

How Does Salmonella Affect Quails?

While most quail raisers won’t effectively make a diagnosis of Salmonella, this bacteria can affect your quails in multiple ways. That’s why it is easy to tell when your quails have Salmonella, although the symptoms will appear much later after infection.

Salmonella makes quails lethargic and weak. Quails carrying this bacteria also experience a loss of appetite. Salmonella also causes quail diarrhea, showing distinct sulfur, white green, or yellow diarrhea. In severe instances, Salmonella will make your quails have swollen joints.

Baby quails usually have swollen eyes that finally lead to blindness. Salmonella also affects egg-laying quails because it significantly lowers their egg production. Salmonella has a high mortality rate in quails. Birds that don’t get treatment for this bacteria are at risk of dying even before adulthood.

Are There Any Symptoms of Salmonella in Quails?

Yes, many symptoms will prove your quails are suffering from salmonella infection. Although the symptoms of Salmonella are pretty similar to those of other diseases that affect quails, you can tell when your quails are suffering from Salmonella. Here are the top symptoms of Salmonella in quails.

  • Weakness- Quails are equally active as chickens. These birds will spend most of their time flying around, whether in free range or captive. Nonetheless, Salmonella can weaken these birds, making them inactive. If your quails have been inactive for longer than usual, especially when it isn’t cold, there are good chances the birds could have a salmonella infection.
  • Loss of appetite- Quails frequently eat to maintain high energy levels to keep them active. It is pretty unusual for these birds to stop eating suddenly. Quails can lose their appetite because of various diseases and infections. However, Salmonella is the leading reason quails may experience a sudden decrease in appetite. Your quails will most likely show a lack of interest in food if they have a salmonella infection. They won’t be eager to eat even some of their finest treats because of the disease from this bacteria.
  • Ruffled feathers-Healthy quails have an attractive appearance. However, quails with salmonella infection may show signs of poor general condition, including ruffled feathers. Many conditions can make your quails have ruffled feathers. Nonetheless, Salmonella is the most apparent condition that makes quails have ruffled feathers.
  • Diarrhea-Quails are least susceptible to diarrhea compared to most domestic birds. It’s unusual for quails to have diarrhea unless you give your birds stale foods. Diarrhea is one of the clearest signs of salmonella infection in quails. In many instances, quails die from Salmonella. Diarrhea can turn from green to yellow depending on the severity of the salmonella infection. Diarrhea also turns bloody as the birds continue to have diarrhea.
  • Reduced hatchability– Female quails with Salmonella tend to hatch less frequently because of the discomfort, pain, and distress that comes with Salmonella. They are less likely to sit on their eggs when they are broody. Furthermore, females may die while sitting on their nests while having Salmonella.

How Can Salmonella Be Prevented in Quails?

Salmonella might seem a rare infection in quails, but it certainly affects domestic quails at some point. While Salmonella in quails is treatable through medication, you can keep this bacteria at bay by preventing it from attacking your quails. Doing these things will help you prevent your quails from getting Salmonella.

  • Keep your quails in a clean environment-Salmonella thrives in dirty conditions. It can spread rapidly when your quails are living in filthy conditions. Ensure your quails live in sanitary conditions to prevent possible salmonella outbreaks in your quail flock.
  • Disinfect the cage-Disinfect the quail cage the moment you notice a possible salmonella outbreak in your flock. Get some disinfectants from a store and spray them all over the cage to kill the bacteria before it spreads further.
  • Isolate the infected quails-Salmonella spreads quite rapidly. Isolate the sick birds from the flock before they spread the bacteria to the quails in your flock.
  • Mind where your birds go- Free-range quails stand a high risk of getting Salmonella because they can contract it from wild birds and other animals. Ensure the quails are far from places where they are likely to get Salmonella.


Quails can have Salmonella like other birds. However, chances are slim that your quails will get Salmonella if you protect them against the deadly virus. Although quails are less susceptible to Salmonella than other birds, you must ensure your birds are prone to these bacteria lest they get infected and suffer from the many repercussions of this bacteria.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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