Protein percentage for chicks

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Johnny829, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. Johnny829

    Johnny829 In the Brooder

    18
    12
    44
    Oct 9, 2018
    Hi guys,

    I’ve been raising about 12 coturnix adult quails on the ground for their eggs. When I got them the first time, they’re already over 6 weeks. So I’ve been feeding them 24% for quite a while. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/dumor-chick-starter-24-50-lb?cm_vc=-10005 And they seem to be healthy and happy. They basically give healthy egges daily as well. So I’d assume 24% works for those adult birds. I could go higher but I don’t see the necessity.

    But now I’m planning to raise some coturnix chicks. I was told chicks may need higher protein feed. Is it true? If so, what protein percentage should I go for? Thank you.

    Another off-topic question. I’ve been raising mealworms for my quails too. Recently, I came up with an interesting question of necessity and purpose of those “caves” for them. So lots of people put paper egg trays or toilet paper rolls on their substrates for them to climb or hide. And most people say it’s not necessary but it’s good to have those in their bins. I assume people do this because bettles or mealworms hate daylight and most people put their bins somewhere they’ll have to deal with the daylight. But I’ve been keeping my mealworms or beetles bins in my basement. And I’m sure as long as I don’t turn on lights in my basement, it’s pretty dark all the time. So I started to question the necessity and purpose of these “caves” for them, especially if beetles will lay eggs on those papers and eat their own eggs after, that’s not what I want. Any thoughts? Thank you.
     
  2. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Crossing the Road Barefoot

    8,641
    35,174
    1,137
    Apr 9, 2013
    Phoenix AZ
    My Coop
    Hi there :)

    To your original question, I gave my quail chicks turkey start, 24% protein I think. I did give protein as treats though, mealworms and hard boiled eggs, but skipped greens and seeds until they were about 6 to 8 weeks. They're doing great.

    I never had tunnels or hidey holes when I grew mealworms :confused: The bins were in a dark closet in an extra bedroom.
     
    Johnny829, KikiLeigh02 and 007Sean like this.
  3. 007Sean

    007Sean Pheasant Whisperer

    19,623
    102,442
    1,512
    Oct 25, 2015
    South Central Texas
    Many years ago I used to feed 30% protein to my birds. I found out that in adult birds it 'burns' them up, causes GI tract problems. They carry too much fat year round and that effects their egg laying ability.
    I switch to 24% protein and have had no digestive or reproductive problems since that time.
    I feed the 24% to all my birds from hatch till death.
    People that recommend feeding 30% protein are usually raising meat birds, therefore, it is ok for those purposes, faster growth, equals quicker time to market, less expense.

    I raise mealworms also, I have mine in a darkened room but I still put paper rolls cut in half in the bins, their always underneath the rolls, so I can't say if it's to get out of the light or just something they do, regardless. I also feed carrots for a moisture source and oatmeal as a food source.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  4. le_bwah

    le_bwah Songster

    789
    1,795
    216
    May 1, 2018
    Boise, ID
    My Coop
    Chicks need more protein because of the rate at which they put on mass. Straight 30% or 24% plus high-protein treats is fine.
     
    Johnny829 likes this.
  5. mixedbreeds

    mixedbreeds Songster

    I’m curious is the 24% feed you are feeding a game bird feed. It’s hard around here to find game bird or turkey feed. I did find a game bird starter that was 28% and the only other was a 30% flight and feather or something like that. I did buy a bag of the nutrena 28% starter and it’s a 2 hour drive one way. I have been going to try and have someone more local order me something but wanted to find out what the best feed was first. I am going to raise them for meat but will have breeders as well. Thanks
     
    Johnny829 likes this.
  6. 007Sean

    007Sean Pheasant Whisperer

    19,623
    102,442
    1,512
    Oct 25, 2015
    South Central Texas
    If your a serious meat producer (commercial) the higher protein would be better for the reasons stated in an earlier post. If your just raising for your own use than a 24% protein feed is more than adequate.
    I have my feed custom milled at a local mill.
     
  7. I fed 28% from birth to death (or at least well past maturity).

    My only losses, beyond deformities from hatching and some predator losses from rats tunneling in were.....maybe.....3 birds over about 4 years of owning/hatching/raising? Out of a total of probably about 100-150 birds that I kept that were aged at least to 2 years old or older before selling/gifting. I think the sweet spot might be the 24-28% range. I don't doubt what @007Sean said about higher burning them out.
     
    Johnny829 likes this.
  8. mixedbreeds

    mixedbreeds Songster

    Thank you for the reply. I’m just getting started raising quail for myself to have meat and eggs. I will sell some eggs maybe meat as well but it wouldn’t be much, I’m in a small town so not a big market. Finding feed is the real hard part for me right now. I’m sure I will get someone to order feed for me just a matter of hitting up all the stores, closest one is an hour away.
     
    007Sean and Johnny829 like this.
  9. 007Sean

    007Sean Pheasant Whisperer

    19,623
    102,442
    1,512
    Oct 25, 2015
    South Central Texas
    Most feed stores will order what feeds you need. If you can combine the order with someone else in your area, the cost can be reduced or split the cost of ordering.
     
    Johnny829 likes this.
  10. For my girl

    For my girl In the Brooder

    29
    20
    49
    Dec 17, 2017
    Austin Texas
    I feed mine Purina 30% Game Bird Chow for the first 2 weeks, then switch to Dumor 24% Game Bird Chick Starter. I grind the 30%, but don't bother with the 24.
     
    Johnny829 likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: