Stretching quail feed

Discussion in 'Quail' started by birdmandan, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. birdmandan

    birdmandan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone.

    I am trying to keep my quail raising costs as low as possible.

    It seems it takes about a kg of feed or 2lb to grow a quail to slaughter size.

    Yes, they are greedy and wasteful feeders.

    Game bird starter is $25 for a 20kg bag.

    It is costing me over $1 in feed to grow a bird not to mention all the fixed costs and utilities.

    A quail at the supermarket sells for around $3 each and the labour of slaughtering and cleaning is already covered.

    I have thought about stretching out the food. Feed with game bird starter for 3 weeks, then change to a chicken layer than sells at nearly half the price. Game bird maintenance has only 15% protein, same as chicken layer but at a higher price.

    It seems logical for me to feed chicken layers to adult birds and supplement with a bit of game bird starter for extra protein. A handful of mealworms will give a 20% protein boost and earthworms will give a whopping 60%-70%.

    Anyone here tried stretching their feed?
    Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated.
     
  2. Tikvah146

    Tikvah146 Just Hatched

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  3. Tikvah146

    Tikvah146 Just Hatched

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    Hi I stretch the food by adding fruit and veg. Usually whatever I have left over from the family. Mine love carrots and red cabbage. Apple slices are also appreciated. I have just started growing grass in trays which I plan to put a wire top on. The grass grows over the wire which is then eaten but the roots still grow. That way they have access to fresh green shoots. However I stop them wasting the pellet food by using an ice-cream tub with a hole just large enough to get their heads in. Hope that helps
     
  4. birdmandan

    birdmandan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info tivka. Scraps are great but my main concern is protein to ensure fast growth. I have seen many forums suggest things like alfalfa sprouts or parsley but at 3%-4% protein, it would act as a treat than body building feed. I will try out feeding chicken layer feed from 3 weeks with the mealworms and earthworms that i farm and report back with the results.
     
  5. birdmandan

    birdmandan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2011
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  6. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May I ask where you're located? I pay $15 Canadian for my bag of feed and I hear in the states it's available at TSC.

    You can also use non medicated turkey starter which usually has at least 25% protein in it.

    I would call around and see if you can get a cheaper price for your feed :D

    Mealworms seems like the best idea to supplement since they are high in protein and nutritious and feed on scraps so are basically free. :)
     
  7. birdmandan

    birdmandan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually, im on the huge island, full of venomous creatures, on the western edge of the pacific, in the southern hemisphere. The cheapest 20kg game starter feed is $25. Chicken layer feed is only $15. So it does work out about $1.50 to grow a chick to 8 weeks.

    Streaching could reduce that to under $1. If im processing 500-1000 a year, it does add up. Then again, if i process them at 10 weeks, i would get a lot more meat per bird and lots of eggs at the expense of probably another kg of feed...
     
    Dani xxx likes this.
  8. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ahh hmm, if what you're looking for is profit, quail eggs around here go for about $5.00 a dozen, sometimes more for fertilized eggs that are special colors or if the edible eggs are organic. Maybe there's a market where you are?

    Might be good to farm the eggs mainly and the extra males can be meat for yourself or selling? :)
     
  9. birdmandan

    birdmandan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good news for me. This lady who breeds quails by the thousands sold me feed for under $1 a kg. Really good stuff, custom made by the mill at 33% protein. Mind you, she buys it in 3 ton lots as that is the minimum order from the mill. I bought 90kg off her... around 200lb. Maybe if a group of locals can band together and share resources, we can all get high quality, high protein feed at discount prices.
     
    Binki likes this.
  10. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Wow, that is lucky! I can't even get Game bird feed where I am in New Zealand (not without paying ridiculous shipping costs). The best I can do is 20% meatbird crumbles. I do ferment their feed and that makes it go even further (considering meatbird crumbles are $40 for 25kg)! I certainly wouldn't want to be feeding a large number of quail on it!
     

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