Not Certain of the Food Value in What He's Eating

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Advocat, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. Advocat

    Advocat Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2014
    Since late in the first week of my Gambel Quail's life, he's been on Purina Gamebird Startena that I had to order online. He loved it, gobbled it right up, and that's all he has really eaten up until the last month or so (other than bits of fruit and occasional other things he gets small amounts of).

    One of my sisters had a dove that recently passed away. She was feeding the dove a "Dove and Quail Mix" seed. She gave me what she had left of it, which is a fair amount. So I began giving my Quail some of the seed mix now and then -- just a pinch or two along with his regular Startena.

    He really likes the seed mix, and now he prefers it over the Startena. He used to eat up all his Startena every day, now he will leave a lot of it just sitting and will wait until I give him some of the seed mix.

    This would be okay if the nutrition was equal, but it's not. My understanding is that as a Quail, he needs a feed with 30% protein, which is what the Gamebird Startena provides. The Dove and Quail Mix only provides about 22% protein. My intent had been to use the seed mix as a daily treat in his food, not to have him eat it and mostly ignore the Startena.

    And he really knows the difference. Even when he's out of his cage, when I put fresh food in his dish he knows the sound of the seeds falling and will come running for that, but not for the Startena (which I put in first) ... he's not interested until he hears the seeds, lol!

    Can I safely quit giving him the seed mix except as an occasional (once or twice a week) pinch in with his regular food, and go back to ONLY giving him the Startena so that if he wants to eat, he has to eat it? I'm concerned that he might not eat if there is just the Startena, now, and how long should I wait if he doesn't eat?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    He won't starve himself. Just feed the startena. After a bit, you can add some of the seed mix a few times a week.
    Try to keep that about 5% of the total.
     
  3. Advocat

    Advocat Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I know quail can do some "batty" things, was hoping that starving themselves wasn't one of them :)
     
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    With the startena he doesn't need any additional grit because it's water soluble, but with the dove and quail mix you'll want to give digestive grit as well.
     
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  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    good point dc.
     
  6. Advocat

    Advocat Out Of The Brooder

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    I give him clean play sand for his bathing, so there is always a fair amount of that around in his cage -- will that serve for digestive grit?
     
  7. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That'll do.
     

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