Button quail are a popular game bird for hobbyists to breed. Many gardeners allow the tiny birds to run through their gardens and greenhouses to keep insect infestations under control naturally. Large avian breeders often allow button quail to run loose through their parrot cages to pick the seed spread by the larger birds. Butterfly breeders raise button quail to keep the spider population under control. Button quail are relatively easy to raise, but they do have a few dietary requirements.
Game Bird Crumble
Feed button quail a high quality game bird crumble that provides at least 20 percent animal protein. Tiny button quail have high animal protein needs to maintain their active lifestyle, according to CyberQuail.com. Bird crumble can be purchased from any bird supply store. Allow the button quail free access to as much of the game bird crumble a day as they wish to consume.
Feed button quail live food a few times a week. BirdCare.com notes that mealworms are a welcome treat for the tiny button quail, but do not allow them to consume more then five or six per day because they contain a very high fat and protein content. Button quail also adore maggots. Crickets can be fed freely to button quail.
Other Food Treats
Boil a chicken egg and crumble it up. The quail will consume the hard boiled egg and the shells with gusto. They also enjoy all types of cooked beans. Algae can be provided to add a bit of green to the quail's diet.
Place grit in a shallow pan for the button quail to consume when needed. Grit is imperative for the button quail to be able to digest their food. The birds also enjoy bathing in the grit daily. They will hop into the grit bowl and roll around in joy.
Feed female button quail ample amounts of calcium. CyberQuail.com suggests that you provide crushed eggs shells or oyster shells in the grit supply for females, or hang a cuttlebone for the female to chew on when needed. Egg production can seriously deplete the females calcium supply so she should always have abundant calcium available.
Sprinkle a powdered vitamin supplement on the button quail's food daily. The powdered supplements can be bought at any bird supply store. Choose one that is specific for button quail. There are also a wide variety of liquid vitamin supplements that can be mixed with water,but Avian Web says that most button quail do not like the taste of the liquid supplements and will not drink the water once the vitamins are mixed. They advice using only powdered supplements on food for button quail.