Supplemental Feeding For Quail and Turkey
When possible it is better to supplemental feed quail by establishing feed lanes throughout your property. Feeders often attract predators such as bobcat and coyotes that will hunt feeders to ambush quail while they are feeding. By establishing feed lanes you can give quail more areas to feed and allow them to fill their craws more quickly, thus limiting their exposure to predation. If you have to feed by using established feeders, it is best to position your feeders near heavy cover or build a brush pile around the feeder.
Studies have shown that a consistent feeding program increases winter survival of quail and improves brooding success. This is especially important in late winter when natural food sources are most scarce. Studies from the Tall Timbers Reserch Station support this. The charts below illustrate the results from testing the effects of supplemental feeding Bobwhite Quail.
Source: Tall Timbers Research Station
Count is a relative figure to the population in the first year measured. For example, a 1.2 count means the population is 1.2 times the population of the original year. There are two important things to note from this study's results. First is that the population that had the supplemental feed consistently had a relatively higher population than the unfed test group. The second thing to note is the increasing difference in population over time. With relatively higher populations, there are more breeding quail, and thus a greater rate of population growth. This means that supplemental feeding can become more effective over time when implemented for extend periods of time.
Peas Plus is rich in beta carotene and other vitamins that are essential in the brooding and mating success of wild quail. Most importantly they are free of toxins that corn and other grains are susceptible to. Aflatoxin has been proven to cause liver damage and lower the immune system of quail making them more susceptible to disease and predation.
Turkeys love black-eyed peas and protein is an essential part of their diet. In areas where mass is not abundant, black-eyed peas are an excellent source of protein and also provide additional nutrients that are necessary to maintaining a balanced diet. This is especially important in the late winter months where protein sources are limited, including areas where there are mass producing trees.