Quails are highly profitable poultry birds, they may look weak and fragile apparently but that has nothing to do with their eating habits. These tiny creatures have quite an appetite plus they are very fussy and choosy about their diet. They can eat whatever is in front of them if they are hungry but mostly they are pretty much conscious about the foods that are toxic or unhealthy for their health. It is important to know that when it comes to feeding these tiny birds it is not much of a fuss but it is certainly good to know if you are giving them a balanced diet. Moreover, feeding quails highly depends on their age, what you like to feed them, and most importantly what you are raising them for i.e. breeding, laying eggs, meat production, etc.
Can quail eat fish?
The simple answer to this question is a big YES! Quails can have fish, it is a meat protein. Fish is completely safe and healthy for the tiny birds; their feed content also contains protein and minerals which are necessary for their growth and development. So, it is perfectly fine for a quail to eat fish. Wild quails feed on grains, insects, plants, nuts, berries, seeds, and the captivated quails are provided with all these components in the form of a commercial feed. Both wild and captured birds live a healthy life when given the necessary nutrition.
What you should never feed the quail?
Quails are smart birds and generally understand the foods that are toxic for them, they avoid such foods on their own but in case they are very hungry or in dire need to have food, they would eat anything present in front of them. You must also know that quails are mostly hungry throughout the day. Certain foods must be avoided to feed the quails:
- Grape seeds
- Citrus fruits
- Uncooked potatoes
- Just anything from your garden
Further, you need to keep into consideration that most of the wild plants are poisonous and toxic for the quails so they must be avoided at any cost. Additionally, do not feed them anything from your garden, they tend to figure out where the food has come from and then they would continuously eat from there, which would eventually be bad for your garden. Some of the foods that quail loves are grains, celery, quails feed, etc.
What are the favorite foods of quail?
There are certain foods that quails love to eat. Following are the few foods that quails like to have:
Quails are very fond of eating celery leaves, they do not eat stalks but only the leaf part of the celery.
Quails love to have eggs but not in an ordinary way they love having dried eggs. You have to boil the egg and then leave it to dry for a couple of days, finally chop it into fine pieces and feed them to the quail.
Small worms are one of the most favorite foods of the quails; they are so full of nutritious content which makes them the most complimentary food for the quails. Moreover, earthworms are highly easy and accessible to the quails.
The diet recommended or necessary for quail contains a high content of protein and minerals, the quail feed compromises of food which has 19-20 percent of protein and minerals. The proteins and minerals are the main components that build the quails body.
As quails love to feed on leaves; duckweed is another plant that they love to eat. This animal feed includes a lot of necessary components that are beneficial for the health of the quail, so it is upright to feed duckweed to the quails.
Fruits and vegetables
The feed of quail is made up of plant components, quails love feeding on fruits and vegetables. Their feed comprises 80 percent fruit content and 20 percent vegetable content. Moreover, during summer and fall, quails especially live on fresh fruits and vegetables, their favorite fruits include; berries, prickly pear, cholla, dragon fruits, grapes, apples, cucumber, peas, broccoli, reddish, etc. Remember that quails can have all sorts of fruits, vegetable seeds apart from grape seeds.
Quails love to feed on insects since they are a rich source of protein. A baby quail depends on insects for the first few weeks of its life, after they become adults they shift to a vegetarian diet. The protein in insects gives them energy and helps them grow and develop, insects are a small part of their regular diet. During the breeding season, quails eat more insects than usual.
There are few other foods as well which quails love to feed upon; sunflower cake, fish, shell grit, maize; these ingredients are also a part of quails feed. Quails also like eating seeds; black chia seeds and sunflower seeds are the seeds they love the most.
A Word about Water
Like any other bird or animal, clean and fresh water is very crucial for quails health. They need fresh, clean, and cool water every day to survive. If the water is stagnant and dirty it can cause health issues for the bird. It is better to use automated drinking cups for the quails because they have a habit of digging into the soil and eventually making the water keep beside dirty and muddy. So, keep it clean and fresh as ever!
Guide to Feed Quails
It is always best to know about the feed you are providing to your bird or your pet, to know that you are proving them a balanced diet and appropriate food. There isn’t much to worry about when it comes to feeding quails; their feeding generally depends on age and health. If you want the quail for the production of eggs or meat then it is very important to provide them high-quality feed, if you are raising them to breed and lay eggs then they cannot sacrifice the quality of feed as they cannot eat low quality feed. Below are the tips and tricks you can use to manage the feed of quail:
- In case the specifically formulated quail feed is not available or there is any other issue, then chicken feed can be used as a substitute but for a meat quail only. However, do contact a qualified nutritionist before making any changes or substitutions to the feed of the bird.
- It is very important to keep their food dry, fresh, clean, and easily accessible.
- Keep the water trough away from the feed to keep it dry and fresh for a longer period. If the feed gets wet, it gets moldy and can eventually kill the bird.
- Do not forget to clean the trough and feeder often, if the trough gets dirty due to the moldy feed, water or dirt then clean it thoroughly and fill it up with fresh feed again.
- If the feed of the quail is kept in a bad environment for too long it can get contaminated and chances are that it can attract parasites, bugs, and even rats. It is eventually going to harm your tiny bird.
- For a quail to digest its food properly, a bowl of grit must be kept beside it for easy digestion since grit helps the quail in digesting the feed.
- Quails are not fussy eaters but it is good to provide them foods apart from the main course, they like having new and different things to eat apart from their main course i.e. cake, nuts, rice, etc.
Quail has a habit of eating until they are full, so their feeder has to be kept full all the time and free-choice feeding is perfectly healthy for them. There is no need to feed the quail a specified amount of food now and then or with gaps in a day rather they must have access to their food 24/7. One thing that needs to be considered is that their feeders should be overfilled because that causes the risk of molds which can make your bird ill. If the feed is kept in a feeder for too long then it can become a home for parasites and molds, so it is better to fill the feeder with new and fresh feed every day to avoid the risk.
Quails are small birds and very fragile, they have quite an appetite but are not very fussy about their food. When it comes to feeding them if you are providing them with a balanced diet you do not need to worry about raising them. Furthermore, the diet of a quail depends on its age so it is better to feed them accordingly. For the regular meat production and egg production from quails, it is important to feed them high-quality feed. Moreover, they also need a sufficient amount of clean and fresh water at their access all the time. In this way, you can keep your quails happy, healthy, and productive. Good luck with raising your tiny creature.