What Age can Quail Start Eating Mealworms?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Little Byrd, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. Little Byrd

    Little Byrd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got 96 coturnix Quail eggs set to hatch soon, and now I'm setting up everything for my new babies :D. I ordered a whole lot of mealworms for them, but I just remembered that someone told me that quail can't have mealworms because they can start toe pecking each other, and once it starts you can't stop them. But I've heard of plenty of people who feed quail mealworms, at least the adult ones. Is it not ok to feed Quail chicks mealworms? If so, at what age is it safe to feed them the worms without worry of toe pecking? Thanks in advance[​IMG]
     
  2. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Quail chicks peck each others toes no matter what. We have one that goes nutty pecking at his/her own toes - it's pretty funny to watch. I've never had anyone hurt due to this. I've given mine dried mealworms at a week old, because you can break them up into pieces. I think you'd have to wait until they were at least a month old for large mealworms. Smaller ones would be ok for chicks about 2 weeks old I'd say. Enjoy your babies - they are so cute and grow so fast.
     
  3. Little Byrd

    Little Byrd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A whole month? The coturnix quail I had before were swallowing whole worms (not mealworms) and flying by 2 weeks. The ones they didn't swallow whole were ripped to shreds and then swallowed. I put them on dirt with lots of insects in it so they could forage, and boy they started having a ball right out of the brooder :lol:.

    If the toe pecking thing is not a huge issue, then I guess I'll introduce a few mealworms at 2-3 weeks when they're all strong enough to run from each other if there's a problem.
     
  4. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like a lolly scramble for them! I'm not much of a bug person and ours are brooded in the house so mine get dried bugs. I was trying to think how big a mealworm is compared to a quail chick but if they'll rip them apart then I'd say from a week old they'd be fine.

    We've had a lot of slaters/woodlice round lately and our quail outside hunt them with a passion! Thankfully our daughter enjoys hunting for bugs for them too. Our son on the other hand is as big a wuss as I am when it comes to bugs!
     
  5. paigespeeps

    paigespeeps Just Hatched

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    I get dried mealworms and just crunch them up so they don't look like toes anymore [​IMG] My babies love them, and it's probably good extra protein too.
     
  6. Little Byrd

    Little Byrd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update: Well, my baby quails started hatching a couple days ago, and yesterday I decided to give them a few of my smallest live mealworms (1/4-1/2 inch) and see how they'd respond. They went NUTS for them! :lol: They swallowed them whole like it was nothing and went in a frenzy trying to get another one. It's really surprising how fast they learned how to eat them, and even more surprising how many mealworms they can fit in their little bodies.

    There has been some toe pecking, but it's not often and the one doing the pecking quickly realizes that they're not pecking a worm and stops. Majority of the chicks are healthy, energetic and bouncing around trying to fly already. Even the couple weak ones will try to run after the mealworms.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  7. dpenning

    dpenning Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I'm a newb and still learning but my understanding is if you are giving young chicks meal worms you need to give them some kind of grit as well, for these little guys I think they recommend sand. Maybe someone with more experience will chime in.
     
  8. Little Byrd

    Little Byrd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I had ducklings, I read somewhere on the duck forum that ducklings don't need grit for eating insects. They only need grit for when they eat seeds or other things really hard to digest. I assumed the same applied for Quail chicks, but I just went and gave them some grit just to be safe.
     

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