Food According to Coturnix Quail
I’d rather be writing about what quail eat than what eat quail!
Poor little guys don’t have much luck out in the wild.
They die quick, mate quick, live quick, eat quick.
This quote about them sums it up so well (author unknown):
BASICALLY AS I HAVE SAID MANY TIMES AND PLACES BEFORE THEY ARE THE ROACHES OF THE QUAIL WORLD…. HARD TO KILL UNINTENTIONALLY, BREED LIKE ROACHES AND ARE EASIER TO KEEP THAN ANY OTHER TYPE OF POULTRY SUITABLE FOR TABLE FARE
Which are the same reasons why I’ve started with them.
Now let’s have a look at their most popular meals.
Quail are specially fond of celery leaves, but will have a go with rest of the stalk. So give them the top and use the rest of it to make a soup!
Commercial Feed – Game Bird Starter
This is a great quality feed, high in protein, and crumbled just the way they like it.
If you have a wire base you might find it easier to cut up the worms first – less chance of them falling through the gaps. Worms are highly nutritious, making them one of the most effective non-commercial supplementary feeds available.
Now if you don’t yet know the secret of producing a huge volume of worms, I might happen to know an article worth reading here…
They like them just fine. Hard boil and leave for a couple of days to dry up, then finely chop up the lot, shell and all.
A wonder plant in any garden and can be used for a variety of purposes, from animal feed to compost additive. Duckweed removed ammonia from water so is very useful in fish/frog ponds, aquaponics, and for biomass.
And in addition to all the above, I have seen them happily tuck into Mealworms and Woodies (Woodland Roaches) – try and breed your own to reduce the food bill.
They really do seem happier with a variety of foods, and as much of the greens as you can give them.
You might find that they are suspicious of new foods at first, or will just sample some and then ignore it.
That is no reason to stop trying, as it does take them some time to adjust to anything new, and not just when it comes to food – once I replaced a water feeder and they stopped laying for a week.
Japanese quail make a great addition to the family, so feed what feeds you back! [Tweet this]
ps – quail do not quack. But if they did, it would be quick ;)
- Ingredient Spotlight: Quail Eggs (thekitchn.com)
- Adventures in Ordering Hatching Quail Eggs From Wolfe’s Quail Farm (sunnysidelane.org)
- The Quails! (kpoindexter.wordpress.com)
- My Countnix Quail Article in City Permaculture 2! (groundtoground.org)