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Discussion in 'Quail' started by OrpingtonFairy, May 7, 2017.
What do you feed quails? Is chicken feed fine?
Yes, as long as it is not medicated. Only use cracked corn and layer's crumble. There are also food made for quail.
I have to disagree - Quail can *not* thrive on chicken feed. We have posters here often with their quail sick and dying or females not laying all because their food did not have enough protein.
Most recently posted is a group of quail chicks started developing feathers at three weeks and became cannabilistic, pecking each other bloody and dying because they were fed chicken feed instead of quail feed
Quail need more protein than chickens, especially growing chicks. Also cracked corn is a filler and will dilute their protein percentage.
Game bird starter feed (nonmedicated) with at least 23% protein for chicks and about 21% for laying hens (nonmedicated game bird layer feed). Some people go higher, especially if they dilute their feed with treats.
Sometimes people can't find it in their area so they can substitute (nonmedicated) turkey feed with similar protein percentages
Why non medicated for chicks?
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This is what I've read "Medicated feeds are just to much for these small quails bodies. Their livers can't process them properly. It may even be enough to cause infertility in adults once it has built up in their systems." So regular use is not recommend, but I have read of people using it for short stints when a quail has some kind of infection.
Sorry I should have been more clear - nonmedicated feed for quail period, chicks and adults, unless they actually need medicine or it'll hurt more than it'll help them
I did research a while ago on medicated feed. One of our experts here on forums did post a link to a study for quails on a medicated feed. In a long run (this is important) males may loose fertility from a medicated feed. It's okay to give the medicated food to quail for a short time, so if you bought a bag, don't throw it away! Some people may not have access to a non-medicated feed with high enough protein (most turkey starters are medicated) for quail. Also if you are not going to breed quail I'd say medicated feed is alright. The preference however should be given to a high quality high-protein non-medicated feed. Hope this helps.
Go to agway, they carry game bird food thats 28% protein. My agway only carries a few bags at a time so they store them in the back, they arent on the shelf. Best bet call ahead and see if they have it in stock. If not, they will order it for you. I think it was 23 dollars
The lowest protein level that is safe to feed quail is 20% you never want to go any lower than that.
I feed my quail gamebird feed and foreign finch mix supplemented with all sorts of treats, such as vegetables like carrots, tomato (fruit?) and cucumber. I give them grit too, the hens getting oyster shell with it, and I also give them treats such as mealworms I raise and aphid clumps I harvest from the garden, from what I read, aphids are meant to be good for them due to being high in energy and protein. I have also learned that the aphids do NOT last long with the baby quail... Who get them as the aphids are small enough for their teeni beaks.
I put in a pinch of aphids, which was like, 100 of them all clumped up, and the 7 baby quail swarmed them making happy peeps and next thing I know, there's no aphids in there anymore. They eat the aphids before they eat their main food now, crushed up gamebird feed mixed in with a little crushed dried mealworm for the extra protein, when given the option. And the silly things used to be scared of the aphids when they first hatched, running from the squishy bugs when I first put them in the brooder before a brave soul pecked one in an attempt to drive it off and found out they were tasty.
Here is a pic of the ravenous aphid munchers:
Edit: Also of note... As I have been giving this batch of chicks aphids, I noticed they haven't been getting pasty butt as much as the last batches used to, making me have to clean their butts less. Dunno if it is the aphids themselves or some good gut bacteria that is on them.