How and What to Feed Coturnix Quail

Inside: Learn what to feed coturnix quail and you will have happy and healthy birds whether you are raising them for their eggs or meat.

I love my quail, I was so excited to learn about them and then finally get my hands on some last spring. They are zippy, small little birds that are actually what got us started on our homestead journey. Learning what to feed Coturnix quail was just one of the many things we have learned over the past year.

How and What to Feed Coturnix Quail

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How and What to Feed Coturnix Quail

Feeding your Coturnix quail a balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced quail farmer, let's talk about some practical tips to ensure your quail are healthy and productive for your homestead.

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Coturnix Quail Feed Requirements

Like all birds, quail require a balanced diet rich in proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals for overall growth, development, and vitality.

Commercially available feed often provides these essential nutrients in the right balance for feeding quail, making a feed plan a less daunting task. Just make sure you look at the label to know what you are getting and have the right amount of protein for these birds.

Quail require at least 23.0% protein content, 1.0% calcium, 0.50% phosphorus, and 0.50% methionine in their diet.

coturnix quail

Feeding Baby Quail

Quail require a very high level of protein. They are very small birds so you need to make sure that you have crumbles and you even need to grind them down a little with something like a coffee grinder for a few weeks until they are bigger.

You also need to make sure that you are providing them with water.

Both water and food need to be in feeders that are safe for small birds. Water dishes that your quail cannot fall into.

I remove the top of my feeder while they are really small as I have seen baby quail get stuck in them and die, not something we want to see happening again.

baby quail in a brooder

Feeding Adult Quail

You should continue to feed your adult quail a feed that is higher in protein if you are raising your quail for eggs. Don't forget to look and make sure it has a good calcium level.

Quail also love to eat bugs that fly into their cages. And they enjoy mealworms, though you may want to limit those as they are high in fat.

Once you figure out what quail can eat they are really easy to take care of. Quail enjoy getting a treat now and again too.

We also give them a handful of scratch grains when we give it to our chickens and they seem to love it as much as the chickens do.

Plants. Quail not only love plants in their cages to hide in, but they also enjoy eating them. Just make to choose plants that are safe for them. They LOVE fodder. Which is something you can easily grow yourself.

There are many different herbs quail can safely eat too for improved health and happiness. I grow little pots of herbs and place them into their cage. This way they can pick and choose what and how much they eat. When I have an abundance of herbs and don't want to dehydrate, I will add them to both the quail and chicken cages.

How and What to Feed Coturnix Quail

Quail, like chickens, love fresh vegetables from your garden. If you slice a cucumber lengthwise they will eat the center out of it. They also enjoy lettuce and other leafy greens.

We'll also feed them hard-boiled eggs mashed up as a little treat for them. We hold the egg in our hands and they'll eat it from our hands. Starting this when they are young is great for building trust and the ability to handle your birds without them being terrified.

coturnix quail in leaves

We give our quail just about everything that we give our chickens, though they seem to prefer softer fruits like a slice of peach to a slice of apple. Try different treats with them, like people, they seem to have different tastes.

Having trouble finding quail feed? Look for a wild bird or even turkey starter feed. These are both high in protein and what I feed my birds. Plus, turkey starter is more readily available in feed stores than wild bird feed.

There is also the option of making your quail feed. I don't do this, because of the time it would take to source all the ingredients and to mix them together. For me, it is about ROI, return on investment, my time counts when there are so many things that need doing.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you let Coturnix quail free range? You cannot let Coturnix quail free range like chickens they aren't a bird to bed down or return to their coop at night. They just hunker down in place wherever they are and it makes them a tasty treat for predators.

    How big of a coop do I need for Coturnix quail? 0.5 to 1.0 square foot per bird. Rabbit hutches are perfect for them.

    What vegetables do quail eat? Quail will eat broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, peas, lettuce, and turnip greens.

    What should Coturnix quail eat? Quail are considered omnivores – this means they will eat plant-based food, such as seeds and leafy, green vegetation, as well as animal-based food, such as insects.

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