Coturnix Quail Food

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Blackoutcat, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Blackoutcat

    Blackoutcat Hatching

    Oct 1, 2012
    NB, Canada
    I've decided to keep three Coturnix to start out and see how they are. As a child we kept one lovebird so my experience with birds is limited. I have found a breeder, I have a cage prepared for three birds (each gets a little more than a square foot of space), and they're going to be kept indoors with lots of natural light coming in. My one question is what can you feed them and on the note of them being indoors is there a feed that can reduce smell in the excrement material? I am also an animal health enthusiast. My cats eat only the best food and it costs a pretty penny and I want the same for my quails. So what is the best diet for quails essentially?

    I've heard about cat food supplementing, finch seed, oyster shell, and bird grit. I know practically nothing about dietary needs of galliformes anyone want to help me out here? What do you feed your quails and if you could improve their diet how would you?
  2. Game bird feed... thats all they need.
  3. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Songster

    Jul 24, 2010
    Quail waste smell very bad that why they are outside. I heard apple cider add to the water help, but have not try it myself.
  4. I have 18 3 day olders inside the shed and i never know how bad they smelled since my others are outside...
  5. Caribear

    Caribear Chirping

    May 29, 2012
    Darke County, Ohio
    I sometimes give mine scrambled eggs, they love it. Also leafy greens like spinach and kale, and sometimes I make a mush from their food, scratch grains, and yogurt. The mush is hit or miss, some of them love it and some of them look at me like I'm trying to poison them, lol. I have noticed that when I feed them storebought feed, they stink badly, but when I feed them the soy-free non-gmo feed I get from a local BYCer, they don't smell as bad. I also give them zeolite to use as a dust bath, and they eat it as well, and that keeps the smell down.
  6. gorabbitgo

    gorabbitgo Chirping

    Sep 9, 2012
    Quail have high protein requirements (25-30%) so it can be a challenge giving them enough protein while also combating smelly poo. Regular gamebird starter/layer foods will result in VERY stinky birds. Like, "gagging on the car ride home with the windows down" stinky.
    If you can find a good soy-free, all-natural gamebird starter i suggest that. I live in an urban area where even the feed stores carry mostly dog and cat stuff, so i had to improvise a diet for my quail and i wasn't able to do as much research as i would have liked because the quail were already in hand when i discovered the processed feed = stink correlation.

    I use a 60/40 mix of Harrison's organic bird food High Potency formula and wild quail seed, another dish of egg food supplement mixed with high-protein supplement powder (Oregon Feeder Insects' Ova Musca) and dried insects, and a third dish just for ground oyster shell.
    They also get daily greens: wheat grass, spinach, kale, and/or spring mix, depending on what i have on hand. I supplement once or twice a week with small mealworms, crickets, or feeder cockroaches. This gives the birds some enrichment as well. They love chasing the crickets and roaches! I put the bugs in a deep, wide dish (tupperware casserole-type) to prevent escapes.

    I got to try a quail egg last night (they just started laying and i've been saving for cupcakes but i cracked it on accident so i just cooked it up real quick) and HOLY COW THEY ARE AMAZING. The diet is kinda expensive but man oh man did it pay off!
  7. kmneal

    kmneal In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2013
    West Virginia
    Can baby quail that have just hatched eat Flock Raiser?
  8. thinkloically

    thinkloically In the Brooder

    Dec 13, 2013
    I feed mine Flock Raiser- it works but I haven't tried it on chicks.
    Chichero likes this.

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