1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Quail won't eat game bird food?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by SeptemberQuail, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Songster

    Oct 10, 2012
    They're Japanese Quail.

    When I first got them, I temporarily fed them canary seed mix, they loved it. After almost finishing the bag, I decided to buy a big 20kg bag of game bird finisher, because it has all the protein and stuff needed for them to lay eggs and be healthy.
    I mixed the micro-pellets in with the left over seeds and with the oyster grit as well.

    As I put the food-cup down for them, they rarely ever touch it anymore! Sometimes I see the male go through it, he normally makes a huge mess by pecking at the pellets to try and find the canary seeds underneath, and all the pellets fall onto the grass. It's a waste of money.

    Sometimes I give them fruits such as water melon or cucumber, I sprinkle some pellets on to try and convince them to eat it; They eat a few, but then devour the whole cut piece of fruit. I don't get why they don't eat the pellets.

    I was worried they would get hungry, and so I dug up earthworms, they loved it, gave them boiled egg shell (broken up), they loved it, clovers, they loved it, fruit, they loved it, but why won't they love their actual food?

    The females almost NEVER touch the cup. I even try throwing in clover leaves (love it), and they only eat the leaves then walk off.
    Normally, before, all 3 used to eat the seeds out of my hand, but when I do the pellets, they walk away.

    I've heard of trying to dampen it with warm water, I did it today, but they only pecked at it slightly and don't eat it.
    Does anyone know how I could convince them to eat their food? I don't want to waste money, nor have them be hungry. [​IMG]

  2. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

    Oct 24, 2009
    They are not hungry - that is why they are not eating the new food.

    Its like use having a choice between chocolate cake, or healthy dry breakfast cereal.

    In the evening give them their normal food that they like.

    Then when they have got to sleep for the night take all the food out of the cage.

    In the morning they will be up and looking for food and hungry!

    Then put in the game bird food ONLY.

    They will hold out for a few hours as they expect you to give in and give them other stuff.

    Put the game bird food in a bowl they can not throw it out of, and only put in a small amount, so you can see easily if any has been eaten. Leave them with this food all day.

    In the evening you should see they have eaten it. Then you can add more.

    only give the other foods as treats and in small amounts.

    Don't mix other foods together, as they will only search through it to find the bits they like and wast the rest.

    Try this once and let us know what happens.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I had the same trouble with some Bobwhites. All they wanted was the tasty seed mix that I offer. I also had one female that was a survivor of West Nile Virus and endured 8 months of rehab. And during this time, all she could eat was hard boiled eggs. So getting her to start back on gamebird food was rough.

    So between this sick female and the others that had become spoiled rotten, LOL, I had a heck of time getting these few spoiled birds to eat their food. One thing I did do was change feeds to another brand. And wouldn't you know, they loved it a lot better than the original food they had been eating.

    You will have to give them time to eat their food, since they know you will break down and feed them treats. You will have to make the seed mix you feed a treat only. Couple times a week. Offer up mainly gamebird food, maybe some veggies of some sort. But keep the gamebird food as the main dish.

    Switch brands of feed, as not all feed tastes the same. If it smells like cardboard, chances are it tastes like cardboard as well. LOL I found a sweeter smelling feed that they found palatable enough to eat instead of their tasty seed treats.

    Quail will not starve themselves to death and will eat their food if nothing else is available. Wetting the feed down can help, however you will have to remove what they have no eaten every night so it does not grow bacteria. Pain in the rump and wastes feed.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  4. Campine

    Campine Chirping

    Aug 17, 2012
    I agree, that's exactly what I do. No treats until the evening after they have eaten their game chow.
  5. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Songster

    Oct 10, 2012
    Thank you so much everyone!
    I'll try avoiding giving them all that, but it'll be a bit hard stopping them from eating the clovers (as they practically live on top of the clovers. :p), but again, thank you all! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by