Quail is a small bird from the chicken family. Her feeding plays a key role for the poultry farmer. Indeed, due to improper and unbalanced nutrition, quail can quickly get sick, which will directly affect its productive activity. It is necessary to provide the right diet for quails, then it will contribute to the active growth of young birds and the egg production of quails.
All feed, without exception, must contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. The natural features of quails should also be taken into account by poultry farmers when drawing up the optimal diet. More than 45% of the food of young chicks falls on various kinds of insects, spiders and worms.
As the birds grow, the diet begins to predominate vegetable feed plant leaves, grains and seeds.
Therefore, at a young age, it is desirable to give a large amount of animal feed, with the growth of birds, plant foods should all appear in the diet.
According to many researchers, the best food for quails is corn and soybeans. Their advantage is relative cheapness and the ability to provide birds with all the carbohydrates, proteins and fats necessary for life.
Birds should always be well fed, they must be kept in a clean and dry room.
Types of food for quails
The most important criterion in feeding quails is the right food. It should not contain harmful impurities and additives. Quality feed is the key to the health and long life of birds.
Carbohydrates form the basis of any quail feed. They contribute to the restoration of strength and energy of the bird. Vitamins are also an integral part of any poultry feed.
Consider the main types of diet that you can create with your own hands.
For feeding quails, the following types of feed can be distinguished:
- dry food – can lie in the feeder for a very long time, this will not change its beneficial properties;
- wet food – should be in the feeder for no more than 2 hours, otherwise it can lead to the death of the quail;
- liquid feed. In order for the consistency of the feed to be optimal, such feed is mixed with any cereal. This avoids clogging of the nostrils and beak of the quail;
- feed for laying hens or broilers is also a good option. The approximate consumption of this feed will be 1 kilogram per quail per month;
- do-it-yourself compound feed can also be used to feed quails. In this case crushed cereals are mixed, be it semolina, rice or oatmeal, ground crackers from white bread, protein and vitamins are added. As a protein, you can use boiled fish or meat, fly larvae, maggots. In the feed prepared by one’s own hands, the protein part should be at least 1/5.
Vitamins are an essential element of bird nutrition. Vitamins for quails must be present in the diet. A large number of them contain ready-made feed.
You can buy such feed in any pet store, be sure to check the availability of instructions for feeding, and if it is missing, you should consult with the seller. This is important for choosing the right dosage when feeding quails.
To make things easier, you can buy in a regular pharmacy the simplest vitamins type “Undevit”, grind them and add to the feed at a dosage: 1 dragee per 10 quails per day.
Vitamin D is also given to birds by mixing it with feed. The dosage should be clarified with a specialist, since vitamin D3 has a stronger effect several tens of times compared to vitamin D2.
In addition to multivitamins, quails also need minerals. Excellent food in this case will serve crushed egg shell, poured into a separate feeder. Minerals are designed to support the vital activity of quails, they are also actively involved in the metabolism and nutrition of cells.
When shaping food with your own hands, you must very strictly monitor the consumed crude protein. The norm for an adult quail is 20-25%. When it is observed the bird will lay big eggs, otherwise the eggs will be small, which can end up causing a lot of problems.
As practice shows, do-it-yourself compound feeds contain an insufficient amount of protein. Therefore, to maintain the health of quails, it is necessary to add 1 grams of a protein-containing product (minced meat, fish or cottage cheese) to the PK-2 compound feed per day for one quail.
In their feeds, it is also necessary to regulate the amount of crude protein and amino acid composition.
Also, to increase the protein part, technical fat and essential amino acids are added to their feed.
Protein preserves the weight of the bird, ensures productivity and reproductive ability.
With a lack of carbohydrates and fats in the diet of quails, part of the protein helps to keep the body warm, and the other is responsible for the deposition of fat.
Amino acids, especially limiting ones (cystine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine), play an important role in feeding quails, since their content determines the level of other amino acids.
Lysine is responsible for the active growth of young quails and good plumage. With its help, calcium is deposited and nitrogen metabolism is normalized. Its deficiency inhibits the growth of young birds and reduces the productivity of adult quails. As a result of a lack of lysine, less calcium is deposited in the skeleton and fragility of plumage occurs. Most of it is found in animal feed.
Methionine is responsible for the growth and active development of young birds. Its amount is necessary for the redox reactions of the body. This amino acid regulates fat metabolism in the quail liver, if necessary, removes excess fat from it. In addition to all this, methionine is responsible for the appearance of plumage in birds. The lack of this amino acid can cause anemia, fatty liver and stop the growth of young quail.
Cystine is responsible for the formation of bird feathers, participates in redox reactions and neutralizes carcinogenic formations. With its lack the body’s resistance to infectious diseases decreases and cirrhosis of the liver may develop.
Tryptophan normalizes growth, helps in the development and reproduction of quails. If you introduce nicotinic acid or food rich in it, such as yeast, into the diet, you can reduce the body’s need for tryptophan. This amino acid is also responsible for fertilization and normal development of the embryo.
When compiling a quail diet, it is necessary strictly control the level of essential amino acids, since a deficiency or excess of one of them can inhibit the synthesis of proteins and cause a violation of the metabolism of other amino acids.
Greens and other products
Quails really like greens, grated carrots and apples. But you should not give them such food often, so as not to get very small eggs from laying hens. With the abuse of such types of food, the quail may completely stop laying eggs.
A prerequisite for keeping quails is availability of clean drinking water in drinkers. Water must be changed at least twice a day. Failure to comply with this requirement will lead to the appearance of putrefactive microorganisms in the water, which will necessarily affect the health of the birds.
Quail feeding frequency
For quails, the feeding regimen is very important. The most optimal is to eat 3 or 4 times a day, at the same time, with equal intervals between feedings.
A large portion of food must be given to the bird at night so that it does not have time to get hungry. This is due to the fact that grain feed is digested more slowly by quails compared to other types of food.
In practice, the following types of feeders are often used:
- tray feeders are used in the first two weeks of rearing birds;
- bunker feeders and automatic drinkers greatly reduce feeding time quail. In this case, it will be necessary to fill in dry feed once every two or three days;
- groove feeders are used after two weeks of growing quails.
Cages and feeders must be cleaned with a scraper, and disinfected once a month. In no case don’t disturb the quailAll work must be carried out quietly and calmly.
Thus, by composing the optimal diet for birds, it is possible to achieve a high percentage of egg quality, increase productivity and the carrying capacity of quails. Compound feed, vitamins, minerals and amino acids are also designed to increase the growth of young birds and contribute to the vital activity of quails.