Food

Quail: Pet Food Ingredients A to Z

We now move to the letter “Q” in our ingredient A to Z series and are featuring Quail as our ingredient of the day.

What is Quail?

Quail L

Quail is a collective name for several families of mid-sized birds generally considered in the order Galliformes.   A “game “bird, Quail is an alternative source of fowl protein.

Common names for Quail

The most common name variations include Old World Quail, New World Quail, which includes Quail found in North and South America.

Why is Quail included in pet food?

Using Quail, instead of more typical fowl like chicken, provides a “novel” protein source. The novel protein can help keep a pet from developing an allergic reaction to frequently fed protein sources or help calm the intestinal system of a pet with an existing food allergy.

Common benefits of Quail

Benefits: Quail is a relatively low calorie and high protein food.  One ounce of quail has about 66 calories, 7 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fat.  It is also a source of the B Vitamins and the minerals phosphorous and iron.

Quail is slightly higher in calories, protein and fat per ounce than is chicken.

Quail, like other novel proteins (e.g. rabbit, venison), can provide an alternative protein source for your dog.  Novel proteins like quail can be used to add variety to a pet’s diet and reduce the chances of allergic reaction if used as part of a protein rotational strategy.

A rotational strategy is a feeding approach that uses a variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet and proper nutrition, instead of one that uses the same food.  Over time, serving the same diet can lead to malnutrition and food allergies.   Contrary to popular belief, feeding your pet the same food for long periods of time is not a very good or healthy idea.

Miscellaneous facts about Quail

  • Although they are capable of short bursts of strong flight New World Quails, such as the California Quail, prefer to use their legs and will walk or run from danger, using flight as a last resort for escape.

Sources and further reading

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quail

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_quail

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/798/2

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/05/07/protein-diets-for-pets-allergy.aspx

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Steve Pelletier
Steve Pelletier VP, Food

Steve is an advocate for healthy pet food offerings.