All poultry and game bird feeds are referred to as “complete” feeds. They contain all the protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary for proper bird growth, egg production, and health. Feeding other ingredients, either mixed with the feed or fed separately, upsets the balance of nutrients in the complete feed. Feeding additional grains or supplements is discouraged.
Young quail kept for meat production or sport hunting are fed differently from birds saved for egg production or breeding. Meat-type quail have larger bodies and gain weight quicker than birds grown for “flight” purposes. Diets must contain nutrient levels that meet the dietary needs of the birds being produced. Meat-type birds fed as flight birds are more expensive to produce and use more feed; they are larger than necessary and not considered good fliers. In contrast, smaller strains of bobwhite quail are usually considered good flight birds but not recommended as good meat producers. They do not convert feed to meat as well and produce less desirable carcasses when slaughtered.
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