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Natura feeding

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for natural feeding ideas for my pet coturnix. Would a diet similar to parrot's work? I.e. Fresh sprouts, whole grain, fresh greens and fruits. Plus meal worms, crickets and other protein sources like insectivorous bird and cat foods. Would probably have to grind the dry mix. I have no access to fowl food except for unlabeled generic chicken feed sold by weight; not keen on that! Cost of ingredients is not an issue as I have only a few pet quail and intend to purchase grain and seed ingredients from supermarkets and health food stores.
post #2 of 4

With parrots, you'd typically aim for something around 15% protein. With coturnix, you need to aim for something like 25% protein. There are not many of the items you'd feed a parrot that has that much protein and meal worms are very high in fat, so you don't want to use too many of those to get up there. Where do you live, if you don't mind me asking? It is possible to get a suitable gamebird or turkey starter in most places, if you know where to look..

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
There is very minimal farming in my part of the world; pet fowl are discouraged thus no feed options besides generic, unlabeled chicken feed meant for production. These quails are pets that I hope will live long healthy life on a healthier diet.
I considered using okara (soya bean fibers/meal left over from making soya milk) as main protein sources. Some feed ingredients in mind include human food grade corn, amaranth, teff, flax, sunflower, oat, wheat etc. Fresh stuff would include Alfalfa sprouts and chopped kale. Would wheat sprouts and green bean sprouts be too large for quails? I wonder what the bioavailability of whole and/or fresh food like those I mentioned above is VS commercial mass production feed.
post #4 of 4

They will eat the green tops of the sprouts and leave the rest. You can try culturing your own insects to feed them. Crickets and flightless fruit flies are not difficult to raise.  Mine enjoy kale, collard and chard.  Make sure if you are offering your quail whole seeds to also give them grit, sand or small seed sized gravel for their gizzards to help grind the seeds up or they will pass the seeds undigested. If you have pet hens they will lay and will need access to calcium.  Ground eggshell works well or this.

 

Mass production feed is not all bad, and is a good way to make sure your birds are getting main nutrients.  You might consider basing their diet on that and supplementing it with other stuff.

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