Do you have a good amount of chick starter feed laying inside your chicken coop? Are you raising quails? You might be thinking of using them to feed quails. But are they good enough to serve your small ground-nesting game birds? Will they fulfill the nutritional requirements?
Can you feed chick starters to quails? You can serve quails chick starter feed. It won’t harm them. But they won’t receive the optimal nutrition as starter feed contains a less amount of protein and calcium than quail feed. Make sure to feed additional supplements to meet their nutritional requirement when feeding chick starter feed.
Can You Feed Chick Starter To Quails?
Yes, you can feed chick starter feed to quails. But they are not the best choice for these small ground-nesting game birds because they don’t contain enough amounts of vitamins and minerals.
If you have no option but to feed chick starter feed to quails, make sure to provide additional supplements to cover the nutritional requirements.
Let’s figure out why chick starter feed is not the best option for various ages of quail birds.
Can You Feed Chick Starter Feed To Quail Chicks?
You might be thinking of feeding chick starter feed to quail chicks. Chick starter contains around 20% to 22% proteins best suited for recently hatched chickens.
But quail chicks need around 28-30% protein for the first 7-8 weeks. Only feeding chick starter feed won’t be enough.
You will have to serve additional protein supplements to fulfill the nutritional requirements.
Otherwise, it will slow down their growth. Quails won’t develop muscles and bones as much as you expected.
Can You Feed Chick Starter Feed To Teenage Quails?
Once quails pass 7-8 weeks, you want to serve them grower feed. Teenage quails generally need around 20% to 22% protein. This proportion can be fulfilled by chick starter feed.
But the problem arises from the increased requirements of calcium. Chick starter feeds less than 1% calcium.
But mid-aged quail birds need around 2% to 3% calcium. If you want to feed quails starter feed, a small portion of calcium supplement will be necessary to feed.
Can You Feed Chick Starter Feed To Laying Quails?
Quails become mature birds after 20 weeks. But they can lay bird as early as 6-8 weeks.
Some may take more than 9 weeks if they are stressed or having any physical issues.
Once your small ground-nesting game birds start laying eggs, they need around 19% protein, 3.5% calcium, 0.40-0.65% phosphorus, and 0.50% methionine.
Chick starter feed doesn’t contain enough calcium. Your female quails are more likely to lay thin-shelled quail eggs due to calcium deficiency.
What Type Of Feed Is Best For Quails?
When it comes to ensuring optimal health conditions and faster growth for quails, providing the right food in the right quantity is a must.
If your nearby stores don’t have quail feed, you can buy these alternative options to fulfill quails’ nutritional requirements.
Commercial Game Bird Feed
One of the most popular options for quails is commercial game bird feed.
They are known as complete feed because they contain all the essential nutrients in the right amount. These special game birds will grow continuously and healthily.
They have higher levels of protein and folic acid. This type of food can improve quails’ egg-producing abilities. It also can enhance their fertility and hatchability.
Make sure to choose crumble form for all ages of quails. They are easy to absorb and digest.
Avoid selecting pellets form because they are too large for these tiny birds.
In contrast, mash is not a good choice as it causes dust issues. If you are raising quails in a confined environment, quails may become sick quickly.
Turkey Starter Feed
If you are not finding any specific starter feed for chick quails, you can serve turkey starter feed. They contain around 28% to 30% protein.
But if you want to feed turkey feed to teenage quails, choose the turkey-growing feed. It contains around 21% to 23% protein.
You can’t feed turkey starter feed to mid-aged quail birds. Their protein intake level will be too high. It may cause kidney and liver damage from long-term consumption.
What You Need To Feed To Quails Along With Chick Starter?
Do you have no option but to feed chick starter feed to quails? If so, you can add the following options to fill their nutritional requirements.
Like chickens, quails don’t have teeth. You want to feed them grit or crushed stones to help them absorb regular food easily.
Make sure to buy fine-textured shell grit that is specially made for quails.
It will break down the food intake properly before reaching the stomach.
Hence, their stomach won’t have to work too hard to absorb and digest the food. This will ensure a healthy feeding system.
02. Oyster shell
Regular chick starter doesn’t contain enough calcium. You can feed them Oyster shell, which includes 95% calcium carbonate.
This can help these small ground-nesting game birds to lay thick-shelled quail eggs.
Also, it promotes thicker and stronger bones by sourcing other natural sources of minerals.
03. Protein Supplement
Regular chick starter lacks around 5% to 8% of protein. Quails need around 4.71 grams of protein per day.
Smaller quails consume around 15 grams of feed daily, whereas adult quails eat around 20-25 grams of feed daily.
If their regular feed doesn’t contain enough amount of protein, you can serve them some protein supplements, such as insects, worms, and grubs.
However, make sure to feed these protein supplements in limited quantities. Otherwise, these small ground-nesting game birds may consume too much protein and harm their health.
04. Diatomaceous Earth
You can serve food-grade diatomaceous earth with chick starter feed to quails.
It can save your tiny feathered friends from external parasites, such as mites, fleas, lice, or tick infestations.
Diatomaceous earth is also effective against internal parasites, such as tapeworms, roundworms, protozoa, etc.
It can also improve their skin, nails, feathers, and bones. This particular product can also promote intestinal and digestive health and improve egg production.
But how much Diatomaceous Earth should you serve quails daily? You can feed 2% to 3% DE daily.
05. Sprouted Seeds
Sprouted or germinated seeds or grains contain a good amount of carbohydrates, protein, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll. They are more palatable than dry seeds.
If your quails are not fond of fresh fruits and vegetables, you can serve them germinated seeds and beans as they are more nutritionally dense live food
Quails can easily digest these seeds, grains, and legumes. If you are looking for high protein sources, you can choose peas, linseed, sunflower seeds, rapeseed, linseed, etc.
But quails are fond of eating seeds from ragweed, wild sweet peas, Egyptian wheat seeds, and foxtail.
06. Vegetables and Fruits
You can feed quails various types of vegetables and fruits.
For example, leafy green vegetables, such as cabbage, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, radish, lotus, celery, etc., are the top vegetables to feed quail birds.
You can also feed them a small number of various fruits, such as grapes, dragon fruit, blackberries, apples, citrus fruit, avocado, Watermelon, banana, black currant, Raspberries, etc.
However, quails are a bit picky eaters. They may not eat all options you serve them.
Bonus Tips On When Serving Quails Feed
Regardless of the quail feed you serve, you must practice the following to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment.
01. Feed Quails Enough Water
An adult quail bird will drink around 20 to 30 milliliters (ml) of water daily. But it can be more during hotter days and less during colder days.
Make sure to serve clean and fresh water regularly. You should be mindful of the size of the water container.
It should not be too larger. Otherwise, these small ground-nesting game birds will struggle to drink water. They might drown in the water while trying to reach their water level.
If the water container is too deep, add a few small pebbles at the bottom. Don’t forget to clean the container regularly.
You can add 2-3 drops of apple cider vinegar. It is high in healthful substances to remove harmful bacteria from the water.
02. Store The Feed Correctly
Make sure to store the quail feed in a cool, dry, and dark place to avoid spoiling it.
Moisture or water should not come close to the quail feed. Otherwise, it will lead to mold growth, spoilage, and staleness.
If you want to keep it in an outdoor location, store it in a secure place to protect it from vermin (rats/mice) and insect pests.
Check the product label carefully to figure out its expiry date. It is best to use feed within 3 to 6 months. Avoid buying too much at a time.
03. Grind The Feed Properly For The First Few Days
Like other birds, quails don’t have any teeth. Instead, they have beaks.
The beaks of chick quails are too soft. They can’t eat any feed that requires chewing.
It is best to grind quail feed properly using a coffee grinder. This allows them to eat the food conveniently.
You should serve them crushed food at least for the first 7-10 weeks.
04. Use The Right Feeder
Do you serve feed to your quails on a large or open-based feeder? It can lead to a lot of food waste as quails may sit on the feeder.
So, what type of feeder is the best choice for quail birds? It is best to serve feed into a special feeder that has smaller openings or holes.
Quails will start pecking at the holes to eat food. However, it may take a little time to learn how to eat feed from the container.
Just because quails are smaller birds doesn’t mean you will compromise their nutritional requirements. Whether you are raising quails for egg or meat production, make sure they receive sufficient protein, calcium, minerals, vitamins, and other essential ingredients.
Hopefully, you got a clear idea about the question, “Can you feed chick starters to quails?” I have mentioned what items you should serve when feeding chick starters to quails. The article also covered two best quail feeds. Feel free to ask any questions about this topic.