How do I convince my newly bought one-month-old quails to eat veggies?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by anna-newhampshire, May 26, 2018.

  1. anna-newhampshire

    anna-newhampshire Chirping

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    Hi everyone. My quails have been raised on commercial food. I have lettuce and kale in my garden, they just wouldn't take an interest. I also gave them tomato and cucumber, they only carefully picked the seeds. I fooled them with some sesame seeds mixed with their feed. But really all they want is their commercial feed and water. How do I get them to eat fresh vegetables and fruits too? Thank you.
     
  2. le_bwah

    le_bwah Songster

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    If all they've known is the feed, it may take time to get them eating anything else. As far as I'm aware, quail are natural insectivores; they mostly want bugs in the wild. Other foods, like most fruits and vegetables, should be treats in their diet. As long as you aren't trying to replace their normal feed with lettuce and kale, etc., then I would expect them to take to it if you give them the option for long enough. It took my chicks a few days to figure out treats, it might take older quail longer.
     
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  3. anna-newhampshire

    anna-newhampshire Chirping

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    Yeah, greens should be maybe 25% of their diet. Good for their health and for the quality of the egg. So you're saying patience and perseverance. Will do. Thank you.
     
  4. lomine

    lomine Crowing

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    Try giving them just one new thing at a time. Then once they know that particular thing is food you can add new things.
     
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  5. K85trb

    K85trb In the Brooder

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    Have you tried cutting it up small?
     
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  6. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Songster

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    This gets my vote. I have greater success cutting stuff up small....even using a small food processor and blending it up to a mash of sorts.

    If you are keen to give them natural (non-commercial feed foods) treats such as kale, etc, you should provide them with some grit/sand. You can buy parakeet grit at most stores - even Wal-Mart (bird section in the pet food area), and can purchase "Chick Grit" at most farm stores like Tractor Supply. Grit sand is needed to help grind up their food. In nature, they would seek this out from the soil/ground. We use a small parakeet seed feeder to provide them with the grit to take as they want.
     
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  7. anna-newhampshire

    anna-newhampshire Chirping

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    Thank you everyone. Good suggestions.

    Here is the update: They are in a bottomless tractor on my (organic) lawn, grit is not an issue. I see them eating weeds and grass, jumping after bugs. So I'm not concerned anymore about them getting something green - I don't blame them for not liking kale! Baked potato and cooked oatmeal (leftovers) were accepted at first try. I had to use some cunning with the chopped boiled egg though, and sprinkled it with their beloved crumble.
     
  8. JaeG

    JaeG Free Ranging

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    Alfalfa and Sunflower seed sprouts are always eaten with relish. They love clover too. I found out about the Sunflower seed sprouts by accident - I'd sprouted my aviary birds some and the quail went crazy for the sunflowers in the mix.
     
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  9. anna-newhampshire

    anna-newhampshire Chirping

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    Thank you @JaeG, When you say sunflower seed sprouts, you mean the seeds just after the root appeared, or should I let them get to the stage of "microgreens"?
    Cannot help but laugh here, but I am wondering if I'm gonna need to run them through the food processor?
     
  10. JaeG

    JaeG Free Ranging

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    Let them get to the microgreen stage. I only found out because I had a few coturnix in my aviary and when I sprouted a little garden of bird seed the quail attacked the sunflower sprouts like they were starving! Same with the alfalfa - microgreen stage. I thought they might take awhile to get used to it but they seem to instinctively recognise it. They love clover too.
     
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