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Author Topic: QUAIL & PHEASANT FEED  (Read 6240 times)
QUAIL
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« on: August 12, 2010, 03:08:05 PM »

I have been feeding my bws and pheasants with Purina maintenance feed I was thinking about mixing the feed with cracked corn 50lbs of feed and 50lbs of cracked corn to help on the cost of feed. Is this a bad idea? Thanks for your input.
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Reeves
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 05:43:10 PM »

Corn is normally fed only in winter months. Too much and you can end up with too much fat in the bird, and hens can have troubles laying if they have too much fat.
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TENNESSERED
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 02:18:26 PM »

Reeves is right about it fattening up your birds.  Corn is a "candy" to most birds.  Also it will cut way down on your protein if you mix it 50/50.  I'm not sure if your feeding a game bird chow or chicken chow, but your pheasants should have a least a 20% protein and even higher during breeding season.  Quail do better with even more than that.  Cracked corn is only 6 to 8% protein.  It is a lot more sugar and fat.  If you want to save some money take a look at how you are feeding.  If you are feeding a crumble in standard commercial feeders, you can bet that your birds are wasting as much as they are eating.  Several years ago I switched to a mini pellet.  It is actually a chicken feed, but it is 22%  protein, contains extra vitamins and calcium.  I feed it year around to all my birds except my button quail.  There are a couple of other advantages to it over crumble.  One, it stays intact and if the birds knock it out of the feeder it is still consumed so almost nothing is wasted.  Second, it doesn't turn to mush and doesn't mold near as quickly as crumble in the feed storage can.  This is important to me here in Middle Tennessee where we have lots of very humid days in the summer

Good luck 
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 04:58:26 PM »

Hello Bill, 
    I thought I would share with you what I've done to reduce my feeding cost.  When feed started jumping in price about 3 years ago I decided that I would have to do something about it or give up some of my birds.  So, I spent an evening walking around my pens and watching the way my birds ate closely.  I was amazed how much food they wasted out of the commercial feeders that I was using.  I told my wife about the problem.  She just looked at me and said make your own.  That's what I did.  I experimented with different kinds of containers, but found the rectanglular juice bottles to be the best.  They are made out of a more durrable plastic and handle freezing and thawing better.  Plus I have a constant supply since my wife is always drinking cranberry juice!  I make a simple frame to slide them in and cut the holes to the right height for the birds they are serving using a razor knife.  I use them for both feeders and waterers.  I have found that they easily hold enough food and water for upto a 1/2 dozen pheasants.  The thing about them is that the birds have to stick their head into the feeder to eat.  As long as you don't over fill the feeder, they can't waste the food by dragging it out with their beaks or feet.  I noticed a drop in consumption in every pen simply becasue the birds were no longer wasting food.  In some cases it was almost a 50% drop (my silver pheasants are very wasteful)   In most of my pens I have only one bottle to handle feed and another to handle water.  I do have to double up in my silkie pen where I have 7 silkies, 9 texas a & m quail and a pair of fancy bantams.   The second thing that has allowed me to reduce cost without putting my birds at risk by switching to a cheaper food is by using pellets as I mentioned in the open forum.  I don't know of any companies putting out a game bird chow in pelletized form, but several companys make what they call a "mini-pellet" chickens.  It is small enough that qauil don't have any problem with it (except my buttons).  The one I get is milled by a company down in Alabama.  It is actually a chicken feed.  But as I said, it is high enough in protein that I even feed it to pea fowl.  All of my flock( about 200 birds) have been on it over two years and they have done great.  I have used it now for about 2 1/2 years.  It is less money than game bird chow.  Here I pay about $9 a bag.  Game birdchow is about $10.50 a bag for  the breeder mix.  I don't have to give the birds any thing else.  They thrive on just the pellets.  To give you an idea how much the birds need I meter out the food with a soup can (the small size)  for my ornamentals like yellows, reds and amhersts  1/2 can of pellets per day per pair ringnecks get about 2/3 to 1 can depending on type.  For my chukars  I give them just about 1 & 3/4 can for 9 birds.  There is almost always leftover food the next day.  The nice thing about these feeders is if there is leftover food you just pick up the feeder and turn it upside down and pour in the new food and any leftover food falls on top when you turn it back rightside up. You never have old food staying at the bottom of the feeder.  The same with water.  They hold about a quart each and each day I give fresh water to my birds so they never have stale water.  Since I use good old city water it has enough chlorine to kill any strange bugs that would grow in it.  The only drawback is when you go to wash the waterers.  I do this every few weeks.  It takes a little longer to wash them because of the ripples in the plastic.  But since I only do it every few weeks (they don't get dirty as quickly as my commerical waterers) its a trade off.  I like them because my birds are getting fresh water every day instead of every 2 or 3 days.  The only pens I use commercial waterers in are for my wife's chickens because of nearly 20 big birds there and my pea fowl.  I will switch my peafowl to them when I get their new house built this fall.  Even over the past month when it has been right aroung 100 every day, my pheasants have never run out of water.   The other nice thing about this system is it is easily adjusted you can put out as many or as few as you need. 
     Well, enough about feeders.  I wish you were closer. I could set you up with some nice birds. 
 I ended up hatching out a bunch of pheasants for a friend and then he couldn't take them I have about a dozen yellow goldens and 1/2 dozen reds and some silvers and a trio of Reeves that I don't know what I'm going to do with.   I told my wife that next year the incubator is going to stay unplugged! 


Good luck

James
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 06:47:45 PM »

Well breeding season is over and it sounds like his has them on a maintance diet so I say go for it. It will not hurt them and winter is coming on and if you mix it with the maintance chow they will not be eating to much of it. I would also add in alittle milo if you have it and offer some grit for them to digest it better. I have done it for years with no ill effect on the birds and it puts added weight on the ones that you are going to eat..feeding that high priced gamebird chow and crumbles year round is the pits and no need for it. save your money where you can man.
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