Can Quails See In the Dark?

Although quails are active birds during the day, these birds can’t see in the dark. They don’t have night vision like humans and other birds, so they can’t see anything at night. Like chickens, nighttime is roosting time for quails, and they concentrate more on roosting than seeing things at night.

Even the most active quail species can’t see in the dark. The presence of light at night will make your quails unable to sleep properly, exposing them to fatigue and undesirable behavior like decreased egg production.

Do Quails Have Night Vision?

Like most birds, quails have strong eyesight. Notwithstanding their strong vision, quails aren’t nocturnal birds such as owls and bats. Therefore, these birds don’t have night vision. Due to their lack of night vision, quails roost at night because they can’t see anything.

It’s not surprising that most predators attack quails at night because they take advantage of their lack of night vision, which makes it impossible for quails to see predators. The lack of night vision also makes quails inactive at night.

Quails have fewer rods in their eyes, unlike owls, cats, bats, and other nocturnal creatures with strong night vision. Rods are the light-sensitive receptors in the eyes. These light-sensitive receptors enable an animal to have night vision.

The more the number of rods in an animal’s eyes, the stronger its night vision. Because quails have very few rods, they can’t have night vision like other nocturnal creatures.

They fear darkness because they can’t see anything at night, including predators. Your quails will stay in a single position when darkness sets in. They will remain in that position until daylight, when they can see again.

They won’t fly around because they can’t see where they are going. Instead, they will avoid movements at night because they know they are vulnerable due to night blindness.

Do Quails Need Light at Night?

No, quails don’t require light at night. Your quails won’t get enough sleep if you light their cage at night. Quails usually mistake any form of light for daylight. Therefore, they won’t sleep when there is light at night because they will assume it is almost daytime.

Your quails will need plenty of rest at night instead of having light at night. Light will keep the quails awake throughout the night. Consequently, they won’t get sufficient sleep and will experience fatigue the following day.

Light affects egg-laying quails by suppressing their laying mechanism. Your quails’ laying mechanism will halt if they get over 16 hours of light. The more hours of light your quails get at night, the fewer the number of eggs they will lay.

Don’t add any artificial lighting to your quail enclosure. Block any light entering the enclosure at night. The darker the enclosure is at night, the better the quality of sleep your quails will get. Ideally, quails should have at least 15 hours of daylight each day. Otherwise, excess light will make your birds unable to sleep.

How Much Sleep do Quails Need?

Quails need at least eight hours of sleep. Light and distractions can suppress your quails’ sleep patterns, hindering the birds from getting sufficient sleep. Sleep deprivation can expose your quails to fatigue and lethargy during the daytime.

If you notice some of your quails sleeping off during the day, it’s apparent they haven’t been getting enough sleep. It’s either you have been turning on the lights at night, or your quails aren’t getting ample sleep because of disturbances such as loud noises or predators.

The best way to give your quails adequate sleep is by blocking any light entering their enclosure. Alternatively, you can avoid keeping your quails in noisy surroundings at night. Or, you can deal with predator threats to allow your chickens to get enough sleep.

Can Quails Sleep When Lights Are On?

No, quails can’t sleep when lights are on. Instead, these birds will stay awake thinking it is daytime, while it’s nighttime in the real sense. Although some quail keepers put some artificial lights in the coop to help their birds see and eat food, always consider switching off lights when your quails need sleep. These birds will have a hard time falling asleep when lights are on.

The problem with keeping lights on at night is that the quails may start mistaking the light for sunlight. Therefore, they won’t fall asleep throughout the night. Not getting enough sleep makes your quails stressed, resulting in unwanted behavioral changes such as decreased egg production.

Keep the lights on for a few hours at night during winter when there are fewer hours of light during the daytime. The extra hours of light will encourage your quails to lay more regularly. However, it would help if you kept lights off at night during other seasons of the year because light will cause adverse effects on your quails.

How do Quails Get Around at Night?

Because quails are night blind, it’s intriguing to understand how these birds get around at night. After all, it is impossible to get around at night when these birds are totally blind. Quails rely on their senses to get around at night when necessary. For instance, these birds rely on their senses to find a suitable roosting place at night.

Quails also flap their wings to detect whether there are any objects that could obstruct them at night. If a quail flaps its wings and comes into contact with something, for instance, it won’t proceed in that direction but will instead remain where it is.

Quails further rely on their hearing to get around at night. They listen attentively to different sounds to figure out where to go and which places to avoid. For example, quails can’t see predators at night but can detect their presence through hearing.


Quails don’t have night vision, unlike their nocturnal counterparts. Therefore, your quails can’t see in the dark. After all, quails don’t need light at night because light can harm quails. For example, the light will prevent your quails from getting enough sleep, exposing them to fatigue.

Furthermore, light can suppress your quails’ egg production because having light at night will make your female quails lay fewer eggs. Therefore, block any light entering the quails’ coop at night past the sunset hours.

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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