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Quail Feeding Programs

Feed game bird chicks a "starter" diet soon after hatching. Continue feeding the starter until they reach 6 or 8 weeks of age. The starter diet has the highest level of protein that a bird receives during its lifetime. As the chicks age they require lower levels of most nutrients including dietary protein, but need a higher level of energy.

After the chicks reach 6 or 8 weeks of age, feed them either a "finisher" diet (meat-type birds) or a "developer" diet (flight birds or those saved for egg production). Feed meat birds a finisher diet until they reach slaughter size. Feed the flight birds and immature breeders the developer diet until they are sold or about 20 weeks of age. A few weeks prior to expected egg production, the breeders are fed a "layer" diet until they complete their egg production period.

An alternate species of game birds often produced are the coturnix or pharaoh quail. They are grown for both meat and egg production but seldom for flight or hunting. They mature at an earlier age than bobwhite quail and may begin laying eggs as young as 6 to 8 weeks of age. As with bobwhite quail, coturnix grown for meat are provided starter and finisher diets, whereas laying/breeder birds are fed starter and breeder diets.

The minimum dietary requirements for protein, calcium and phosphorus for game bird feeds are shown in the nutrients table of Publication 2383 Feeding Quail. It is important to provide the correct diet to the birds if desired result are to be attained. Remember, breeders saved for egg production are fed developer diets, not finisher diets. Laying/breeder birds are fed only laying diets. Otherwise, you will observe reduced egg production and increased numbers of thin-shelled eggs.

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Publications

Publication Number: P3140
Publication Number: P3131
Publication Number: P3133

News

Hen flock inventories grew after the poultry industry recovered from the 2015 avian influenza outbreak, increasing the number of eggs on the market and driving down the price. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
Filed Under: Poultry August 4, 2017

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi's poultry industry remains healthy with a strong demand for broilers and a positive outlook for the remainder of 2017.

Filed Under: Avian Flu March 30, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All Mississippians who raise any species of poultry are being urged to follow strict biosecurity practices and review new requirements regarding sales and exhibitions.

Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that while avian influenza is not a threat to human health or food safety, an outbreak would endanger backyard flocks and the state’s nearly $3 billion commercial poultry industry.

Choosing the right breed of chickens for a backyard flock is an important decision. From left, Tripp, Luna and Charlie Sanders examine chicks for sale March 8, 2017, in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
Filed Under: Poultry March 16, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Families willing to host a flock of feathered friends reap the benefits of fresh eggs delivered daily just outside the door.

What started several years ago as an underground "urban chicken" movement has become much more common and widely accepted. Today, raising backyard chickens has gained popularity nationwide, boosted by interest in locally grown foods that avoid the energy use and carbon emissions typically associated with transporting food.

Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Peanuts, Rice, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Poultry December 15, 2016

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The estimated $7.6 billion value of Mississippi agriculture increased by 1.8 percent in 2016, helping the industry retain its prominence in the state's overall economy.

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Farmweek, Entire Show, August 28, 2015
Farmweek

Season 39 Show #08

Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 7:00pm

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