Quails and chickens are very similar physically, both have wings, beaks, lay eggs, etc etc, there are so many similarities that one would think that quails could eat chicken food without problems, right? Wrong…according to the research we have done, feeding a quail with chicken food could result in serious digestive problems for the quail.
Apparently, one of the most common causes of deaths of adult quails is problems of visceral disorder, such as fatty liver due to excessive calories.
The quantity of food given to the quail is very important, both the quantity and the type of food, and this quantity of food is accompanied according to the season.
But, what does this have to do with the comparison of supplying chicken feed to quail?
It is known that quail food is quite fine, almost like a powder, and this has a reason. There is a notable difference in size between a quail and a chicken, and this difference is transferred to the digestive system.
The food of a quail is much finer than that of chickens because this makes the process of digestion and absorption much easier. Chicken food can be considered very large for a quail (in granulometry).
In addition to this, quail require a high caloric content in their food, but to be able to effectively carry out the process of laying eggs, this caloric content must be balanced in seasons through the food, the food intake may increase in seasons where the quail lay a lot of eggs.
But the number of eggs laid decreases, the quail liver becomes loaded due to the accumulated calories, causing fatty liver problems that can cause problems for the quail.
As the balance between the quantity of food and calories is important, it is necessary to adjust the quantity.
It is apparent that chicken feeds are problematic because they are nutritionally unbalanced for quails and the feed is large, making digestion difficult.
Can quail eat chicken layers pellets?
It is the same subject that we have dealt with in the feeding of quail and chickens, the layer pellets for quail are specially designed with a micro size that facilitates absorption and digestion, as well as being nutritionally balanced to keep the quail healthy.
If the layer pellets for chickens are larger, they could be crushed to feed the quail, but in this case the amount of proteins and minerals that each one has must be taken into account, although it does not seem like much, an excess or lack of nutrients could be serious in the long term for a quail.
There are many different brands of layer pellets for chickens and also with different percentages of proteins, from which I could investigate I found layer pellets for chickens with 16% protein with 3.25% calcium.
You must take into account that quails require more protein than chickens, a level of 20 to 24% of raw protein is recommended for quails.
So the opinion can be subjective as to whether you can feed a quail with layer pellets for chicken, my opinion is that if you really want to do things right.
Feed the quail with layer pellets that are designed for them with an adequate level of protein, in case you have to feed them temporarily with layer pellets for chicken, try to grind them to a size that is easy for them to digest.
Homemade quail feed
You don’t have to spend money on quail food. Or in case you have to feed the quail and need to improvise at home, you can make quail food with your own hands at home: even beginners are not difficult. What do you need for this?
Grain Percentage-40-55% of feed. Grains need to be washed in advance as they can ruin the bird’s digestive system and kill the bird when unwashed. Do not use flour either.
Vegetables and fruits should be added to the base in the form of cereal products. The most useful are carrots (a source of carotene), beets, cabbage (which improves the appearance of feathers), and potatoes.
Firstly, it is recommended to completely peel and boil the vegetables, and secondly, to grind them. You can feed large particles of bird solids. Trace elements in vegetables contribute to bird health and have beneficial effects on meat: improve the taste.
Minced fish, eggshells, greens, and cottage cheese, which is easy to digest and rich in protein, are suitable as additional additives.
Some other easy food alternatives for quail
Let’s say you are a very practical person and you like to solve in a simple way and with what is within your reach, if it is a little difficult to find some food for the quail there are other very simple and accessible alternatives to which you can resort to get you out of a hurry temporarily.
Rice is a cheap and accessible food that can be found in the kitchen or pantry of any home, its protein level is not as high as that of a special quail food.
But even so the vegetable protein in rice is approximately 7% which is quite appreciable, it also contains thiamine, vitamin B1 and riflavin and many other nutrients.
You must bear in mind not to cook the rice to supply it to the quail, the cooked food could not like the quail very much, the idea is that you give it raw rice, but crushed extremely fine.
You can crush the rice with any utensil that you have, as fine as possible, this to facilitate the intake of the quail.
Vegetables are also part of the quail diet, you can find any vegetable in your kitchen in a simple way, follow the same instructions to chop or grind them so that it is easy for the quail to digest them.
You must be careful with feeding vegetables with high water content, such as cucumber, this could cause watery stools in the quail, so you must moderate the amount you feed it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not all vegetables can be fed to the quail, there are some foods that bring complications, I detail them below.
Alternative foods you shouldn't feed to quail
As we mentioned previously quails can eat vegetables, but you must moderate the vegetables with a lot of water, other vegetables that you should not give to a quail are onion, garlic, spinach, these could cause digestive complications.
You should also avoid feeding them the stems of the vegetables, these should be waste.
Other foods to avoid giving the quail would be; dairy products, fatty foods, chocolate, chicken eggs, snacks.
As you can see, of the foods that you should not feed a quail is pure common sense, even for us humans it is a little heavy to consume pure garlic or onion.