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game bird/chicken feed

 
Grant Fulcher
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helpfull info from backyardchickens. Dont forget about BSF larva, great for high protein fish/poultry feed, moringa trees

TO ALL WHO WISH TO FEED ORGANIC formulas to game birds and our beloved Quail.... I want to help you be humane and educated in your decision on feeding.

Hello, I am slowsprings and I have researched this feeding option for the last 11 months. I finally found a miller in Colorado , Ranchway Feeds that creates a NON GMO organic turkey starter of 24% . I ran it by some of the "most skeptical/ most knowledgeable" and had some of our BYC heavy hitters and long time educators pick apart ingredient list of other and all organic feeds with me. I searched from coast to coast for organic formulas.
The problems I found resulted in the organic rations not having enough protein from a meat / insect type source. I have 30 laying hens and can NOT keep up with the need of the protein needs of this special bird. I am expanding to 100 hens. I had to make a move to save lives. Growing tons of mealworms and hard boiling tons of eggs each night was tiring an already disabled mom.

JJmr stated to me many times that the birds need Vitamin B12 which is mostly found in meat, blood, bone, meals. I listened to him and searched, presented formulas, had pies thrown at em...(you know jj and joe125 are wonderful for that.. adore you guys..) Quaillady and I spoke on other terms of wild seeds, thistle, finch mix, alfalfa fines.

I tried feeding a ration of turkey starter from Ranchway of 24% organic and non gmo.... I started having birds literally eating each others feathers and then MOVING INTO CANNIBALISM FOR NEED OF PROTEIN that plants and grains do not provide.

This is serious to me as a humane educator and former cruelty inspector.
Please, please, find your birds a supplement of meat meal from a local organic meat farm/ranch or you can use organic meat ground with hard boiled egg (shell and all). Grind them up together (meat meal in fresh form from the ranch is really pebbles of frozen fat and meat = hamburger if you will) in the food processor in large batches. I flash boil mine to avoid salmonella, then cool and feed it with the organic ration. I also make mixes and freeze them in big bags in our deep freezer and pull out day of feeding (mixing the grain ration, oyster shell, meat/egg meal).

I have spoken to Ranchway's Nutritionist a PhD, Dr. Kelsey Swyers, from Fort Collins' Veterinary University of Colorado. She knows "we are out here" I told her I would be presenting my research on organic feed and the discovery that Ranchway is the only one with a promise of NON GMO organic feed with a 24% protein and her, YES HER recommendation to feed the local grown meat meal 1part to 3 parts of their organic turkey grower while she works hard on a gamebird ration. She stated it is very hard for mills to get approval with other meat based food stuffs going through the mill. The "organic" inspections are a tough act to follow, so the nutritionists in these feed companies have it hard folks.


Jj was very patient with me and looked at some formulas that are organic non gmo designed for Chickens. NO, this does not work my friends. Your birds will suffer a deficiency in protein and you will come to the point that they begin feather eating and then canibalism through a form of "starvation" of protein/ B12.


Meal worms help, but I had a hard time keeping up with the need, and hard boiling eggs every night to come up with enough B12 to feather them back out and stop the pecking for blood.

We are talking about Coturnix here. Sweet, simple Coturnix not known for cannibalism.

Ranchway is looking to create a supplement and even a ration that answers this particular lack in the turkey starter ...and address gamebirds. She (PhD Swyers) was with me the whole way along with JJmr (big thank you to JJ and Model A, as well as QuailLady, Joe125, Mille and TwoCrows and of course the ever happy and encouraging Fat Daddy).

While Ranchway is creating this protein mix, I use ground fresh meat meal with hard boiled eggs. I ocassionally put in meal worms too! But I am hatching too many birds to have a giant meal worm farm.

Check your grocer, local meat processors for meat meal. If it has some fat in it ...all the better. You will help the animal.

*** We can not convert Quail into a non insectivore or a vegetarian. Much the same as you can not convert a Cat to a vetetarian. Cats are what biology and veterinary medicine call "obligate carnivores". If they do not have the type of protein that meat provides (that a cat kidney and liver DEPEND ON) they will die.
It would be a cruelty to animals charge. If I were still an investigator and found someone who had done this to an animal I would consider charging them.

This is why I felt aweful , ashamed.... when the Coturnix under my care started to suffer from Protein/ Vitamin B12 deficiency. Willful neglect of an animal's specific dietary needs. Please heed my advise and know it comes with the same organically grown care and wish for good health for your eggs and Quail. Luckily my experience was short lived! * It could have also had genetics playing a part. I had purchased from mass breeder online. Resulting in some birds in the Quail House with non selective breeding. Never again. Seek known quality breeders who know their lines and have selected good birds...(a side note to add for safety)


Ranchway's organic turkey starter at 24% protein is now served here at our farm at 3 parts in the feed dish and 1 part meat meal ground with hard boiled egg. Along with Kale, Spinach, Mealworms, Apple Slices and what ever organic greens, vegetables, legumes I am growing. I hung pea vines with pod and all from the roofs of the aviaries /pens. This provided environmental enrichment AND nutrition.


Thistle seed, sunflower hearts (no shell) amarenth (pig weed), alfalfa fines, ground pea, fish meal (watch for the taste of the egg here), are all different protein boosts...but my Quail are looking glossy and full again and no one is lying pecked to death when I come to the Quail house ever again. Please learn with me and know you are feeding

"AN OBLIGATE INSECTIVORE/CARNIVORE". It will need to be a truck load of mealworms to meet the need. Ranchway is working on it. In the meantime, if in your area there is a miller/meat packer that can provide you with a supplement for 1/3rd of the diet along with all of those vegetable/grain based proteins, seek them out and use their organic product till we can get these Feed companies on board.

Join me in asking the Feed Company of your local region to supply an organic option, whether they use ground pea, non gmo soy, non gmo corn...AND SO IMPORTANTLY a protein source serving the obligate insectivores we raise. We can do this, as there are a number of us here. They don't make it yet "because no one has asked" quoting Ranchway's Dr. Swyers. She is happy and determined...asking me questions in emails.

Murray Mc Murray Hatchery and Blue Seal state they have organic rations for gamebirds but that they are on BACKORDER on their websites. I want to know what the formula is. I want us to post feed ingredient lists here so we can check them to protect the Quail's need.

I want to show it to Quaillady, Jjmr, Joe125, Mille, TwoCrows and other experienced obligate insectivore raisers. I almost want to start calling our Quail that....OBLIGATE INSECTIVORES....so that it reminds you who want to feed organic, what your GOAL is.



Seeing feathers gone? Pecking for blood? Possible lice or mites....but check your feed... ladies and gentlemen. I have put it to the experienced and they have spoken. Help is on the way, but only in Colorado so far. Dr. Swyers says they can ship and she has some coals under her now , poor thing..(I apologized while we laughed on the phone, as I told her I was taking the info to the BYC and other forums).

Make it happen in your area. Call the customer line on your feed sack label if you buy organic and have to compromise by taking turkey starter...talk to the nutritionist (asking for a game bird option) and explore local organic ways to feed your birds. Local first is also sustainable. It is the way the entire country is moving. You help another farm and create an organic collaboratively grown product! GO!

Shoot for 24%, low / no salt and look for B12 ! Post it here so experienced eyes can see it.

Thank you Quaillady for finding me and bringing me on to help with you. Hugs to you shug.

If there is a possibility of making this a sticky, can we? Organic Game bird feeders need help and a voice BYC admin.

The issue with organic is that the FDA does not allow any livestock nutrition product that includes fish meal to not include specific preservatives and these are not organic.

We've grappled with this problem for years as most of our client base are natural food folks and local foodivores. I've got some work in front of me and will return to this afterward.

In the short term, look into organic unhulled sesame, organic quinoa, organic millet: Golden Organic, Golden Prairie they're both Colorado have both. Teff seed from the Teff company in Iowa is another very important material. Cooked wild rice/brown rice mixture is another. I'll be back with the amino acid profiles required for Coturnix and how to arrive at the base needed for egg and also meat.



 
Kim Kingbold
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I've been using goat milk to supplement ever since I stopped using soy or commercially mixed feed for the birds. My goats eat mostly what grows on the farm without much in the way of grain and I don't purchase hay. The milk can be used to moisten mash in a dish, but you will need to be careful not to overfill more than the birds can clean up in a day because it can mold. I also just set out pans of milk or whey for the birds. Even my geese love it. If you have a good source of organic milk or whey, you might consider using it for at least part of the animal protein.
 
Ollie Puddlemaker
Posts: 148
Location: Houston, Tesas
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Grant,...

I would have thought that the BSF concept would have been the answer to all your problems, apparently this is that not so...
 
Jay Green
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Or one could simply free range and let the birds get their own protein supplement naturally.....never known a free ranged bird to feather pick, no matter their feed rations.
 
Grant Fulcher
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Jay Green wrote:Or one could simply free range and let the birds get their own protein supplement naturally.....never known a free ranged bird to feather pick, no matter their feed rations.


I have to keep mine in pens, If you have axcess to that style of run, its typically called a johnny house, basically a shelter you add food and water to in a treeline or cover typically where they run and get insects then come back to their roost. I hope to set this up on my Dads 4 acres eventually.
 
Grant Fulcher
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Ollie Puddlemaker wrote:
Grant,...

I would have thought that the BSF concept would have been the answer to all your problems, apparently this is that not so...


Ill let you know how it goes from first hand knowledge God willing every thing goes as planned. I am sure it would suffice since they are so high in protein but Im not sure on the ratio. I have one bio pod I am in the processing of setting up, I will know how many quail a BSF biopod will suffice once the colony gets established. Im sure it will be limited at 30-100 birds max but we will see. I also want to use it for my talipia in my AQ system but we will see. Im hoping my basic worm farm under my meat rabbits will work as well. Im also going to try the above mentioned ideas of adding whey protein and amino acids in the water/milk.
 
Thea Olsen
Posts: 95
Location: suburbs of Chicago USDA zone 5b
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I've been wondering how coturnix quail would do with silkworm pupae as a protein supplement. When I had chickens I fed them silkworm pupae and they loved them, but they might need to be chopped up to feed quail.
 
Grant Fulcher
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Thea Olsen wrote:I've been wondering how coturnix quail would do with silkworm pupae as a protein supplement. When I had chickens I fed them silkworm pupae and they loved them, but they might need to be chopped up to feed quail.


Can you grow them in a bio pod? I think anything like that will work as the insect/whey protein they need. My question is can you harvest them..... The problem wit the great BSF larva is they dont breed in winter, regular house fly larva is great for poultry and fish and will produce year round with a composter to gather the larva like my bio pod but house-fly compost stink pretty bad sometimes and I my property isnt large enough.
 
Thea Olsen
Posts: 95
Location: suburbs of Chicago USDA zone 5b
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No, not in a biopod, just in trays or boxes. They eat mulberry leaves. I've raised them before for silk. It's a bit intense during their growth period, but that only lasts a few weeks. After they pupate, they are usually "stifled" (killed) except for perhaps a few to be allowed to hatch for breeding purposes. The most common method is heating them up (I used to oven), which dries them out and them they store nicely until it's time to use the silk. The dried pupae are a by-product.
 
Lynn Jacobs
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Location: At home with my soulmate <3 Living in a hot dry place.
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I have been giving our chickens fresh goat milk every morning. We have about 28 chickens (a couple seem to come and go at will), and I give them about 1/2 gallon. They love it! Our birds do get out to free-range for a portion of every day (I have to keep them in all morning, otherwise who knows WHERE the eggs are getting laid!), but this time of year there is no protein source for them to forage.
 
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