What Type of Quail should I Feed
Quail are a small game bird, commercially available birds are hybrids created from wild conturnix quail which now are much larger and grow faster than their wild cousins. We supply various quail products suitable for feeding to raptors.
Prime Quail :- are 5/6 week old birds produced specifically for feeding to raptors. They have been raised under the highest welfare standards, fed a diet that does not include any antibiotics, growth promoters or cocidiostats. Prime quail are young birds that have reached sexual maturity and are fully grown but will not have laid down excess amounts of fat. Females may contain eggs but any embryonic yolks should be left during evisceration.
They have an increased level of Vitamin E provided by feeding a Vitamin E enhanced diet to the quail prior to slaughter. Typically weighing 180-230gms they are packed in boxes of 6 kilo usually around 30 birds.
They are an excellent choice for any large raptor, supplying a diet with excellent vitamin and mineral levels. If required they can be cut in half to provide an ideal portion size for smaller hawks. It is important that internal organs are not removed during evisceration, Vitamins A,B1 and E are stored in the liver and blood plasma their removal significantly reduces the content of these vital vitamins.
Small Prime Quail :- are a smaller variety quail, they have not lost the redder breast meat of wild quail. They are slower grown and this is reflected in the higher price. Internal organs should not be removed during evisceration. They are useful for smaller hawks and falcons that do not have a requirement for a larger volume of food. Typically weighing 130-150gms they are packed in 6kg boxes containing around 40 birds.
Ex Laying Quail :- are the quail that have been kept for up to 12 months as egg laying birds. They are typically bald backed and visually poorer than prime birds. Females will contain eggs and a larger proportion of fat, significantly cheaper than prime birds they represent good value for moulting hawks.
Small Wild Quail :- are the original wild version of European quail. Produced in Spain as shooting quarry they are significantly smaller than domesticated hybrid quail. They have the dark red breast meat of an explosive sprinter, similar to grouse, rather than the pale flesh of domesticated quail. They contain more inter muscular fat reserves and this is easily available energy for raptors. Excellent for smaller hawks and falcons they are the closest available food to wild quarry.
Prior to feeding it is recommended that they are roughly plucked to remove excess feathers, it is important to leave some feathers to provide:
A some casting,
B for hawks in aviaries the plucking of quarry is a natural behaviour which can benefit hawks welfare and can be an important part of pre-copulation display.
Remove feet above “ankle” joint
Remove wings or pluck
Remove intestines, note it is important NOT to remove liver, heart etc.
It is important to leave some skin it contains many nutrients not contained in flesh.
Once a week, subject to your raptor being healthy, you may consider leaving intestines complete. They contain micro nutrients not available elsewhere and most raptors eat them.