Couple beginners questions


Jul 12, 2016
Hello everyone,
I am just getting started and 12 coturnix eggs are due to hatch in a week or so. All of the supplies have arrived and I am really excited to get started with quails. So far I have Gamebird food, Homemade no mess feeder (from these forums - someone's ingenious idea), grit, oyster shells, heavy duty grinder, wheat berries for sprouting, a coop, infrared lamp and heating pad. I have been reading these forums a lot in the last week and have a good general idea what to do/not to do. Couple questions to all you gurus:
1. Fermenting food - what are the advantages/disadvantages and how do you ferment it?
2. Are there any homemade food recipies (ie cooked) for quails? Can they eat cooked soy beans?
3. I don't recall seeing if you can feed mealworms to quails and how much?
4. Do quails like any toys in the coop?
From what I could figure out so far reading on this forum:
1. There is a thread on fermenting food with 1700+ pages. Still reading but one of the benefits is increased immunity of birds and not so smelly poop. I'll give it a try some day.
2. I like to experiment on a kitchen so I'll try homemade food and see how it goes. Birds like "wet" food for some reason.
3. I hope they will run for the mealworms! There was an old thread saying to limit consumption to 2-3 per bird per day due to a high fat content. Going to experiment as well.
4. Toys are on my to-do list for now.
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Let me know if you figure out anything :D

I know soy is used as a popular protein supplement for feed, my feed store game bird food has it, also be careful making your own food, it takes some calculations and careful mixing to make it complete or else there can be health and behavioural issues :O

Right now as I couldn't find an ideal grain mix for them, I give them about 10% treats like kale, watermelon, finch seed mix, etc. along with their staple food to make sure they get all of their nutrition :)
About mixing the food (with careful calculations) I was thinking of a mix containing ground soy, flax, sunflower seeds, nyjer, and maybe millet. Majority will be soy since it has the highest protein content of all.

As for the treats - the birds go wild for the meal worms. One unusual treat I found is a blue pozo sage seeds. Its a cool plant to grow in a garden and apparently quails munch on it in the wild all the time. Cut the seed head and give it to quails and they will do the rest.
Fermenting quail feed - used distilled or non-chlorinated water, using enough water to cover the seed/feed/food by about 1". Leave for 2-3 days then feed to the birds. Some people use it as a treat but others have literally moved to using only fermented feed.

Food - Obviously they would like some veggie scraps or fruits. They would also eat boiled eggs, mashed up. This is a good way to recycle unwanted eggs back to the birds. I also recently found that my quail like bean sprouts (like the ones from Asian grocery store) so I am now growing bean sprouts once or twice a week for them too.

Meal worms or fly larvae - They will eat these a lot if you let them. I feed mine black soldier fly larva, but you can use regular fly larvae too. I prefer BSFL though because you can farm them with veggie scraps and other organic matter, it doesn't need to be rotting meat like with house fly larvae.

I don't know about toys specifically (like a parakeet or parrot needs them) but some branches or boxes that provide shelter and hiding places will be good for them. You may feel they are safe in their coop or container but they want to feel safe too, and the way to provide that is to give them hiding places.
can anyone tell me what breed of quail this is as I can't find anything online? Sorry not a great photo
I think it might be a color variation of the bobwhite quail, mainly from the shape of the beak.

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