Here is the best Quail Feed guide.
To understand what your quail needs to eat daily bases, it is very important to understand their natural behavior, diets, and natural habitats in the wild.
Despite the quail’s weak appearance and size, they are very hardy birds that are super easy to raise at home.
Although they have particular diets and are extremely picky eaters, they are easier to handle than other backyard bird species once you know what they do in the wild.
The things to consider are types of breed, intended for quail, location of the cage, the climate of your States.
Granivores include quail. The main components of granivorous birds' diet are seeds and grains.
But they love to eat bugs, worms, and vegetables for their meal too. Chickens are omnivores and they have almost the same diet.
In the wild, there are more than 130 breeds of quail living all over the world with different habitats.
But for this blog post, we will focus on the domesticated quail and find what their natural habitat is like.
Quail in Their Natural Habitat
To be able to provide the best quail feed guide, we have to give you some idea about how they behave in nature.
Since the Bobwhite quail is a very popular breed among the homesteader, let’s understand more about its natural habitat.
Just like many wild quail, they will set up a nesting area in grasslands near a farmer’s field.
Most of the Quail love to eat seeds from ragweed, corn, wild sweet peas, and seeds fallen from soybean fields.
The Quail love to take advantage of a farmer’s hard work by hanging around in cultivated fields.
They moved, however, in search of the fruits, nuts, and other varieties of acorns if their food supply became scarce owing to the weather or other competition.
Some conservationists purposely planting insects attract crops or pants to attract wild quail into their land.
To increase the number of wild quail, quail must stock up on protein from bugs that live in colder climates.
Full-grown adult quail prefer grains and seeds instead of insects.
But they will eat worms, insects, and grubs to boost their calories for survival.
According to the Michigan DNR, adult quail eat grain, and it makes up to 80% of their diet.
However, to survive, quail under the age of 8 weeks must eat worms and insects that are rich in protein.
Once chicks become juvenile’s age, they will seek out a normal diet like an adult.
Different Diets for Different Stage of Quail
When raising both chickens and quail together at your homestead farm, it is very important to know that chicken feed and quail feed are very different in nutrition makeup.
Some experienced quail farmers feed the chicken feed to their quail, but these are not formulated with the different nutrients that quail needs to survive.
If you are a first-time quail grower, consider stocking to commercial feed, that is formulated for quail birds until you are more experienced in raising poultry.
Because they are formulated with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that a quail needs to flourish and thrive.
Meat and Egg Quails Vs. Game Hunting Quails
The hunting quail need to be fed very differently than a bird will be used for meat and egg because they need to be ready for flying for hunting events, dog training, and sports events.
The Best Quail Feed Guide gives you some ideas on why you need to mix the feed depending on the type of meat.
Able to raise the quail for the hunting event, they need much more protein in their diets, and also need a big space to learn how to fly in open space.
The owner of the quail raises the quail for the outdoor sport, they sprinkle the fed all over the pens or large ground so that quail expend their wing to condition for flying events.
This way, quail are more active and able to keep their natural instinct for release in the wild.
Wild Quail and Captive Quail are very different in behavior.
Since captive quails are not able to go out and find what they need to survive, you must provide the feed that is formulated to meet their nutritional needs.
Starter feed is helping young birds grow within their first weeks in the wild. It is protein-packed insects with a 30% protein ratio for the best results.
This basic feed is mimicked what wild quail eat during the juvenile period and manage the right blend for young quail for the next stage of its life.
But don’t go buy too many bags of 40lb start feed, because, within 8 weeks, you need to change quail diets for the growing period of their life.
If you are growing your quail for meat consumption, you should use feed that contains a 20% protein diet once they reach six weeks of age.
Grower feed refers to the finishing fee that is intended for meat chickens and keeps their metabolism high.
Grower feed will promote a healthy bone mass, not excess fat, and a healthy growth rate for body size.
Hunting Quail Feed
Quail for hunting are considerably different from quail for meat and eggs.
Hunting Quail feed needs to promote healthy feather growth to fly in the field.
Also, it has to be fed in a sprinkling manner to promote foraging and quick responding time which can prepare quail for the hunting, dog training, or releases.
Quail Feed Plans
Here is a simple reference sheet for quail feed by the age.
- Starter Quail Feed (Up to 8 weeks) - High Protein Feed
- Grower Quail Feed (After 6 weeks) - 20% Protein Feed
- Feed for Quail Hunting - Transition to Hunting feed at 6 weeks of age
Extra Supplements for Quail
Typical quail can lay one egg per day and they need a lot of calcium to keep up with egg production.
As you can see why they need an oyster shell for the solution.
Oyster shell is an amazing solution for laying egg quail because it provides the natural solution for the calcium need to produce eggs with thick shells.
Since quail and chickens do not have teeth, they need access to grit, which is just crushed stone.
The crushed stones act as teeth in the quills stomach or crops, to break down seeds, grains, and other large stuff that needs for digestion.
While oyster shells provide calcium as nutrition, grit is only useful for breaking down the food. You can buy the grit in most pet stores.
If you are planning to feed them with game bird food, they don't need grit.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
When you purchase the diatomaceous earth for your poultry, make sure you only purchase food grade diatomaceous earth.
Because your quail will eat it too.
The function of this dust is to eradicate internal parasites.
But the main reason to give this dust to kill pests, mites, fleas, or tick infestation of parasites.
A word of caution: only use dust in the areas in which pests have been suspected.
Diatomaceous will crack your quails’ feet and cause them an infection because it is a drying agent.
Here is a list of food quail enjoys:
- Quartered Apples
- Quartered Peaches
- Chopped Cabbage
- Corn on the Cob
- Peas in the Pod
- Dried Fruits
- Seeds: Millet or Millet Sprays, Hulled Sunflower Seed, Safflower Seed, Milo, Cracked Corn, and other tiny seeds
- Mashed Potatoes
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Greens of all kinds
- Alfalfa Leaves
- Meal Worms
Do Not Feed the quail with anything salty or spicy, no avocado, no raw potatoes, chocolate or alcohol.
In our the best Quail Feed guide, we have included all the pertinent details.