Quails are hardy birds despite being small. The type of quail food your birds eat is determined by where they are or what you feed them. They survive and thrive in the wild and when domesticated, they do pretty well. Wild quails are known to spend much of their time in the ground searching for food. So, what do quails eat?
Due to modernization, quails have been domesticated and raised in captivity. They are kept for meat and eggs that have gained popularity over the years.
Let us go through some of the foods on the quail’s diet.
What do Quails Eat?
In the wild, quails have the responsibility of feeding themselves. They will eat up anything edible to them just to make sure their stomachs are full.
On the other hand, their domesticated colleagues will eat what their masters provide for them. As long as it is edible it is a meal. Quails are known to eat almost everything but here is a list of their common types of food for them.
When raising quails, it is good to know what these birds eat and what they don’t. Not everything is healthy and some foods will only offer very little or no nutrients. So, what healthy foods do quails eat?
Worms and insects as quail food?
Wondering what do quails eat? Worms and insects are a favorite snack for the quails. They are a good source of protein that helps to build their bodies and maintain healthy development.
Has it ever rained and termites came out and filled the air? Did you watch the magnificent spectacle of birds flying in the air doing some nice moves as they catch then termites? It happens when it rains especially if the rains had delayed.
Termites are some of the perfect examples of insects that are a delicacy to include in the quail food list. Worms are easily found by the quails under the decaying leaves as this is a perfect feeding ground for them.
Can I feed Seeds and Grains to quails?
Grains are another type of quail food that is good for the health of your birds. Due to the small size of the bird’s mouth, they are not able to swallow large sized grains like corn when whole.
Small sized grains like millet, wheat, barley and rice are easily swallowed by quails. Wild quails are known to be notorious pests to cereal crops.
In some parts of Africa, they flock in thousands during the harvesting season causing serious damage to the yet to be harvested rice and wheat heads.
Provide a handful of rice or millet to your domesticated quails and they will enjoy it. You can always use these grains to supplement their diet.
Can quails eat fruits and vegetables?
About 20% of a quail’s diet is mainly composed of leaves, fruits and vegetables. Quails eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to supplement their diet.
Quails also a variety of fruits and berries if you can provide. Fruit eating habits in quails depends on the species as Gambel a desert quail is known to eat cacti fruit.
If you intend to surprise your flock of quails with berries, consider the size of the fruits as large sized ones require to be chopped into small pieces to make them easy for the quails to swallow.
Are commercial feeds good to feed quails?
Some game bird standard feeds have recently been developed since people have started raising quails as food. However, there is something you should know about these feeds.
On some online reading, sources say that quails require high protein feeds than chickens do. I don’t have the scientific proof but I would appreciate if you share with me your thoughts on the comment section.
Quails will only manage to swallow average sized particles. So, if you feed your quails feeds with large sized particles they will likely not eat it due to the size.
Choose feeds with average sized particles and also take care not to feed them with fine ground feeds as they may choke to death.
Malnutrition may occur if essential nutrients are only present on large sized particles as quails will not eat them and will end up lacking the nutrients.
Common questions people ask about quails
What should I feed my quail?
Quails are regarded as omnivorous as they eat plant products and small insects. They are very fond of grains and they love millet, oats and rice a lot.
If you want to feed them large sized grains like corn, ensure it is cracked into small pieces enough for them to swallow. Quails drink water too. Give your domestic flock some fresh water.
What should I not feed quails?
Naturally, quails will try to avoid toxic foods unless they are very hungry. Salted food, caffeine, avocados, uncooked potatoes and citrus fruits are harmful to quails.
What fruits and vegetables do quails eat?
Feed your quails vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, peas, carrots, turnip tops and ripe tomatoes. Be careful as quails will only eat tomato fruits but not leaves and stems as they will kill them.
What human food do quail eat?
Most of the food eaten by humans is salty and salty food is not good quail food. But for boiled foods that are not salty like boiled rice, yams, cassava and mashed potatoes can be fed to them.