I remember seeing a Quail most recently on my trip to the Aviary. They’re some of the most beautiful, delicate-looking birds! What fascinated me most, was their buffed and streaked feathers. They were in red, scarlet, silver, cinnamon, blue, black, cream, white, and brown color. The colors were spread in intricate patterns. There are generally twenty wild breeds of Quails. The most domesticated type is the Japanese Quail. Quails are generally small birds, they weigh around 150-200g, and they can lay up to just 300 eggs in the first year of their lives! Now that’s something interesting. Let’s find out about their diet.
What do Quails like to eat?
Quails are considered Omnivores; They like to eat grains. It is their favorite food but that doesn’t stop them from eating other things. Apart from grains, they like to eat seeds, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and insects. They also have their feed commercially prepared.
There should be some things that shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re keeping a Quail
- The food that they eat, should be broken into small bits and pieces so that they can easily eat them.
- They should be given neither mashed feed nor very powdery food. The powdery food is said to cause infection if it accumulates between their toes.
- The troughs in which the food is served should be dry and kept away from snow, rain, wind, and water.
- Empty and clean the troughs two to three times a week.
- Quails are messy eaters, so their feed should be kept in a hopper to avoid spilling.
- The water for drinking should be kept higher than the Quail’s back.
- Clean water should be changed daily. The water troughs should be cleaned with a non-toxic disinfectant
- The water used for their bath should be added with a little apple cider vinegar from time to time. This kills parasites if present on their body but also makes their feathers look nicer.
- Keep an eye for the rats, they just don’t eat Quail’s food but also contaminate it
- Throw away the stale or foul-smelling food
Now, let’s break down each component of a Quail’s diet as we mentioned above.
Grains: Approximately 90 percent of the diet comes from plant sources and only 80 percent of the adult Quail’s diet comes from grains and seeds. Plants are a rich source of nutrients needed by Quails for their proper growth and reproduction. Plants are also rich in trace elements. They eat barley, oats, rye, millets, popcorn, sunflower kernels, oak, hazelnuts, cascara, and corn.
Seeds: Seeds also are derived from a plant source. They provide moisture, nutrients, and calories. They eat sunflower seeds, safflower seeds.
Vegetables: A major part of Quail’s food after grains and seeds constitutes vegetables as well. They like to eat anything with a good roughage composition. They eat broccoli, carrots, peas, turnip greens, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and cabbages.
Fruits: Quails like to eat every other seasonal fruit. They are just as delicious to them, just as they are to humans. Their diet also varies from species to species depending upon the area where they are being raised. Surprisingly, a desert quail called Gambel eats a Cactus fruit too!
Herbs: Quails like to eat different herbs too. We’ll go into detail regarding that particular thing later on in the article.
Berries: Quails eat Berries too; they eat berry shrubs as well. They eat blackberry, huckleberry, oregano, grapes, serviceberry, snowberry, manzanita, and currants.
Insects: Quails love to eat insects! It is a source for their extra proteins. Insects also give them extra growing power after hatching and during their breeding season.
What things can be toxic to Quails?
Quails are toxic to a few foods as well. These include caffeine, avocado, meat, rhubarb, grape seeds, chocolate, stem and leaves of tomato plants, salty foods, uncooked potatoes, and citrus fruits.
What herbs can Quail eat?
Quails eat a vast variety of herbs. Herbs are very beneficial to their health and provide essential nutrients as well. Some of these herbs include;
- Rose petal
- Pineapple Sage
What is Rosemary?
Rosemary belongs to the mint family. This family consists of oregano, thyme, lavender, and basil. It is a good source of iron, vitamin B-6, and calcium. It has great medical importance as well. It is used to alleviate muscle pain, boost the circulatory and immune systems. They also improve hair growth.
Can Quails eat Rosemary?
Yes, Quails love to eat Rosemary. Quails can munch on grasses and herbs for most of their time. It’s a nice idea to plant a rosemary tree in a place where you’re keeping your Quail. They like to tear the herb leaves into small shreds and eat.
How is Rosemary beneficial to Quail?
A research was conducted to know how rosemary benefits the Quails. Quails who had rosemary in their diet had an increase in their serum protein levels. There was also an increase in their hormonal level. On the other hand, there was a reduction in serum cholesterol, and low-density lipoproteins, and protein carbonyl levels. It controls the bacterial count in the body particularly their gut. Hence, rosemary is considered a beneficial antimicrobial and promotes growth as well.
They are a source of proteins, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates. A single sprig of rosemary contains the following amount of nutrients.
- Proteins: 0.1 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0.6 grams
- Fiber: 0.4 grams
Quails are domestic birds, and they are very active. They are not high maintenance but need to be taken good care of when kept as a pet. Generally, they eat grains, seeds, insects, herbs, fruits, and vegetables. In herbs, rosemary is probably their favorite. They crunch on rosemary leaves and crush them into tiny bits. Rosemary leaves are very nutritious for them. They increase their calorie intake and are an excellent source of carbohydrates. They provide strength to their muscles and body. All in all, Quails are best to keep as pets as they are easily manageable.