Vitamins & Minerals



 Vitamins  are always added to feeds in amounts that meet minimum dietary  requirements. This insures that birds consume plenty of vitamins for  proper health and performance. Higher levels are not usually harmful,  but extra vitamins are unnecessary and expensive. When adding vitamins  to the diet as a premix, make sure that an adequate amount of all  vitamins are provided. It may be necessary to add extra amounts of some  vitamins to achieve minimum levels for other vitamins. This may increase  the cost of the complete feed but is better than creating vitamin  deficiencies that can be more expensive. During periods of stress caused  by disease, shipping or sudden changes in the environment it is  recommended that extra vitamins and electrolytes be provided in the  drinking water until the stressing condition is corrected.


Like  vitamins, adequate levels of minerals must be provided to all birds.  Minerals in breeder feeds are especially important. Laying hens require  higher levels of minerals for egg shell formation. Chicks require high  levels of minerals for proper bone formation and development. Breeder  feeds are fed only to laying birds. If a breeder feed is fed to chicks  reduced growth and unnecessary stress will be placed on the chicks. 

 Although  not always required for survival, better performance is observed if a  trace mineral premix is added to diets. Trace minerals are those  minerals required at very low levels for good growth and production.  Most feed ingredients provide some of these minerals but sometimes  contain less than adequate quantities. Many of these minerals are  contained in commercial vitamin premixes. An excellent trace mineral  premix is shown in Table 3. The premix will provide adequate trace  minerals when added at the rate of two pounds per ton of feed.


Many  producers overlook the importance of providing clean, fresh water to  their flocks. Water, though not considered a nutrient by many producers,  is the most important nutrient for animals. Like all farm animals, game  birds need clean water at all times. Drinking water must not get too  hot or cold, or the birds will not drink it. 

Clean  the water troughs and replace with fresh water at least once daily. You  must keep water and feed troughs clean from droppings, litter, soil and  other contaminants. 

Keep  feed troughs clean and dry. Place them so the feed stays dry. Empty the  feed troughs at least two or three times weekly (daily if necessary)  and refill with dry, fresh feed. Do not wash feed troughs unless they  are excessively contaminated with wastes or unless the feed gets wet. Do  not let the feed get moldy. Moldy feeds can kill quail.