Molting Quail

I’m often ask if quail molt.  All birds molt, smaller birds mostly do this once a year where larger sometimes two or even three times a year.

When Quail molt it’s normally during the time of year when seasons change, the fall is a good example and the process can last between 2-3 weeks.  I found this to be a stressful time for quail as they go into hiding during the majority of the process.

Molting allows the bird to release worn or damaged feathers by replacing them with new beautiful ones.  This process takes time but necessary as feathers are responsible for more than the birds ability to fly.

Feathers were created to protect their bodies and keep the rain off.  I always find it fascinating to watch water just roll off keeping the birds dry underneath.

Prior to moving the quail into the sanctuary I noticed one began molting so I knew the others wouldn’t be far behind.

This became to be true as egg production stopped and tiny feathers covered their nesting areas. The detail on these little feathers is amazing and eventually they flew away in the wind.

I recommend leaving quail alone when they molt.

Watching quail molt is interesting; mine stopped all activity with the exception of eating and occasionally hunting for their favorite bugs.  They even stopped chirping which was a disappointment because I love that sound.

I recently built them a couple more shelter boxes which seemed to bring them comfort during this cycle.

I’m going to assume molting season is coming to an end because they’ve been flying like crazy.

The Quail Sanctuary is a hit so if you find your quail begin shedding feathers, don’t panic it’s just molting season.