A few questions from a newbie!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by rebelINny, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. rebelINny

    rebelINny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 16, 2011
    eastern, Ny
    Hello everyone! I am a newbie from NY but am looking into raising a few quail for the eggs and meat. My question is what exactly can they eat in place of buying game bird feed? We try to be a self-sufficient as possible and we don't like to buy feed from feedstores if we can grow the stuff ourselves. Any advice is helpful. I have been reading up about them a little bit and it seems they need very high protein feed. Any suggestions as to what might work that we can grow ourselves. If not then we would just go with the store bought stuff. Thanks.
     
  2. mhwc56

    mhwc56 Chillin' With My Peeps

    there are others who have asked the same question pretty much, go through the posts /do a search on nutritional needs ,diet for and so on there's some good stuff on here .
    and WELCOME ! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  3. Farmerman

    Farmerman Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been working such a diet out myself. My advice is to focus on a few things to get the main components of their diet and use a bit of diversity (like in the wild) to ensure you get the full range of nutrients for the birds from producing your own feed. For protein I think culturing mealworms, superworms, and perhaps a few other insects along with the water plant duckweed is what I am going to do. Duckweed is higher in protein then soy and has a better amino acid profile then most plant sources, according to the linked article japanese quail like it. It can double its size in 24-48 hours. Through out the winter I will keep my best breeders and egg producers, and throughout the warm months if I go for meat production Im going to focus on duckweed en mass grown in cheap kiddy pools with water from my fish. For the rest of the diet I am growing a range of seeds. Amaranth, millet, sunflowers, sorghum, corn are all easy to grow here, but I will be using others as well. Keep in mind all things things have some protein as well along with other nutrients, so you would be bumping it up with the insect and duckweed not necessarily leading with them. Im still working out all the details but for cheap easy protein production you cant beat growing duckweed in the warm months (you could do small amounts in windows in winter to, if you wanted). For calcium I am growing sowbugs AKA pillbugs. The type that roll up are easy to culture in many ways. It isn't actually an insect at all. It is a crustacean, so it is a shell like a oyster. Sadly I can't find info on its total nutritional value but I have found reference of people using it as a source of calcium for other types of birds, and people raise them for different types of reptiles as well. coturnix quail are more efficient with calcium then most birds I have read so having their own shells, the sowbugs and if you wanted crushed snail shells that were grown with the duckweed. So many alternative sources.

    You can fertilize the water for the duckweed many many ways, so no issues there. It doesnt need the water to be deep either. It is a good thing to feed fish as well, and carp or tilapia would be happy on a diet of duckweed as well, and can be raised cheaply if you want to do it that way. Tilapia or common carp (mirror carp were bred for the table, growing very fast, breed easily and are tasty on the right diet in good water) in cheap 55 gallon drums with duckweed growing on old tank water from the fish, which feeds your birds and your fish, the water then going from the duckweed pond through a sand filter and back to the fish can be a good cheaply accomplished route to take, or for just the birds of course, just mentioning it though.

    So basically you will likely have to fill in the details yourself. It will take some time adjusting to what you grow best and works best for you to get it ideal, but you can indeed meet all their nutritional needs with home grown things. It all depends on what your willing to do. If you are all ready a gardener, it shouldn't be hard at all.

    http://www.microponics.net.au/?p=181
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  4. Fishman43

    Fishman43 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2010
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  5. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Well good luck you 2.

    Keep in mind that they are not from this continent. They did and do migrate between continents seasonally on the other side of the world. Wish ours did.

    Buckwheat grows overthere and I bet they get into the wild rice fields, too.
     
  6. mhwc56

    mhwc56 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:i sure wouldn't want to hav to feed my birds the wild rice you can buy around here ...prices are like gold's...lol
     
  7. rebelINny

    rebelINny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    eastern, Ny
    Well I have the corn and can do sunflower seeds........amaranth I can grow. Can they eat alfalfa for protein? Like if I got hay cubes and soaked them in hot water? Not sure just brainstorming, but not sure if they are big enough to eat that or not and would those four things be enough?
     
  8. Rainwolf

    Rainwolf De La Menagerie

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    My Coop
    meal worms are easy to "grow" and can provide protein
     
  9. Farmerman

    Farmerman Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Buckwheat is easy to grow also actually so thats good to point out. Rice not so much for my region. Corn and soy the base of modern feeds arent from their "native" diet either, but do just fine I could grow soy to, It is just an inferior nutrition source. Looks good on a label with its high protein, but there are many other drawbacks. If you raised a range of things I think you could much better mirror what they evolved eating then moderns feed. Traditionally they ate lots of insects. It will take some work is all, not for everyone but it can be done and well. The japaneese didn't domesticate them on soy and corn. [​IMG]
     
  10. Farmerman

    Farmerman Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:No I dont believe those four things would be enough. Im not real sure about alfalfa tea having good protein either, you would have to look into that. the duckweed really is easy to grow. you can dry it as well, though those that do that process their own pellets I believe. If you throw a good source of protein into there, I think youd be "okay" or close for a likely VERY bare bones diet, but really diversity would be much better, there are lots of vitamins and nutrients in these feeds mirroring an animals diet which ate most any seed and insect it could catch. Growing a small amount of a few more types of things wouldnt be any more work then the things you are talking about growing, youd just need the seed. I would really consider culturing some insects like mealworms as well.

    think of free ranging chickens, eating greens, food scraps, maybe cracked corn, seeds, insects it catches, its crushed eggshells, a hunk of water melon rind.... they do fine enough, but most of them get a wide ranging diet, and lots of odds and ends fed to most of them. the eggs of a free range chicken Ive read can be more nutritious actually, and Im sure the quails can as well, but diversity of safe foods is key imo, while ensuring you get good ratios of key things like protein. I have NO doubt if you could feed it only the things listed there would be some cheap feeds on the market with just those things, as all are "cheap" and easy to grow.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011

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