Proper Diet is Crucial When Raising Quail

When Raising Quail, it's essential that they receive the proper diet, for health, growth and production. Quail require different amounts of nutrients through the various stages of their lives. A good, complete game bird feed can accommodate all the birds requirements. They contain the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients a quail needs throughout the varies stages of growth and production intentions. There is specific game bird food for quail chicks, layers, flight-conditioned or meat birds all requiring different amounts of certain vitamins and minerals.

Diet For Quail Chicks

Quail chicks should be given a high quality starter food which is high in protein, and helps them develop good bone and proper muscle structure. The starter food will also contain medication, coccidiostats and/or antibiotics, as the newly hatched chick's immune system is at zero. This medication is to help prevent coccidiosis, a parasitic disease of the digestive tract. Obviously, a good sanitation practice should be put into place immediately, however, sometimes stronger steps are needed.

Feeding Quail Being Raised For Meat

When raising quail as a meat type bird, following the stater stage of the quail's life, they should be put on a finisher game bird food. This contains all the essentials for the quail to bulk up in the way expected of a quail for consumption. Quail raised in this manner should be taken off any medicated food, at least one week before expected slaughter. Feed these quail an non-medicated food for that final week to assure all traces of the medication is gone.

Feeding Breeder and Flight Quail

If raising quail as flight birds or breeders, they should go from starter food to a developer diet. This type of feed helps the flight birds remain lean and build muscle. It also better prepares the layer or breeding quail for the long grueling task ahead. The quail that are being raised for laying or breeding purposes, should be place on an non-medicated layer diet several weeks prior expected egg production.

The layer food contains all the proper vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed for the quail to sustain the laying period, lay quality shelled eggs, start and maintain production.

Medications Used When Raising Quail

As quail mature and are raised beyond the time tables discussed, the birds immune system does develop and they do become more disease resistant. The quail can be raised with a game bird food not containing a coccidiostat. However, there's still a chance of the disease affecting your flock in some way.

Spotty outbreaks of the disease can be controlled by including drugs in the water. Two coccidiostats with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in game bird feeds are monensin sodium (Coban) and amprolium.

Antibiotics may also be added to some feeds. Antibiotics aid performance and maintain healthy birds. They are added at low (prophylactic) levels to prevent minor diseases and produce faster, more efficient growth. Higher (therapeutic) levels are usually given in water or injected into the bird. Examples of FDA approved antibiotics in game bird diets are bacitracin and penicillin.

Addition of bacitracin to game bird diets is recommended at the rate of 50 grams per ton as a preventative of ulcerative enteritis (quail disease). Higher levels in the diet is not recommended nor permitted by FDA. If higher levels are needed for treatment, it is best to give the antibiotic in the birds' drinking water. This practice is also more effective since sick birds will usually drink water but will not always consume feed. Including bacitracin in diets of all game birds is recommended to maintain healthy, productive birds.

When using any drug, whether the drug is or is not mixed with the feed, all warnings and instructions on the label must be carefully followed. Always comply with all instructions that require a medication withdrawal period prior to bird slaughter or saving eggs for human consumption. MSU Cares

Can't Find Game Bird Food For My Quail

In some areas, game bird food is not easily obtained as raising game birds such as quail, may not be popular. In this event, the game bird feed can be replaced by turkey food. The turkey food in most cases will need to be crushed or broken down, in a manner that allows the quail to consume comfortably.

When raising quail, it's crucial, that the proper food be provided.


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Category: Quail and Diseases