Feeding chicks

Feeding these small chicks is relatively easy. I normally start them off with Turkey Starter which is medicated with Amprol to control coccidiosis. A non-medicated Turkey Starter does not exist. Actually, it’s not such a bad idea to have a medicated feed to start them off with because the first few weeks, they walk, play, and defecate in their food and water all the time. The medication prevents them from getting ill. Turkey starter crumble is too big for the small quail chicks to eat, so for the first couple of weeks, I pulverize the feed by putting two cups at a time in a food blender. The food is then placed in a dish made from the bottom of a two-litre milk carton. They’ll quickly learn where the food is if you lightly tap on the food with your finger. It’s important to teach them where the food is during the first couple of days because after three days, they’ll be scared of you and your finger and run off at the opposite end of the box whenever you come near.

To provide water, get a plastic quail base from one of the suppliers listed below. These have a narrow drinking slot to prevent the chicks from getting in and drowning. Alternatively, you may use a Petri dish or something similar and fill it full of marbles or small stones. The disadvantage in doing this is that the birds will defecate in the water which means more work for you as the water will need changing often. After about four weeks, I start introducing Purina Flight Conditioner in the food dish at a ratio of 1 part Flight Conditioner to three parts Turkey Starter. Seven days after that, I bump that up to two parts Flight Conditioner to two parts Turkey Starter so that after four weeks they’re off the medicated feed and are eating out of the same troughs used by the adults.

After the chicks have reached four weeks of age, I transfer them into a cage of the same size and dimension as that used for adults. In early spring, I move the lights to this cage also and leave them there until I start noticing that the birds no longer use them as a source of heat. At six weeks of age, you will start noticing small eggs in the bottom of the cage. Two weeks after that, the eggs are more uniform in size and you can expect one a day and in some cases, as many as 250 a year. You can start setting eggs from those birds in your incubator after the birds are about eight weeks old.

How To Feed Quail

Feeding quail is one of the most important aspects of raising quail, besides housing quail. Knowing what to feed your quail and how to feed the quail is essential for keeping your quail healthy. In this quail husbandry guide, we’ll discuss methods of feeding quail; what to feed your quail; how much to feed quail; and what constitutes healthy quail feed ingredients.

One of the most basic elements to understand regarding the practice of feeding quail is that you should not attempt to supplement mixed quail feed too heavily. Commercially mixed quail feed, available from your local poultry feed store, are carefully formulated to provide your quail with the right mix of nutrients and vitamins to keep your quail healthy. Supplementing quail feed with grains, scratch and other food items may change the amount of nutrients your quail are eating.

Before we begin teaching you how to feed quail, you need to know the reasons for which you are raising quail. Quail are fed differently depending upon their purpose. For example, quail breeds raised for meat and consumption are fed quite differently from quail that are being raised for quail breeding or quail eggs. Each type of quail require different types of feed depending largely upon their purpose to the quail farmer.

How to Feed Your Quail Based Upon the Age of the Quail:

No matter the type of quail species, feed baby quail and young quail a quail starter diet. Starter diet is essential for young baby quail because the growing birds need an extraordinary amount of protein as they grow. Starter quail feed has this, as well as other vitamins and nutrients that baby quail require. Feed baby quail the starter feed up to the age of 8 weeks.

Once your baby quail are 8 weeks old, switch what you’re feeding quail to a purpose-specific quail feed. If you are raising quail for meat, you should switch the quail to what is known as a finisher diet. This essentially helps nourish the quail until they are old enough to be killed, prepared and consumed. If you are raising quail for quail eggs or to breed quail, switch the quail feed to a developer quail food. Then, when the quail start to lay quail eggs, start feeding the quail a layer-specific quail feed.