Are your quails about to lay eggs? If you keep your birds for egg production, you need to know that you must give the best layer diet for quails a few weeks before their laying season.
But how can you ensure you’re giving the best layer feed for quails when there are only a few feeds specially formulated for these birds?
Well, in this insightful review and guide, we will help you:
- Find the best feed for egg-laying quails by reviewing the best choices in the market
- Understand the features to look for in a quail food
- And create quail feed by yourself for your laying birds if you want to
So, if you’re a passionate poultry keeper determined to provide the best feed for your laying quails, you can highly benefit from this guide and review.
Best Layer Diet for Quails Reviewed In This Guide
Here’s an overview of the feed for laying quails reviewed in this guide.
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Best Layer Diet for Quails List
We collected and reviewed the best quail layer feed below and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each brand.
This can help you determine what to feed quails for eggs to become firm, thick-shelled, and increase in numbers.
1. Best Overall Layer Diet for Quails: Homestead Harvest Quail Layer
This food takes the first spot in this list of best layer diets for quails for several reasons. It has the vitamins and minerals your laying quail needs to support their egg production, and its quality is guaranteed top tier.
It’s a wholesome blend of non-GMO grains specially formulated for laying quails with a higher need for calcium and many other perks.
Features of This Quail Feed:
This quail layer feed boasts the following features:
This sedimentary rock, finely crumbled into a white powder, functions as a natural wormer by preventing internal parasites’ larvae from maturing into adults. It has also been observed that quail feeding on a diet that contains Diatomaceous earth has more albumen, weighs more, and eats more.
This nutrient doesn’t just keep your hen healthy and happy. Quails fed with a layer diet containing Omega 3 will also have more Omega 3 in their egg.
Previous studies revealed that giving your quails feed or dietary supplements with probiotics can increase egg production improve feed conversion, hen performance, and eggshell quality.
So, laying hens can highly benefit from this formula.
Pros This Quail Layer Feed:
What makes this quail food is it contains the right blend of nutrients your laying hens need. It prides itself with 26% crude protein, 3.4% to 3.6% calcium, 0.80% phosphorus, and 23 mg.lb Niacin content plus Methionine.
Non-GMO, no byproducts
You won’t have to worry about this product because it contains a non-GMO blend of grains. It’s healthy and safe for your quail to consume.
Cons of This Quail Feed for Laying Quails:
One of the downsides of this bird food is it’s too fine that it gets everywhere in the quail coop. It may stick on the wall and their watering system, which could be smelly sometimes.
This breed is expensive compared to those you might find in tractors supply.
The ingredients indicate that it contains methionine. However, they did not clearly state the percentage.
On the brighter side, methionine is an amino acid found in proteins. Since this quail layer feeds 26% crude protein content, you won’t have to worry much about it.
Item weight: 40 lb
Suitable for: Quail and other game birds
Many customers have sworn by the quality of this quail layer feed. And even if it’s powdery and expensive, the fact that it provides complete nutrition to laying quails and it’s jam-packed with essential nutrients still outweighs the disadvantages.
2. Best Value Layer Diet for Quails: New Country Organics Layer Feed
Sitting on the second spot is this corn-free layer diet that is purely organic and has quality content. It’s a low-starch feed that helps to keep birds more relaxed in hot climates.
The main ingredients include cracked or milled grain with kelp, alfalfa, and other poultry Nutri-balancers.
You can start giving it to your laying quail bird on their 16th week of age or first egg during their egg-laying season.
Features of this Feed:
Like the previous feed, this layer diet for hens contains Omega 3 from flaxseed which keeps your bird healthy and increases the Omega 3 content in quail eggs.
Advantages of This Layer Feed:
Like our previous entry in this list, this quail layer feed is organic and has non-GMO ingredients. It doesn’t contain preservatives, antibiotics, or byproducts, making it ideal for laying quails.
This quail feed has a minimum of 17% crude protein content, 0.80% phosphorus, 0.30% methionine, and 3.50 to 4.50% calcium, which is the correct ratio for laying quail needs.
The crude protein content in this feed doesn’t fall short of the breeders, and Coturnix quails’ minimum quail feed and diet requirement, 18% and 19%, respectively. That’s because this organic diet has a minimum of 17% crude protein, so there could be more into it. But this is lower compared to the best layer diet above.
This layer feed is supposed to be whole grains, but some reviews claim that what they received was powdery, and some were disappointed about it. Quails can still eat it even if it’s okay, though. It’s just that it can be pretty messy if it’s powdery, just like the previous quail feed for layers.
Item weight: 50 lb.
Suitable for: Laying hens
This quail feed is not as good as the Homestead Harvest in terms of quality and offerings, which is pretty understandable because it’s formulated for laying hens. However, we think it’s a good alternative if the previous product is unavailable because it provides good calcium content and balanced nutrition.
Other Quail Feed that Needs Additional Supplement
As mentioned earlier, it’s hard to find quail foods that meet all the criteria of the best feed for egg-laying quails. And that makes raising quail challenging.
Take the products below, for example. They offer high amounts of crude protein but lack some nutrients like calcium.
But the good news is you can supplement them with calcium using an oyster shell because it has calcium carbonate that helps in increasing egg production.
It also strengthens the bones of chicks and is an excellent enrichment for quails to dust bathe in.
If you don’t mind spending a considerable amount on additional supplements, these feeds might work for your laying quails.
3. Dr. Pol’s 28% High Protein Gamebird Feed
The gamebird feed from a veterinarian with 45 years of experience is right on the third spot in our quail feed list. It has quite a good reputation among quail owners for its quality content.
We’re confident about its content since it has 28% protein and some additional features; therefore, it would make good food for quails. However, it lacks some nutrients essential for the egg-laying season.
Features of this Gamebird Feed:
The prebiotics in commercial feeds aid digestion by helping your body regulate the good bacteria and harmful bacteria ratio. If that ratio is balanced, your quail will enjoy good gut health.
What we like about this is it contains phytase. It is an enzyme that increases phosphorus’s bioavailability from grains and improves the digestibility of phosphorus, amino acids, and calcium digestibility.
Easy to eat
This game bird feed comes in an easy-to-eat shape that solves the common frustration of pellets and crumbles. It minimizes the mess and saves you some bucks in the long run.
No added antibiotics
It does not contain antibiotics or hormones, so this is for you if you prefer non-medicated feed for your quails.
Lack of calcium
As we’ve said earlier, this product does not meet the calcium needs of laying quails because it only has 1.25% to 1.75%, while the minimum requirement is 2.75%.
Item weight: 6 lb.
Suitable for: Turkeys, geese, laying hens, broilers, and other game birds
Despite its lack of calcium, a crucial nutrient for laying quails, you can use this feed if you can provide additional calcium supplements. Otherwise, you’ll suffer from a decline in egg production.
4. Kalmbach 28% Start Right Turkey Feed
This turkey food is not as popular as the previous quail feed mentioned, but it has a good reputation with its duck feed. So, this product is worth trying despite the downside. It contains high-quality proteins, amino acids, and other features you won’t find in different meals.
It refers to the proprietary blend of prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, and essential oils that help improve birds’ digestive and immune health.
High amounts of protein and phosphorus
This feed contains 28% protein, 0.60% methionine, and 0.90% phosphorus which exceeds the minimum requirement for egg-laying quails.
Medicated with Amprolium
This turkey feed contains Amprolium, which helps protect quails from a common quail disease called coccidiosis. It’s caused by protozoa that invade their intestines’ walls and transmit droppings from infected birds through ingestion.
Lack of calcium
It’s no surprise already since it’s not specially formulated for egg-laying quails. Fortunately, there’s a remedy for this problem.
Item weight: 50lb.
Suitable for: Turkeys and other game birds
Just like Dr. Pol’s feed, this is not a complete or balanced feed, but if you’re willing to provide additional supplements like oyster shells, this feed will work for you.
5. Manna Pro Game Bird Crumble
Wrapping up this quail layer feed list is this crumble food designed for different game birds and show birds, turkeys, geese, and broilers.
It’s originally a starter or grower feed, but it can be an alternative if you provide a calcium supplement. This feed contains quality protein, vitamins, and minerals game birds need to grow and thrive. Your quail birds will also enjoy several benefits from this feed.
Just like the previous entries in this list, this feed comes with a yeast culture that improves birds’ digestion and absorption of nutrients from the feed.
The right amount of protein and phosphorus
This feed got it right with its protein content (19%) and phosphorus (0.90%) because it meets the dietary requirements of laying quails in these aspects.
Lack of calcium
As we reiterated earlier, calcium is an essential nutrient for egg-laying quail, so it’s a huge deal-breaker. Fortunately, there are ways to make up for this deficiency.
Item weight: 5 lb.
Suitable for: Game birds and show birds
This feed must be purchased hand in hand with the oyster shell if you want your laying quail’s egg-laying capabilities to improve. Without additional calcium supplements in their diet, you won’t achieve your desired egg production result.
Buying Guide for Best Feed for Laying Quails
What Is a Layer Diet?
A layer diet is a feed designed to optimize egg production in quails and other poultry and game birds. Depending on the bird’s breed, it can vary and affect the egg numbers, size, or massively. It is given to the quail several weeks before they start laying eggs.
To know what’s the best feed for egg-laying quail, take a look at the nutritional requirements for two of the most common quail breeds.
Layer feed for breeder quails (20 weeks old+)
Mature laying or breeder Bobwhite quails need at least 19.0% protein, 2.75% calcium, 0.65% phosphorus, and 0.50% methionine in their diet. Giving them the exact laying diet is crucial to getting your desired egg production results and avoiding having thin-shelled quail eggs.
Layer Diet for Coturnix (Pharaoh) Quail (6 weeks+)
If you want to harvest more eggs, you need to give your quails a layer feed that contains at least 18.0% protein, 2.75% calcium, 0.65% phosphorus, and 0.45% methionine.
But you might wonder why these nutrients are so essential. Well, let’s dig more about it and see why these are features you should look out for.
Features to Look for In the Best Layer Diet for Quails
Quails reserved for egg production must meet their basic nutritional requirements to have better health and lay more eggs. So, if you are looking for a layer of developer feed for them, make sure that the food contains the following nutrients:
Proteins and their amino acids, the building blocks of life, play an essential role in animals’ growth and regeneration of tissues. They also help increase egg production and your quail bird’s immunity.
And one of the most vital amino acids is methionine, which, along with Lysine, helps increase protein synthesis and improve the chicken’s overall growth.
Besides that, methionine also influences quail’s ability to absorb amino acids in the intestines. Lack of methionine can result in poor feed conversion and reduced egg production.
This plasma constituent in mammals and birds helps form strong bones. Egg-laying quails have a greater need for calcium during the laying season because without it, the eggs will be thin-shelled, and egg production and hatchability will decrease.
Another mineral that serves as a constituent of bone is phosphorus. Laying birds like quail need phosphorus in their layer diet to maintain their skeleton and soft tissue. It also aids in their egg production.
The minimum phosphorus requirement for laying Coturnix quails aged six weeks and above is 0.45%, while breeder quails aged 20 weeks and above need 0.50% in their layer diet.
As your laying quails’ age advances, their egg production also decreases, and their need for phosphorus decreases as well.
Making Quail Feed for Laying Hens
Poultry and game bird feeds are considered “complete” feeds because they contain balanced nutrients, including protein, vitamins, minerals, energy, and other essential nutrients. Adding some ingredients to it can alter the balance.
However, there are times when you’ll need to DIY the quail food for laying hens because “complete” feeds are not available in some areas.
But here are some reminders before creating substitutes to commercial feeds for laying quails.
Choose high-quality ingredients
Using poor quality ingredients in quail diets can lead to some serious production problems. So, we recommend choosing only the best quality quail food ingredients.
Consult a nutritionist
It’s always best to consult your poultry nutritionist or county agent before creating any feeding formula or dietary changes since it could highly affect your quails’ egg-laying performance.
It takes a long time before the quail manages to adapt to a new diet when you switch to a different food brand. Therefore, this is something you need to weigh in before resorting to your desired alternative.
If you badly need to create a layer diet for your feed, here’s a table that will guide you on what ingredients to use and how much you will need.
INGREDIENT COMPOSITION OF GAME BIRD DIET
(Expressed in the table as percentages)
Bobwhite Quail Layer
Coturnix Quail Breeder/Layer
|Soybean Meal, 48%||
|*Multiply each number by 20 to determine the amount of each ingredient necessary in each ton of diet.|
Reminders When Feeding your Laying Quail
Don’t forget to provide clean and fresh water for your laying quails along with the feed as well. The water must not be too hot or too cold, or your quail will refuse to drink.
You also need to clean the quail waterer and replace the water at least once daily. There should be no contaminants like droppings, litter, and soil.
Remember to keep your laying quails’ feed troughs clean and dry at all times and prevent getting your feed wet or moldy at all costs.
Moldy feeds can kill your quails, so we recommend not to wash the food troughs unless it’s very contaminated with wastes or the food becomes wet. It’d be best to minimize emptying and refill the feed trough just 2 to 3 times a week to avoid disturbing your laying quails.
Common Questions About Quail Layer Feed
Some of you may still have questions in mind, so we compiled some of the frequently asked questions about the quail layer diet below.
What should I feed the laying quail?
18% of a quail’s diet consists of barley, oats, rye, and wheat, plus cracked corn, millet, milo, popcorn, and oat groats. These birds also feed on safflower seeds and sunflower kernels. However, quails need more protein, calcium, and phosphorus during their laying season. That’s why they need a layer diet that contains more of these nutrients.
How much protein do laying quails need?
This can vary based on the quail breed but a laying Coturnix quail aged six weeks or more needs at least 18% crude protein. On the other hand, a breeder quail aged 20 weeks or above needs a minimum of 19% crude protein.
Can quail eat layers pellets?
Quails breeds like Italians and Coturnix or Japanese quails and their variants can eat layer pellets and mixed corn despite their size. However, it’d be easier for them to eat the food if you’d mash it into smaller pieces.
Can quail eat chicken feed?
Some poultry farmers use chicken layer feed for quail, especially when there’s no commercial feed formulated for game birds available. But most of these feeds are not prepared to meet the nutritional requirements of laying quails. That’s why they add supplements to make up for the deficiency.
How much feed does a quail eat per day?
Adult quails consume not more than 20 to 30 grams of food daily. But some quail breeds aged six months old may need about 30 to 35 grams of feed per day and 400 grams of feed for the production of 12 eggs.
How many times a day do you feed quails?
You can feed them twice a day if the food you put in the quail feeder in the morning isn’t enough. Since these birds don’t overeat, keeping their food bowls is not a problem. If your quails are laying, you can feed them just like the way they used to before producing eggs.
Where to buy a quail feed?
You can purchase quail feeds online or in your local stores or hatcheries.
Do quails need oyster shells?
Quails need more calcium and grit, so ground oyster shells are recommended. This nutrient helps the quail produce eggs with strong, thicker shells and increases the production rate.
Final Thoughts About the Best Layer Diet for Quails
So that ends our review of the best feed for egg-laying quails.
The best layer diet for quails is the Homestead Harvest because it provides complete nutrition and ticks all of the boxes for laying quail’s dietary requirements.
The New Country Organic Feed can also make an excellent feed for laying quails because it also meets the basic needs of these birds during the laying season. These two are complete feeds that provide balanced nutrition for your quails.
But if both of these are not available, Dr. Pol’s High Protein Gamebird Feed, Kalmbach, and Manna Crumble can serve as an alternative. However, you need to provide calcium supplements like oyster shells to make up for the calcium deficiency of these feeds.
This way, you’d be able to give the best layer diet for quails in your poultry and achieve your desired results in egg production.
Do you need more advice about the best quail feed for quails of different ages? Check out the article below that answers the question “what to feed quail” and reviews 5 of the best choices for you.
READ NEXT: Top 5 Best Feed for Quails – A Helpful Buying Guide 2021
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