The Difference in Fowls

Chickens, pheasants, and quails are surprisingly different when it comes to color, diet, habitat, and more. There are many distinguishing characteristics between the birds, so although they are related they do not have much in common.

Pheasant tail feathers


Chickens are domesticated, belonging to the red jungle fowl subspecies. Male chickens are very colorful with long tails, hackles, and saddles. They vary in color from bright white to colors like brown, green, and sometimes purple. Males are distinguished from females by a comb that indicated gender. They live on average from five to ten years, depending on the breed of the chicken.


Pheasants are large and extremely colorful. They have strong, long legs and clawed feet. Their bills are short and stout. Pheasant tail feathers are soft and their wings are rounded. Pheasants can fly for short periods of time. Males are much larger than females, so size is their typical distinguisher.


Quails are a game bird that make excellent pets. They have very round bodies and are short in stature. They are small, typically measuring about 8 to 10 inches in length. They weigh between 5 to 8 ounces on average when they are wild. If they are cultivated in farms, weight can vary dramatically based on the food they were fed and the exercise they received.

What Do They Eat?

Quails mostly feed on leaves and seeds, but at other times they eat arthropods. Different breeds, however, have different diets. Montezuma quails dig up and eat roots and bulbs of plants, while other species of quail do not need fresh water to remain hydrated.

Chickens feed on anything, from mice to grains. They eat insects, grass, roots, seeds, and small animals.

Pheasants need more protein that most people think they do. From the moment they hatch, it is important to monitor their dietary needs and provide the sustenance they require. Soybeans, wheat, clover, cowpeas, mealworms, and more can provide more than enough protein for both peasants and quails.

At first glance these birds are very similar, but underneath they are extremely varied. Chickens, quail, and pheasants are branched from the same family tree.