Organic GMO free feed.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Bramsbirds, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Bramsbirds

    Bramsbirds In the Brooder

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    I am switching to organic non GMO feed for my quail. The organic feed available is (Organic Pride Chick Starter). This feed is only 20% protein so it barley makes the mark. The second issue is that the soy and corn in it are likely GMO. To solve this I am switching to a mix of barley, wheat, oat, sun flower seed, millet, and bean sprouts. I can sprout it on a 8 day cycle and for one pound of the grains you get three of the fodder. Protein is increased in the sprouting process so this should not be an issue. I am even growing these grains myself. Any thoughts?
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

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    I am also working on a different approach to feeding my chickens and quail at this moment and the chickens are the guinea pigs right now. LOL I am buying bags in bulk of Wheat, Oats, Barley, Millet, Sunflower seeds, etc...

    I have been spending a lot of time in the "feeding and watering your flock" section of the forums and also have been doing a lot of research in the archives. You will also need to add things to make the protein "complete" so that it can be absorbed by the bird. So that means amino acids, certain minerals and vitamins, and trace minerals. And to complete your feed, you will need to add some sort of supplements if you are not going the animal protein route. Animal proteins, which quail would find in the wild such as bugs, spiders, other insects, contain amino acids that allow the body to absorb the protein. Without this stuff, your protein from this plant material will not be going to work in the birds body. So find a good supplement you can add that contains these amino acids, along with the very important vitamins like A D and E that are very important to life and egg laying.

    I am going with Farmers Helper Ultra Kibble. It does contain animal proteins however, all from fish, but trying to keep my birds in a natural state as they would in the wild, they eat animal protein.

    Also...it is very important to add legumes to quail's diet. So you might want to also add lentils and hard split peas. Quail get a lot of their veggie protein from legumes. Chickens do not care for legumes much, but quail go ga ga over them. You might need to grind them down however being so large. I am grinding everything together so that the birds can not pick out all the tasty stuff and leave the important things behind.

    Good luck and if you stumble on any information in this matter of feed, please share! I am still learning myself. :)
     
  3. Bramsbirds

    Bramsbirds In the Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2013
    I will add more legumes. Thank you for the tip.
     
  4. Sycamore27

    Sycamore27 Chirping

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    Totally agree with TwoCrows on the mineral and amino acid points.
    For finding out the nutrient content of your fodder you should be able to find crude analysis of the sprouted grains, just make sure that it is a crude analysis and not a human nutritional statement. The former will give you a weight/volume figure, the later being tailored to a human serving size.
    Once you have those numbers I was instructed that to find the total figures for your feed you take the percentage in question, add up that percentage for each ingredient, and then divide it by the number of items you're combining. This only works for equal amounts of each thing of course. If you did two parts of something you'd have to add that twice and count it as two ingredients in your division.

    Do let us know how this works out for you in the long run, I'd love to work up to something like it eventually myself.

    Cheers,
    Jessie
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I don't have quail but I thought that if it is organic that means it can't be GMO. I buy this brand of chick starter too on occasion is why I mention it.
     
  6. Sycamore27

    Sycamore27 Chirping

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    It is true that organic is supposed to mean non-GMO, however if I recall correctly from my father telling me about the regulations they leave a few loopholes. USDA organic products are supposed to be 95% organic ingredients, products can specify 100% and have to follow that by labeling regulations so that is a closer bet. You have to watch out for products with "organic" in the company name but no inspection and USDA information, some use it as a loophole to look organic when they aren't at all, "with organic ingredients" is another one as it only has to be 70%. Also I know with pet feeds it only has to be 75% organic ingredients to be certified, I don't know if that is the same with livestock feeds or not as the majority of information I've found related to things for direct human consumption.

    You can always write a manufacturer and ask about specific ingredients (soy, corn, canola, etc.), I specify writing them by email or post because if you have a copy of their reply the knowledge of evidence to sue them if they lie to you will be incentive to keep them honest...

    Cheers,
    Jessie
     
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  7. veggiecanner

    veggiecanner Songster

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    If I understand it right with those sprouts, if you feed them wet a animal may not be able to consume enough food to meat it's needs. Because although you may have increased the protien you've also added a lot of water.
     
  8. Sycamore27

    Sycamore27 Chirping

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    From what I understand from raw/fresh feeding based on dogs and cats, and fodder feeding for parrots and rabbits and the like, you will see a drop in water consumption. A wild quail/rabbit/goat/etc. spends a lot more time eating and searching for food than a domestic animal eating what amounts to concentrated nutrition that is freely available, and a domestic animal has to drink a good bit of water to stay hydrated from those dried foods. You will see them spending more time eating but they will eat what they need to keep the nutrient level up.

    Of course, what I say is mainly speculation based on my own common sense, observations, and the testimony of others keeping different species.


    Also totally agree with TwoCrows on the idea of grinding things up together so they can't pick out their favorite bits.

    In addition to sprouting I don't know if anyone mentioned fermented feed yet, but fermenting makes seeds more digestible and especially plant proteins more bio-available for any omnivorous creature like quail (or people!). You can find some threads on the processes for that in the chicken feeding forums I'm told.

    Cheers,
    Jessie
     

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