Quails are making a comeback as poultry, and every year we see more and more homesteaders and farmers come around to the advantages of these unique and small birds.
They produce high-quality meat and tiny but scrumptious eggs, and it’s a lot easier to keep more quails in a space that is much smaller than one you’d usually use for chickens.
But, like all birds, quails have something of a unique diet and they have their own specific nutritional requirements. Quails can eat a lot of the same things that other birds eat, but not quite everything.
How about strawberries? Can quails eat strawberries safely?
Yes, quails can eat strawberries safely and get good nutrition from them. However, you should avoid feeding your quails the calyx, or top, from strawberries as well as the leaves, as these can be toxic.
Many species of quails living in the wild will eat berries when and where they have access to them, so it makes perfect sense that quails would certainly eat strawberries too.
Whether you want to make them a fairly regular part of your bird’s diet or save them as a sweet treat, your quails will benefit from them.
Keep reading, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about giving strawberries to your quails…
Are Strawberries Good for Quails?
Yes, strawberries are definitely good for quails. Strawberries contain various nutrients that are good for most birds, including quails. Adding strawberries to the diet of your quails can help:
- improve egg laying and overall egg health,
- improve metabolism,
- enhance nervous system function,
- promote healing and proper organ function,
- and give quail a good boost of energy on top of all that.
Strawberries also have proven advantages in helping birds cope with heat stress.
As temperatures rise, giving your quails some strawberries is going to help them maintain their energy levels and prevent negative side effects associated with prolonged exposure to hot weather.
Strawberries are also perfect for giving quails a boost of energy any other time if they seem a little rundown. As a once-in-a-while treat or as a fairly regular part of their usual diet, strawberries are a great option.
However, they are very sugary, so quails shouldn’t get too many of them. We’ll talk more about that in just a bit.
Strawberries Nutritional Profile
Strawberries are, of course, most loved for their deliciously sweet, aromatic and delicate flavor, not their nutrients, but as it turns out they are pretty healthy, too.
Strawberries contain a good amount of carbohydrates, and a surprisingly decent amount of vitamins and minerals along with a little bit of fiber.
If we look at the vitamin content of strawberries we see that there’s a decent amount of vitamin E and vitamin K along with a good shot of vitamin C.
The B complex vitamins are also well represented, with vitamin B6 and folate being the standouts.
Mineral content is also pretty impressive, and strawberries contain a wide variety of ones that all birds need.
Strawberries have a decent amount of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and iron with a great amount of manganese. This is rounded out by a small quantity of zinc.
When it comes to giving fruits to your birds for good health, you can do a lot worse than strawberries.
Can You Safely Feed Strawberries to Quails Raw?
Yes, and this is the very best way that you can give strawberries to your quails. Strawberries are super soft and easy for quails to eat, and raw strawberries will also contain the most nutrients possible.
Can Quails Eat Strawberry Leaves?
They can, but they should not. It turns out the green parts of the strawberry plant, including the leaves, stem and calyx, that’s the leafy part commonly called the crown or cap of the strawberry, are not good for quails and might actually be toxic if they eat enough of them.
Accordingly, it’s in your best interest to always remove the greenery before giving strawberries to your covey.
Can You Safely Feed Cooked Strawberries to Quails?
You can, but you shouldn’t. Or at least, you definitely don’t have to: Cooked strawberries are safe for quails as long as they’re not prepared with any extra sugar or other ingredients they shouldn’t have, but there are no advantages to doing so.
Strawberries are already entirely soft enough for quails to eat when raw and cooking the strawberries just depletes their nutrient levels, especially the vitamins.
If, for whatever reason, you already had plenty of plain cooked strawberries on hand you can definitely serve them to your birds, but don’t go out of your way to cook them.
Are Strawberries Still Safe for Quail Chicks?
Strawberries are safe for quail chicks once they are a couple of weeks old and starting to eat more of the foods that adult quails eat.
Although quail chicks are highly precocious and start eating on their own much sooner compared to other bird species, their developing stomachs cannot handle certain foods very well, particularly juicy, sugary foods like berries.
It’s best to keep your quail chicks eating starter feed or softer seeds during their first few weeks of life, and only after they’ve gotten a little bit older should you let them try a few nibbles of strawberry.
Do keep an eye on them, though, and discontinue if you notice any loose stools or diarrhea…
How Often Can Quails Have Strawberries?
Quails can have strawberries a couple of times a week as part of a balanced diet. Fruit can be a great component of a quails diet, but it shouldn’t be the only thing that they eat.
For one thing, strawberries aren’t nutritionally complete; they don’t have all of the vitamins and minerals that quails need to thrive.
Also, as mentioned above, strawberries are quite sugary and moist, two things that can easily lead to digestive upset in birds. Diarrhea is no laughing matter because it will rapidly dehydrate a quail, and that can lead to serious health complications.
To avoid this outcome, always make sure you portion out the strawberries you are feeding to your quails according to their nutritional needs.
Never give them free access to strawberries, or feed them strawberries over and over again or else they will eventually get sick.
So long as you give them strawberries with a little bit of restraint they will love them, and you will love the benefits they provide for them.
How Should You Serve Strawberries to Your Covey?
The only thing you need to do to serve strawberries to your covey is to remove the calyx and any other leaves and then hand them over.
Quails can easily take little nibbles out of super soft strawberries, but if you want, to you can split them or quarter them to make portion control a little easier.
Make Sure Any Strawberries You Feed to Quails are Chemical-Free
If you’re going to buy strawberries from the grocery store to feed to your quails, think twice: all fruits and vegetables we buy are treated with lots of pesticides, and sadly strawberries are among the worst offenders when it comes to absorbing these chemicals.
Washing them isn’t enough to remove the residues! Growing your own is best, or if you have no other choice buy organic…
Don’t Give Strawberries to Your Quails if they Have Bad Ingredients
Strawberries are a delicious, sweet treat for your quails just the way they are: you should never give strawberries that are covered with sugar, syrup or anything else to your birds.
That’s a great way to make them very sick or even kill them!
Never Leave Strawberry Scraps Lying Around
When your quails are done eating strawberries, make sure you pick up after them: Leftover strawberry bits will quickly mold and begin to rot, and if your quails come back around and eat them, that’s one more thing that could make them very ill.
Tim is a farm boy with vast experience on homesteads, and with survival and prepping. He lives a self-reliant lifestyle along with his aging mother in a quiet and very conservative little town in Ohio. He teaches folks about security, prepping and self-sufficiency not just through his witty writing, but also in person.