Do Quails Have a Sense of Smell? (Answered)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

The beak of a quail has two nostrils, one on either side of the middle. They use smell to distinguish between different foods, mates, and possibly even their young. T

his species’ sense of smell is one of the least developed in the animal kingdom, and very little is known about it.

Quails have a sense of smell. Like it has been said above, the majority of the time it is used to smell their food and mates.

How good is a Quail’s sense of smell?

Do Quails Have a Sense of Smell

Quails prefer odors those they have been exposed to throughout their lives.

This could explain why quails are finicky about the sort of bedding they use in their coop and will sometimes refuse to eat when the feed is changed.

Quails may utilize their sense of smell to communicate with one another.

Scientists do not fully understand the function of all the genes associated with this sense, so it is unclear how well quails smell.

However, it’s safe to assume that they smell just like people. Your quails will welcome the fresh scent of new bedding if their coop stinks of ammonia.

Can they smell predators?

Hens can indeed smell fear, according to certain behavioral research.

This means that if a predator’s scent is placed near a quail, the quail will act as though the predator is there.

What does this mean for the birds in your backyard? When a predator’s scent is detected, hens get frightened and anxious.

They’ll look for a safe haven like a bush, their coop, or a tree with slender branches to hide under.

At first, the flock will be agitated by the birds’ shrieks of danger as a warning, but things will settle down as they flee the predator.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on quails and giving them sunlight

Can they smell food?

Many quail farmers have had their flocks taunted by clucking hens who won’t eat the new type of feed in their dish.

Quails are able to detect the smell of their own food, as well as the smells of things they are unfamiliar with.

If you add some of the news feed to the old, quails will recognize the fragrance and be more willing to consume the news feed because of it.

You can cease blending in the old feed after they are adjusted to the new one. quails also locate a lot of tasty bugs and will eat them if they are starving enough.

So there’s no need to stress about starving your birds.

Do quails have noses?

Yes, quails do have a nasal cavity. Like the vast majority of birds. The nostrils of a bird are referred to as ‘nares,’ and they are usually found near the top of the beak.

A quail’s nostrils are placed near the top of the beak, where the beak begins.

In the same way that people do, quails take in air through their nostrils and utilize their sense of smell to detect different scents.

Inhalation occurs when air enters the nostrils and nasal cavities of their skulls, and exhalation occurs when the air leaves those cavities.

The respiratory system of birds is very similar to our own. They, too, have lungs, but their respiratory system is far more effective.

What smells do quails like?

Quails like to smell their food, and also their mates.

What smells do quails hate?

Quails repel citrus and strong-smelling herbs including lavender, catnip, spearmint, marigold, and chives.

Unfamiliar odors also frighten chickens. You can keep the hens out of your garden by planting new herbs and spices along the border.


There you have it. Both quails and chicken have a sense of smell.

And it has a small effect on them, but we are still responsible for providing them with a well-balanced diet that is rich in healthy and nutritious food.

You also don’t have to bother with seasoning their meal.

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About the author

Kloee Ngozi

Kloee is a backyard farmer and avid gardener who enjoys tending to her garden and plants. She is so engrossed with her plants that she has pet names for all of them. She likes to relax with a bottle of wine and read a book.


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