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Quail acting tired - is she molting or ill? Bare skin on belly?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, my lovely Coturnix quail started to act slowly and seems to sleep a lot for the last 3 days - had laid her last egg 5 days ago (before she used to lay once in every 3 days) and today I noticed a bare patch at her lower belly - i know that before it was never too full of feathers but the skin seems dry and she keeps scratching there and all over in general.
Could this be a partial molting starting or is it more likely an illness? Her living conditions haven't changed recently other than the days getting shorter, and she's still eating but just doesn't seem to have as much energy..
I know many others here will understand how worried I am even at the smallest sign of illness but it's my first time raising a quail.. thank you all for any information or experiences you could share. [IMG][IMG]
post #2 of 6

She doesn't appear egg bound? She could be picking the feathers due to pain in the area below.. If she is 'scratching all over', I guess she could have mites too.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi and thank you for your response, I have been trying to figure out if she might be egg bound but she doesn't really have a loss of appettite and I haven't seen her straining or making the chirpy sounds that she usually makes when she decides to lay an egg..
-she did her little pop-corn dance to me this morning so I'm trying to keep positive and hope it's not a very bad condition-
But I'm not sure if there are any specific symptoms to check to be alarmed about her being egg bound, should I put her in some warm water just in case? I read that can be a help for chickens but I don't want to upset her with that if it's not necessary..
Thank you for any input, it's comforting to find a site and forum like this..
post #4 of 6
what kind of wire is on your cage? Can a predator reach through it?
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
There's been no risk of predators reaching her but I've been looking into the areas that she scratches more in detail today, I think she might be molting, for I could see some new feather stems coming! I understand that it's natural for her to be more sensitive to be handled and a bit scratchy too if she's molting, but can I do anything to help her with any discomfort she might be feeling?
The area that seemed dry, can I put a little bit of olive oil on it? I read somewhere that some people do that but I would like to be sure that olive oil won't be harmful to the little beauty..
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
So, after about a month since my precious birdie gave me a scare with the bare patch on her lower belly, finally everything is almost back to normal.

It was so strange seeing her skin exposed like that, but it turned out to be a molt in the end after all!

She was acting tired for the first 10 days or so, then slowly picked up her energy with extra vitamins and high protein diet..

Just wanted to post this good ending for anyone else out there getting scared of the amount of feather loss that scared me, and here's a picture of the same bare part after about 3 weeks too.

Thanks to everyone in this lovely community for all the support!
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