Feed: Organic vs. Conventional

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Colinus Ruckus, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Colinus Ruckus

    Colinus Ruckus Out Of The Brooder

    30
    0
    22
    Mar 9, 2011
    Western NC
    I've got 50 butler bobwhite eggs in the incubator right now (my first quail ever!) and some questions have come up that I'd like to put to some experienced heads around here. I'm raising them primarily as meat birds, and I'll be selecting the best to keep as breeding stock.

    1. Can you toe punch quail or are their feet too tiny?

    2. Feed. I'm trying to decide whether to feed organic or not. I have found a local organic soy- and GMO-free feed supplier, but the highest protein she carries is turkey at 23%. Will that work? I was told I could supplement with fish meal to increase the protein. Does anyone do this? There's also a feed store nearby that sells conventional gamebird feed. This would certainly be more convenient. Does anyone raise organic birds? Is there a big difference in taste and growth rates? I think I wouldn't have much trouble selling extra organic meat around here for a higher price, so that's not an issue.

    Also, any creative ideas for additives that will improve the quality of the meat? Meal worms? Veggies? Alfalfa? Anything NOT to feed them? And do bobwhites have any special food needs or preferences? From what I've read they seem in general a higher-maintenance creature than the coturnix.

    Thanks, folks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  2. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Overrun With Chickens

    7,584
    82
    293
    Mar 2, 2009
    BROOKSVILLE FL
    Quote:NEVER EVER EVER FEED ANY WORMS OF ANY TYPE TO BOB WHITES THAT ARENT AT LEAST CLOSE TO FULL SIZE--- YOU WILL HAVE ENOUGH FOOT/ ANKLE BITING PROBLEMS ALONE YOU DONT NEED TO ENCOURAGE IT FURTHER AS IT CAN DESTROY YOUR ENTIRE COVEY IF NOT KEPT IN CHECK AND TO A QUAIL WHO ISNT NECESSARY THE BRIGHTEST CRAYON IN THE BOX ANOTHER QUAILS TOES LOOK AN AWFUL LOT LIKE THOSE TASTY LIL WORMS HE LIKES SO MUCH.

    PROPER NUTRITION IS BEST IN THE FORM OF COMMERCIAL GAME BIRD STARTER AND MORE COMMERCIAL GAME BIRD STARTER, TOPPED OFF WITH COMMERCIAL GAME BIRD STARTER [​IMG] BASICALLY LEAVE THE TREATS AND SNACKS TO ADULT BIRDS WHO HAVE FINISHED OR NEARED COMPLETION OF GROWING... THEN OF YOU WISH TO SPOIL THEM YOU CAN EXPERIMENT WITH TREATS LATER. ONCE GROWN FRESH CORN ON THE COB IS LIKE BOB WHITE CRACK COCAINE, THEY ALSO ENJOY MANY OTHER LIL TASTY TREATS BUT IT CAN VARY GREATLY FROM BIRD TO BIRD.
     
  3. Colinus Ruckus

    Colinus Ruckus Out Of The Brooder

    30
    0
    22
    Mar 9, 2011
    Western NC
    Wow thanks. That is super helpful. I hadn't thought about the foot-eating thing! A bobwhite breeder told me to throw grass and weeds into the pen if they start to peck on each other. Have you heard/tried that?

    Thanks too for the great info on ruminant bone meal. I appreciate you taking the time to explain the whys. It's a lot easier to make informed decisions when you can get the background info.
     
  4. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Overrun With Chickens

    7,584
    82
    293
    Mar 2, 2009
    BROOKSVILLE FL
    Bobs Are Vicious Lil Things... Space Is Key With Them For Pecking Issues Even Then There Will Always Be Some Squabbles And The Occaisional "take That" Attack From Time To Time, The Frequency Of These Issues Magnifies 10 Fold During Breeding Season And Believe It Or Not Hens Are More The Trouble Makers Than Roos. Aside From Space- Hides And Distractions Are The Other Methods, And There's Always Bits.
    Distractions Come In Many Forms, Whether Its Greens To Peck At, A Sand Box To Bathe And Play In, Or Some Other Treat To Grab Their Interests. Heck I Have Even Used The Lil Canary Toys With Decent Results (once They Get Over The "aaahhhhhhhh!!! Its Gonna Eat Me!" Factor) And Cuttle Bones Are Good Too.
     
  5. Colinus Ruckus

    Colinus Ruckus Out Of The Brooder

    30
    0
    22
    Mar 9, 2011
    Western NC
    I've come up against feed troubles. The store sells 5 lb bags of nonmedicated gamebird starter, which we've grown out of, or 50 lb bags of medicated "sporting bird"/chukar feed. I don't want medicated feed for a lot of reasons, despite the feedman trying to sell me on it. Under the circumstances I will have to mix my own. What would be the closest feed to start with and what is absolutely necessary to add? I know ruminant bone meal is a must. So how about turkey starter with bone meal added? Is there anything else?
     
  6. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Overrun With Chickens

    7,584
    82
    293
    Mar 2, 2009
    BROOKSVILLE FL
    TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE TURKEY STARTER IS AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN GET TO GBS AND AS FAR AS I KNOW IT DOES ALSO CONTAIN BONE MEAL... WORSE CASE SCENARIO READ THE FINE PRINT ON THE TAG SEWN INTO THE BAG. ALSO TRY THE PURINA MILLS WEBSITE--- THEY HAVE A DEALOR LOCATOR BUILT INTO THE HOIME PAGE... TYPE IN YOUR ZIP AND HIT SEND AND IT WILL GIVE YOU A LIST OF ALL PURINA DEALORS IN YOUR AREA... AUTOMATICALLY SCRATCH OFF ALL TSC LOCATIONS AND START CALLING THE REST ASKING "DO YOU HAVE, OR CAN YOU GET ME NON MEDICATED GAMEBIRD STARTRENA? IF SO HOW MUCH? AND IS THERE A MINIMUM ORDER?" --- HOPEFULLY THAT'LL GET R DUN FOR YA! [​IMG]

    NUTRENA MAKES A GOOD PRODUCT AS DOES FRM OUTTA GEORGIA (FLINT RIVER MILLS)
     
  7. Barney47

    Barney47 Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    22
    Feb 13, 2010
    N. Central, ILL
    I just picked up a bag of Purina Game Bird Startena but on the tag it reads ruminant meat and bone meal free. Do other feed companies have it in their game bird feeds? Apparantly Purina quit putting it in all feeds since the mad cow incident some years ago. Do we still need to add bone meal to our feed?
     
  8. joe125

    joe125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2010
    Quote:Don't worry about all that marketing BS my friend! If you have Purina Mills Game bird Starter...product #5419, then you should be good! IMHO!
     
  9. joe125

    joe125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2010
    Quote:Hmmm...A feed store wants to sell you what they have in the back, rather than what you want....That's new....NOT!

    If you can't get Purina/Nutrena GBS (They are comparable products), then turkey starter is a fine substitution in my opinion. Everything else is just chicken feed!
     
  10. Barney47

    Barney47 Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    22
    Feb 13, 2010
    N. Central, ILL
    Yep, its #5419. $32.68 a hundred but what do you expect with corn over $6.00 a bushel and beans over $12.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by