Purina Gamebird Chow....Opinions


11 Years
Sep 8, 2008
SW Florida
I purchased a bag of purina gamebird chow for my buttons and it was alot of larger seeds and some things that look almost like rabbit pellets, would this type of feed work for larger quail? I cant seem to find just crumble feed for gamebirds like i feed my chickens. The gamebird starter (purina brand also) is crumbles....but you dont want to feed that after 6 weeks or so i thought...

feel free to feed starter as a regular feed

The only difference between "starter" and "adult" feeds is the size of the crumble and perhaps the protein content

game birds need 22% protein and starter is commonly 28% protein

straight grains are from 14% to 18% protein: high protein grain is valuable and used for human consumption thus the lower quality grains are used for animal feeds

In fact Domino's Pizza buys all their wheat from upstate NY as their wheat has the highest protein of any wheat growing in North America

I mix a bag of non medicated turkey starter (28% protein) and cracked corn (16% protein) 50/50 to get an average of 22%

here's a copy of my other posts on the subject

Bird feed is all about protein. If you had pheasants you would need a protein feed well over 20%, guys I know mix corn with unmedicated turkey starter. (turkey starter is 28%) For chickens its not that big a deal. 16% is probably the minimum for protein. Scratch grain (usually a mix of corn, wheat, oats, barley) is nice to toss but being whole grains are not as easily digested by the birds and too low in protein as their only feed. In other words they'll stop laying. This is why feed stores sell pellets, they're suitable for cages where the birds don't get any grit. What I like about pellets is that wild birds don't like it so they don't feed from your feeders. Wild birds can easily eat 20% of what you provide for feed. They are also the biggest worry for the industry as diseases (bird flu) move around with wild birds. The other thing is that I found chickens prefer the "taste" of true grains and will toss out the pellets while digging for grains. Chickens also hate powder. "Chopped" grains are good as they are digested better than whole grains. Alfalfa pellets is a good idea where there is no grass, but the birds may not eat it if not used to it. The latest thing is chopped flax seed mixed in the grain. This IS worth it as the eggs will contain omega 3 fatty acids which reduces cholesterol in the human body.

I would suggest that you do what I did: mix your own food. I did the math and found that the cheapest way to feed is to buy bags of grains (wheat, cracked corn) and a bag of protein supplement and mix it myself in a drum. 1 part protein 2 corn 2 wheat. Protein supplement is 48% protein and sourced from soybean. Chickens also love catfood and this can be used as a protein in the mix.

There did exist protein from ground chicken feathers formed into pellets. This may be legal in some places and may still be used in feed mixes that you buy from a feed store. (I wouldn't use it, this practice lead to mad cow disease, who knows what it does to chickens. Other cheap protein are bone meal and blood meal.)

So this begs the question; why are the other pellets cheaper?

The bottom line, they can survive on basically anything, but they will be healthier and the eggs and meat will taste better the more variety the birds get to eat. Just look at the colour of the yolk.. battery birds lay eggs with a pale yellow yolk where my free range birds would have a dark orange yolk.

For cheap extras for your birds, make friends with someone at a grocery store veggie department. The trimmings from lettuce, cabbage, and other tossed veggies (bad carrots etc.) will all be welcome by your birds.

Another idea, cut the yard in half with another fence, scratch with a rake and plant anything (even scratch grain: wheat , oats, and barley will come up), water once or twice and let grow for a while.

Gidday: I've got an answer for you: sorghum. I have a book on raising and releasing pheasants and establishing them in the wild. It recommends two plants for a farmer to grow: cane sorghum (i'm guessing now called broom sorghum) for cover and grain sorghum for food. If you go into your local seed store and ask for this expect them to look at you as if you have two heads. This article should help.
This is something to plant to feed them.

http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolo … amp;k=1616

For feed that you don't plant use turkey food from feed stores (assuming they don't have a game bird ration feed). Use turkey starter for chicks, and turkey grower or finisher for adults. The turkey starter I just bought is 28% protein and pheasants need only 22%. Typical chicken layer food is 16-18% protein which is why it is not used. I know people that have kept pheasants for years (and I just got some) and I'm following their feed regimen: 50% turkey starter and 50% cracked corn mixed together. They can survive on practically anything if necessary but too low a protein and they won't lay eggs. As long as your protein is high enough you can make your own mix of grains using whatever is convenient (oats, wheat, rice, and other grains, plus a few unconventional things such as cat food (45% protein) but you have to work to get a good balance).

For chicken feed I fed cracked corn and wheat with a protein supplement (soybean based) and found it cheaper than the mixed stuff from the feed stores. 1 part protein 2 parts each corn and wheat

Don't forget that they all need grit and adults need oyster shell (or other calcium supplement) for egg production.

They can eat peas, beans, garden veggies, corn, wheat, oats, buckwheat, rice, sorghum, sunflower seed, millet, pumpkin seed, flax, triticale, rye, kamut, etc. If its a grain and edible by humans they can eat it. there are a few plants that are pioson to birds: check elsewhere on this site as somebody made a list of plants that's poison to chickens
The protien in this game bird starter (purina gamebird startena) says 30%, is that ok for them to have on a regular basis once they are full grown? Wonder if i could lace it with some layer crubles to even out the protien content a bit, or cracked corn
If you have female gamebirds, they need a gamebird layer ration. The extra calcium is necessary for optimal egg production during their season. Gamebird layena is in a crumble and our quail eat it just fine. During non-laying season they eat gamebird maintenance.
If your feed store doesn't sell much of it they might not stock game bird feeds. Turkey feed is common and they'll have it in stock. Starter feed has to have decent calcium levels for growing birds.

I have a flock of coturnix laying like crazy on turkey starter/cracked corn and no problems with thin shells.

Crazy high protein levels will cause damage to kidneys (or something) but 30% is no big deal.
Thank you for all the good info! I just bookmarked this thread, am incubating bobwhites and am trying to get all the info I can. I'm impressed with how much I just learned from this post!

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