Truly natural quail - anyone with experience?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by whitetrashhorseranch, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. whitetrashhorseranch

    whitetrashhorseranch Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 2, 2011
    Getting ready to start some quail - and if we are going to do this work, want to maximize the healthy natural nutrition that can be gained from the eggs. That being said, I'd like to avoid commercial feeds even so called organic ones. For the older quail we have a large area to tractor our small flock, with plenty of food the wild quail sure love, and will also seed it to keep the food crop up for them. But for the young chicks - I have seen threads on here about how feeding meal worms causes "toe-pecking" and do not plan on feeding any sort of worm - but I found on the UK Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust - a study about what quail chicks eat - both in the wild and under human care. And though the percentages varied, both ate a variety of 7 different invertebrates. Has anyone out there tried feeding their chicks a variety of crickets, ants, beetles, spiders, etc? Not a pleasant picture, I don't look forward to that prospect - but I feel it would be worth it.

    Any input about natural feeding appreciated.

  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    As I understand it, the wild quail around here feed their babies exclusively bugs, rarely eating any seeds or legumes, and these babies eat bugs all summer until nearly 3 months old. I am sure they are eating other things out there in the wild, and they instinctively know what to eat or follow in their parents foot steps. But unless you know exactly what they truly need, then you may risk many growth factors, neurological growth, having immune system and reproductive issues. However I will feed my adult quail crickets all the time, which I purchase from a reptile store. Since mine are kept in an aviary setting, I have spiders, centipedes, beetles, locusts, moths, ants, you name it crawls in there and they all scurry as fast as they can to be the first to eat it. Of course the most natural of foods is most appealing to them. However you may have trouble meeting their nutrient requirements, especially of very young quail. You can definitely add these to their chick food starter diet, but unless you are planning on raising these bugs, you couldn't catch enough of them in one day to feed several quail.

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