Quail started on chicken starter?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Ladybirdmama, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. Ladybirdmama

    Ladybirdmama Out Of The Brooder

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    So we have never had fowl before, we are total city folk newbies. We've been doing a ton of reading, we've got a coop almost built, we got most of our supplies today and planned to pick up chicks that would be about a week old on Tuesday. I just found out they've been started on chicken starter [​IMG] I really want these chicks as they are colour variations I want, and they're adorable little babies whereas the others currently available (from other people) are nearly "mature." But now I'm worried that them having been started on lower protein food will cause a problem? Any insight or advice?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  2. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They've only been on it for a week when you get them and not missed much growth. They'lll grow normally as long as you feed them good starter after you get them.
     
  3. Del1977

    Del1977 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We always use chick starter for our quail chicks as that is all that is available where I live, (in Australia)! Have been breeding and selling quail for a few years now and never had any problems.

    Should I not be feeding them chick starter?
     
  4. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your chick starter has ~24+ % protein, it's fine. If it's much lower than that, you might see reduced growth, increased mortality, feather plucking and such. According to what I've read, that is. But in general, I don't think chick starters get much above 18-21 % protein, which is why it's not recommended. Supplementation with mealworms, hard boiled eggs and such might prevent any issues from occurring though.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ladybirdmama

    Ladybirdmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I think I'll feed them a bit of egg when I get them and then they'll be on a game bird starter.
     
  6. Ladybirdmama

    Ladybirdmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Generally chicken starter (and feed) is quite low in protein vs what quail need. Sounds like if that's your only option you can supplement to add protein [​IMG]
     
  7. Del1977

    Del1977 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are the signs of not enough protein??? As mentioned, have raised quail this way for a few years now and never had any problems to speak of. Occasional birth defect but that doesn't seem uncommon.

    Edited to add that just read above post on problems that can occur and certainly haven't had any of those and they seem to grow at normal rate. Just checked our chick starter and it is only 19.5% protein. Oops! I do give them treats, but these are mostly greens etc and sometimes chia or quinoa seeds which they love.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  8. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gamebird or turkey starter will make them grow faster and bigger.
    What, there's no TSC in Australia?
     
  9. Del1977

    Del1977 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, what's TSC? Will have to see if local store can get some in. We live in the country.
     
  10. eHuman

    eHuman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    TSC = Tractor Supply Co. I don't believe they are in Australia.
     

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