lbs of feed per bird per day

Discussion in 'Quail' started by st8yd, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. st8yd

    st8yd In the Brooder

    Dec 21, 2014
    Coturnix Manchurian. How many lbs of food per day per bird are you getting?

    I fed yesterday in the afternoon and same amount this afternoon and weighed it. Calculation comes to .0375 lbs per bird per day. Age range is 5-10 wks app.

  2. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    California Bay Area
    Good question. My wild estimate with my jumbo Coturnix is 50 lbs for 20 birds per month, or .08 lbs per day per bird. Window of error is about 25%.
  3. GeneP

    GeneP In the Brooder

    I have 33 laying Hens and 18 crowing Roos (including ones to butcher), 3 to 6 month old, regular size Coturnix quail. They recently finished a 50# sack of Layer Crumbles in 12 days. I budget 0.1 pound per adult bird per day, which is a bit high, but compensates for variables in weather and waste.
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    You've left out much if you want estimates that aren't off the cuff. Manchurians are typically a smallish bird, but not necessarily and you didn't include any weights.

    You gave a 5 week age range that encompasses the largest part of the growth curve so really no can answer that question accurately anyway. Another thing you aren't accounting for is that a 5 week old bird wastes (eaten food aside) food at a much higher rate than an adult bird. Are you running fully waste free feeders? Is everyone that you are asking doing the same?

    What average size are your adult birds attaining? What max size? Are you culling for uniformity of size sothat your birds all have a similar feed conversion?

    I've had lines of golden birds that always hit 12 ounces and I've had lines that never hit 10. Many lines of jumbo birds regularly hit 16 ounces, that bird will eat far more than a 7-8 ounce manchurian.

    I'm not trying to pick on you but you want specific answers you have to give specific details.
  5. st8yd

    st8yd In the Brooder

    Dec 21, 2014
    Not to argue Don but I did give sufficient info for the answer I was looking for. Even according to your post.

    But here's the whole story.
    We live in the country and have had numerous animals thru the years. My daughter 15 yrs old, decided she wanted to put some quail in our big bird pen. She originally wanted bobwhites but a fella I know had Manchurian coturnix. It really didn't matter to her as she wasn't aware of any other breed. Then she found out there was the potential to make money processing them to help her pay for her horse showing. She started several months ago.
    Well we processed 40 the other day and she says she wants to continue. Not counting the 25 breeders, she has 160 in the big pen, about 5-10 wks old, they are on the ground so they appear to be eating most of what they waste.
    We have all equipment needed. So I'm just trying to make sure she doesn't spin her wheels and to be able to actually make money worthwhile for the time and food investment.

  6. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    No worries, just trying to help you get the best info possible. You can speak freely without worrying about my feelings [​IMG]

    A 5 week old bird is a juvenile. A ten week old birds is essentially an adult, it's already breeding and laying eggs daily at that point. They will consume different quantities of food by enough of a margin that it will make a difference. The growth curve on quail (amount of $$ they eat vs. how much weight they gain) stops right around 8 weeks. Beyond 8 weeks you are feeding the birds more in $ value than could be reclaimed in meat obtained. Growth slows way down around that time so feed consumption changes too. Most people run their meat birds straight out with starter which also means that feed consumption will theoretically slow a bit as well near the top of the curve because they will be consuming more protein than they require daily in a smaller amount of food. After 8 weeks most birds are putting on more fat than meat anyway. That's all sort of inconsequential as long as you are talking to someone in similar circumstances, but there are some people on this forum who seriously have it down to a science.

    A manchurian line that only tops out at 8 ounces in size is going to eat a lot less than a line that tops out at 12 ounces. A 12 ounce bird is 150% of the size of an 8 ounce bird is another way to look at it. Most of the guys keeping meat birds are keeping the jumbo whites and jumbo browns and you can't breed a manchurian big enough to come close to them in size without spending your life doing it. Their birds will be on average 150% bigger than a big manchurian ( which is still only 10-12oz.).

    If you want an accurate idea of feed consumption you at least need circumstances similar to your own, which is why I suggested being so specific. Also ground level feeders allow a lot of waste, and they may clean some of it but they don't get it all. Someone who has feeders that allow zero waste will have different numbers by quite a bit when you're in that 100+ bird range. Search up waste free feeders and and you'll find a lot of easy cheap ways to convert whatever feeder you use to waste free. Sometimes it's as simple as screwing them down to a 4x6 block so the birds have to reach up for food and can't scatter or scratch at the feed.

    Keep it as clean as possible since they are on the ground. Things like cocci and enteritis spring up quick when you involve soil(especially wet soil), sunlight, and lots of wet poo. You might also want to research a worming program (any birds can get parasites but ground birds at higher risk). Most parasites spend some portion of their life in an intermediary host such as ants, earth worms, crickets, slugs, rodents, etc. You're quail will have more access to potentially infected host bugs. That said I put a layer of gravel under my ground cages and put sand on top of that and I've never had any parasite issues.

    If you are serious about staying with raising meat birds I would contact for some of their jumbo brown or jumbo white eggs. It's among the best stock you can find and they will get much larger than the manchurians.

    Also be careful advertising processed birds if you don't have an FDA exemption for processing. There are federal and state laws governing the processing of livestock to be used for human consumption. You can sell all the live birds you want and in most states won't even need a license but selling processed birds is a different deal altogether. There is an "easy" exemption that doesn't require a whole lot of paperwork or inspections, but only allows 1000 processed birds per calender year.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  7. st8yd

    st8yd In the Brooder

    Dec 21, 2014
    Thanks for the help and your post I've found them informative.
    That's what I was hoping for, responses/info based off more than just hobby/pleasure.

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