Quails are considered to have a fragile appearance and reputation but they are quite tough creatures and are easier to feed. Although they are picky eaters once you get to know your quail’s likings then there is a pretty smooth road ahead. Since you can feed quails other items apart from seeds which they usually eat, you hesitate to feed them something new which they have never had before. This is great because it ensures your quails’ safety and healthy life.
You are probably aware of the term, omnivores, but have you ever heard about granivores? Granivores feed mostly on grains and seeds; but this does not mean that they do not eat the things that most birds love eating which include: worms, bugs, and plant matter. Quails, in the wild, know what they need to eat to fulfill their dietary needs; they eat more than just grains and seeds, so limiting their diet to only these things are not good for a healthy quail. The commercial game feed bird is probably a complete feed and fulfills the nutritional needs of your quail.
But quails also enjoy and should be given fruits and vegetables in their diet. This article covers what fruits or vegetables and other food items you can give to your quail and what items you should avoid. Moreover, the most common question quail owners ask is whether they can eat potatoes or not. They definitely should not be given uncooked potato but if it comes to cooked potato, they can.
Can Quail eat potatoes?
Well, quails should not be given uncooked, raw potato as it can lead to problems in their health. But if the potato is cooked, you can go ahead and share it with them but make sure it does not have salt in it because salt is bad for quails. Although cooked potato does not cause any harm to quails generally, you should avoid giving it to quails. They can eat it once in a while but should not be fed too often because it is almost pure starch and can lead the quails to obesity which is not good.
Nutrients in potato
Fibre, along with potassium and Vitamin C are the primary nutrients available in a potato. The skin of the potato has mostly fiber in it, so the main nutrient lost when the skin of the potato is removed is fiber. Like, if a medium-sized potato has 2 grams of fiber including the skin then it would have 1 gram of fiber without the skin.
Why should Quails not eat Uncooked Potato?
Uncooked potatoes have a bitter taste and starchy texture that is not appreciated by any creature. Uncooked potatoes are loaded with resistant starch, which is a type of starch that is difficult to digest or absorb. Although, potato is not a vegetable that has many benefits for quails when it is uncooked it can be toxic to this little creature.
Is Cooked Potato Toxic for Quails?
While you should avoid giving uncooked potatoes to quails because it is toxic for them. Cooked potato, on the other hand, is not toxic but it is not something you should be feeding to your quail regularly. Especially if the cooked potato has other ingredients that are harmful to them like salt. If you will give them cooked potato which has salt in it or any other toxic item, quails would most probably refuse to eat that; unless they are really hungry.
What Food Items do Quails Eat?
Quails are profitable poultry and are relatively easier to feed. We mentioned above that potato is not that food item which you should be feeding to your quail very often. So, now we are going to add some food items which quails need to stay healthy.
Quails love eating celery leaves. They only eat leaves, so give them only the top part of the plant and keep the rest to yourself.
Quails in the wild feed on earthworms to meet their nutritional requirements. Worms are highly nutritional, so they make an effective diet for quails, if accessible.
Quails also love eggs (uncooked eggs should not be fed). Hard boil the eggs, leave them for a couple of days to dry up, and then serve it to quails by chopping them off into granules.
Duckweed can also be fed to quails.
Grain Quail Feed
The quail feed available in the market has almost 19% proteins, including other minerals. The main ingredients include sorghum, maize, groundnut cake, de-oiled Rice Bran, Fish Meal, sunflower cake, Sunflower Cake, Mineral Mixture, and Shell Grit.
Quails also really enjoy eating vegetable seeds. They love almost all types of vegetable and fruit seeds (ragweed, wild sweet peas, and foxtail seeds), apart from the grape seeds. Two of the most loved seeds are Black Chia Seeds and Sunflower Seeds.
Since their diet does not only have to be seeds and grains, they also enjoy eating vegetables and fruits. Especially in the autumn and summer seasons, their diet consists of 20% of vegetables; peas, lettuce, broccoli, and radishes are the vegetables they prefer.
What Fruits do Quails Eat?
Quails also love eating different fruits that include: dragon fruit, berries, saguaro cholla, and prickly bear, and apples or grapes as well. In the summer season, but the fruits in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before feeding them, they will love it. Chilled watermelon is also loved by quails in the summer season.
What food should you avoid giving to quail?
Although quails do enjoy many fruits and vegetables, that does not mean you can feed just anything to them. You have to be very careful about what you feed to your quail because some food items can be toxic to them. Avocado, grape seeds, stems and leaves of tomato plants, salt (any salty food), most citrus fruits such as oranges, onions, parsley, meat, caffeine, and chocolate (which you would probably never feed to your quail). And uncooked potatoes, you should avoid giving uncooked potatoes to a quail.
Quails are usually aware of the food items that are toxic to them and would avoid eating them unless they are super hungry. Parsley is considered to be toxic for quails; however, if it is eaten in small quantities occasionally, it can be good, according to a Veterinarian.
Some Additional Treats for Quails
Although, quails should be fed the diet which benefits them but sometimes, you might want to treat them with something which is not toxic to them. Following are some of the food items which they can eat at times: cake, rice, pasta, sweet corn, Bread, zucchini, watermelon, cucumber, collard greens, kale, green leaf lettuce, and other leafy greens, cabbage maybe. Quails are picky, so, if they do not like something, they would not eat it. Keep giving them various items and you would get to know about their likes and dislikes.
Can chickens and quails live together?
Most people wonder whether quails and chickens can live together, well the answer is, yes but the way they need to be fed is different. Quails do eat chicken feed but to make up for the deficiency when required, you would need to add elements in a quails’ diet. So, while raising them together, giving them food which is suitable for each one is recommended. Commercial game feeds have various options and there are different foods based on your bird.
How much water do quails need?
You should always make sure that fresh and clean water is available to quails at all times. In the winter months, make sure that the water does not freeze. One nipple or one cup is sufficient for 5 birds, but you can add more if you want to. Make sure to change the water daily and clean the dish after every fill.
Quails are extremely profitable poultry and feeding them is considered easier by many owners who have chickens and other birds. Quails are very smart naturally and are aware of what they should not eat and what is toxic to them. Their diet mostly consists of grains, seeds, or even insects but they also love to eat several fruits and vegetables. Potatoes and eggs can not be fed to them uncooked because they are harmful. They do eat and enjoy various fruits and vegetables and should be a part of their diet.
What you must keep in mind is that the most important mineral quails need in their diet is protein. So, their diet should mostly be high in proteins to make sure that they are healthy and thriving. Whether you are raising quails for business reasons or in your home as a pet, you should make sure that you are providing them with a balanced diet. Commercial game bird feed is the best choice for every type of bird but you should always feed them other items from time to time.