Do Quails Need Sunlight?

Quails need sunlight for survival. The daily lives of these birds depend on sunlight, which helps manufacture and synthesize the hormones they need for egg development and good overall health. Sunlight is also a natural source of vitamins, like vitamin D.

It’s therefore imperative to provide your quails with direct exposure to sunlight. As vital as sunlight is for quails and all birds, quails only need moderate sunlight. Prolonged or excessive exposure to sunlight can be dangerous to your birds.

How Much Sunlight Do Quails Need Each Day?

Sunlight is crucial for quails, although these birds need sunlight in moderate amounts. Quails need about 14 hours of moderate sunlight exposure each day to keep their egg production and health at their peak. These birds’ laying mechanisms will halt if they don’t get enough sunlight.

Furthermore, quails suffer from vitamin D deficiency due to a lack of adequate sunlight. However, quails don’t require direct exposure to sunlight to maintain a healthy laying cycle and sufficient vitamin D levels. Direct exposure to extremely hot sunlight can make females lay soft eggs.

Although sunlight is critical for quails, these birds won’t always get enough sunlight, especially in winter. Supplemental lighting is thus crucial to ensure the birds compensate for the lack of sunlight on the cold and dark winter days. Alternatively, you can place the quail coop in a sunny area to provide the quails with sunlight during winter.

Can You Keep Quails In Direct Sunlight?

No, it would be best if you didn’t keep your quails in direct sunlight. Direct exposure to sunlight, especially extremely hot sunlight, can be dangerous for these birds. Keeping your quails in direct sunlight, particularly in the winter, can subject your birds to heat stress.

Exposing your birds to heat stress can lower their egg production performance. Heat stress from direct exposure to sunlight can reduce quails’ egg and meat quality.

You can easily tell if your quails are suffering from heat stress due to direct exposure to sunlight. For instance, your birds will breathe heavily with their tongues moving up and down due to heat stress. Quails also exhibit lethargic and droopy behavior because of heat stress.

Quails experiencing bouts of heat stress tend to lose their appetite hence becoming weak over time. Simply put, long-term exposure to direct sunlight poses a serious risk for quails. Protecting your birds against direct exposure to sunlight is vital to keep them safe. Here are some simple ways to protect your quails from direct exposure to sunlight.

  • Provide shade-This is the perfect way to protect your quails from direct exposure to sunlight. Ensure your quails have a shady area in their coop where they can retreat during hot days. You can put a black shade cloth under the roof to provide the quails with enough shade during hot days.
  • Reposition the coop– Don’t keep the coop facing directly towards the sun during hot days because you will expose your quails to extreme heat. Instead, reposition the coop such that it will face a different direction where the birds won’t experience the negative effects of prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. After all, your quails will still get adequate sunlight even if the coop isn’t directly facing the sun.
  • Cover the front side of the coop– Covering the front area of the coop directly facing the sun will reduce your birds’ exposure to sunlight. You can cover this area with a cloth or cardboard if you think your birds are getting too much exposure to sunlight. However, only cover the front area of the coop if you are certain your quails have enough exposure to sunlight. Covering the area before your birds get enough sunlight can deny them adequate amounts of sunlight.
  • Ventilate the coop– Always provide adequate ventilation inside the coop to protect your quails against the harmful effects of direct exposure to sunlight. Ensure the quail coop has openings to allow hot air out of the coop if the quails are at risk of succumbing to overheating. However, the openings should be predator-proof to protect the quails from roaming predators.

How Does Sunlight Affect Quails?

Sunlight affects quails’ overall health and egg production. Sunlight is crucial for stimulating many vital biological processes in quails. Also, sunlight enhances the secretion of vitamin D in quails’ bodies. A moderate amount of the sun triggers several events upon reaching a quail’s brain.-

For example, sunlight aids a quail’s body in nutritional absorption, making it easier for quails to absorb the vital nutrients they derive from their foods. That’s why quails will become weak if they don’t get sufficient sunlight because their bodies won’t effectively absorb nutrients from the feed and other food items they consume.

Sunlight is an excellent natural source of essential vitamin D, which helps quails’ bodies absorb calcium and other minerals. Female quails that receive sufficient vital vitamin D due to sunlight have high calcium levels in their bodies. Therefore, these females will lay eggs with thick shells because calcium helps quails lay quality eggs.

The amount or intensity of sunlight a female quail receives directly affects its egg production ability. Female quails lay optimally when they get a minimum of 14 hours of exposure to sunlight. That’s why quails and chickens don’t lay consistently during winter because there is almost no sunlight.

Sunlight is vital for egg-laying female quails because it helps stimulate their ovaries, ultimately making the ovaries release yolks that initiate the laying process. Quails might not lay at all if they don’t get a minimum of 14 hours of exposure to sunlight because their ovaries won’t release the yolk quails needed for the egg-laying process.

Sunlight also affects quails’ overall health, besides affecting the egg production in these birds. Without sufficient sunlight, your quails will suffer from problems such as vitamin D deficiency, which negatively impacts quails’ bone health. Sunlight also provides enough heat to kill the diseases that affect quails. Furthermore, sunlight helps dry out quail coops, thus destroying the many viruses that live in quail coops.

Can Quails Live Without Sunlight?

Quails can’t live without sunlight. They require a moderate amount of sunlight because sunlight is necessary for several biological processes in these birds. Quails can’t survive without sunlight because sunlight helps quails get enough vitamin D in their bodies. Vitamin D is vital for quails’ egg-laying ability and optimal health.

Sunlight determines quails’ sleep/wake schedule; therefore, quails won’t maintain this schedule when they lack exposure to sunlight. Quails can’t lay without sunlight because their bodies won’t produce the hormones they need for optimal egg production. Sunlight plays a crucial role in quails’ overall health, meaning your quails won’t be healthy if they have no exposure to sunlight.

Although chickens can’t survive without sunlight, they only need a moderate amount of sunlight to survive. Ideally, your chickens only need 4 hours of sunlight to survive. Excessive exposure to sunlight can be detrimental to your birds.

Even if you provide your quails with supplemental light to help the birds meet their minimum light requirements, avoid providing them with supplemental light for more than 14 hours. Moreover, avoid exposing your birds to extremely hot UV rays lest they experience heat stress.

Do Quails Need Light at Night?

No, your quails don’t need light at night. Providing them with light at night can be counterproductive because they won’t have a quality sleep. Therefore, ensure there isn’t light around at night to help your quails get adequate sleep. Furthermore, quails don’t need more than 14 hours of exposure to sunlight because the excess exposure will ruin their sleep patterns.

Your quails will mistake light for sunshine if you light their coop for 24 hours. Consequently, they won’t get the peaceful and restful sleep they need. Such suppression of sleep patterns in quails can result in undesirable behavioral changes such as pecking, agitation, or even cannibalism.

Your quails should get approximately 6 to 8 hours of restful sleep to keep their immune systems healthy. Good sleep is essential for the quails’ health and wellbeing.

Do Baby Quails Need Sunlight?

Baby quails don’t need direct exposure to sunlight because it can ruin their health. You are supposed to keep your quail chicks in a brooder for the first weeks after hatching. Have a heat source in the brooder as the chicks continue growing. The light from the heat source is enough for the baby quails, so your quails don’t need sunlight to survive.

What Happens to Quails if They Don’t Get Enough Sunlight?

Lack of enough sunlight can be detrimental to your quails. Your quails risk suffering from a vitamin D deficiency if they don’t get sufficient sunlight. Furthermore, lack of enough sunlight can impact your quails’ egg production.

Female quails won’t lay at all if they don’t get enough hours of sunlight exposure. Moreover, lack of sunlight will also affect several biological processes in your quails, which ultimately affects their health and wellbeing in the long run.


Sunlight is vital for quails because it helps their bodies perform many crucial biological processes. Your quails won’t be effective layers if they don’t get enough sunlight. Furthermore, they will suffer from vitamin D deficiency, affecting their egg production ability and health.

Although your quails need sunlight for survival, you should not expose them to direct sunlight. Your quails should get moderate sunlight to keep their bodies functioning optimally.

Quails   Updated: July 22, 2022
avatar 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.

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