Feed Change

Discussion in 'Quail' started by La Condessa, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. La Condessa

    La Condessa Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2014
    Several weeks ago, my two- and four-year-olds got in to the Purina Layena feed and wasted a ton playing with it. I cannot buy it here (my husband picked it up for me when he had to travel for a work conference), so, needing something to feed them, I bought some Payback Poultry layer egg feed from a local source (20%protein). Apparently, it is meant to be mixed with equal amounts of scratch feed and fed to chickens, but I gave it to my quail straight. I was worried that their egg production would drop off, and it wasn't doing so great as things were--average about 3 eggs per day from five hens.

    To my surprise, they now produce five or occasionally four eggs per day, and the eggs have gone from an average 9 or 10g up to 12 or 13g. The protein is the same, so I wonder if the cause is some nutrients being more concentrated in this feed that is meant to be diluted? It's a pleasant change all around, since I can buy this feed here in town for ~$7 less than the layena per bag.
     
  2. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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    They should be eating a gamebird feed,either pellet or crumble.
    In N.H.,Tony.
     
  3. La Condessa

    La Condessa Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2014

    Yes, that's why I was feeding them the purina gamebird layena before my kids waisted the feed. It's why I was so surprised they have done so well since switching to this other feed.
     
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    They'll lay on straight 15% chicken layer but it's like a human eating top ramen noodles three meals a day. They won't live as long or as healthy and their eggs will be less nutritious.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. deserthotwings

    deserthotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    dc3085 is absolutely right. Stay away from the chicken feed on your game birds. Purina Game Bird Chow is best or Meat Bird if you have it available. Most feed stores will order game bird feed for you if you'll ask. Always try to stay at or above 20% protein.
     
  6. La Condessa

    La Condessa Out Of The Brooder

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    So, you guys are suggesting that I change them back to the purina gamebird layena instead of the payback poultry layer feed they're on, even though the protein levels are the same and they are producing significantly better on it? Wouldn't the step up in production indicate something favorable about the change?
     
  7. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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    You can mix both feeds together.They really do need the gamebird feed.
    In N.H.,Tony.
     
  8. La Condessa

    La Condessa Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2014
    I decided to look up the nutrition breakdown of both feeds to compare. Here's what I found:

    Purina Payback
    Protein 20% 20%
    Fat. 2.5% 3%
    Fiber. 7% 7%
    Lysine. .9% 1.5%
    Methionine .3%. .35%
    Calcium 2.5-3.5%. 6-7%
    Phosphorus .8% .75%
    Salt .25-.75% .5-1%

    So, the thing that jumps out is clearly the calcium. And I was having problems with my birds dumping out their calcium supplement (crushed eggshells). So I switched from the containers I was trying to use to just putting some in their sandboxes each day, but it does still get kicked out eventually. That was probably the cause of my lower production before--not enough calcium. Does that seem right to you guys? Or do you think some of the smaller differences in other nutrients would have contributed to the change? Maybe I could get a better calcium feeder set up, then separate my layers and feed one group on each feed to compare their production with calcium always available.
     
  9. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Waaaaaay too much calcium in any chicken food to be feeding long term to quail.. Quail roosters don't have the ability to process calcium so if fed too much over too long a period it can cause organ failure just like in people. If you only have hens it's fine but that number is extra low in gamebird food for good reason.

    Edit to add: Gamebird feed is always less than 1% calcium.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  10. La Condessa

    La Condessa Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2014
    Okay, interesting. I'll need to look for my next opportunity to pick up more layena out of town. If I eventually have enough birds to have eating egg layer hens kept separate from roos, I might consider this feed again.
     

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