Can I feed my quail hard boiled egg to get their protein levels up or is there a better way. I feed them egg layer crumbles but I have 27 quail and I'm going through a bag of feed in a month and they are still not laying eggs. What can I do?
Feeding my quail.
You can feed hard boiled eggs, but there are commercial products available with a sufficient protein content. I believe I've read that the egg production will go down if the feed is below 24% protein. Look for gamebird and turkey starters. And as Finnisher said, when feeding a starter feed there isn't enough calcium for laying so they'll need a calcium supplement like oyster shell and you'll need to grind it to a size they can eat. If you supply it in a separate bowl, they'll dose it themselves.
Oh ok. I always get 50lb pound bags for the chickens and ducks and turkeys since they lay eggs. The quails are outside in a chicken coop. so they get that light cycle and fresh grass. what do you use to grind up the oyster shells? And Should I put them inside every night up in the top part or just leave them out if I put them in will it confuse them with the light cycles. I usually put them in after dark though.
Edited by quails-101 - 5/5/16 at 6:10pm
At first, I was just using a strainer with relatively large holes, on the oyster shell we had for our chickens. This gave me small pieces for the quail and large pieces for the chickens, but it took quite a while to get a very small amount, so I went on to using a stone mortar to grind it before using the sieve to get rid of the large pieces. Very noisy and still a lot of work though, so I bought a cheap, small blender and started using that. I've only used it a couple of times, it's also quite noisy and it still takes a while to get a decent amount, but at least it doesn't require as much work as the other two. I'm not sure the blender will endure forever though, but for now that's how I do it.
I wouldn't bother putting them inside as long as long as predators can't get to them, but I don't think it's upsetting their light cycle unless you keep them shut inside a dark coop after sunrise. It might stress them to be picked up and moved to the coop though and stress can also reduce egg laying. Having more than one male in an enclosure can also cause stress.
I wonder about grit. I read someplace that feed is basically water soluble and in the absence of seeds the birds don't need grit. I haven't started mine on it yet.