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Quail chicken with limited control of legs and feet.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,


First: I've gone through most threads with similar problems, googled and read up on everything I could find about this specific issue, so I'm quite up to date with all different options it could be. Obviously also read the generic guides and tips regarding health and possible leg issues with quail.




This specific problem seems unusual.


I have a 5 weeks old coturnix (I think) chicken that had one leg sticking out infront of it after hatching. I read about all possible things it could be and first thought it was splayed feet. 

Did the band-aid method and hoped for the best. Unfortunately it didn't work, but I sticked to it and at the same time added vitamins in the water and also boiled eggs.


I also did physical training in a cup with her so her legs would get stronger.

But after some time she just didn't even bother with trying to stand, so I removed the band aid, but kept the exercise och vitamins going.


Unfortunately she didn't want/couldn't figure out how to use the legs (mostly the right leg), but just layed down on one side and kicked herself around that way. Legs often straight out.


She seems to have some balance issues, hard to stand straight and drops over to one side only, and also some weird control over the legs, almost as she hasn't really figured put how to use them properly. Strong legs and quite strong feet, but still kinda "floppy".


So, today I noticed that she also has started to bend the ankle the wrong way. Nothing is broken or seems damaged, and when I gently "presses" her together in a more quail-natural way, she stays that way for a short time. Not standing on her own, but when leaning against something.


She is chirping, eating, drinking and pooping a lot, so she seems to be healthy in all other ways.


I thought the symptoms pointed towards Avian Encephalomyelitis, but she's not really paralysed in any way.


Could it just be that she's born with a brain damage that makes her incapable of using her legs correct?


Also, how bad is it for her that the legs are that flexible that they bend slightly the wrong way? I've made some splints that makes it harder for her to bend them the wrong way, but I think her kicking herself around made her legs more straightened out than they should be.



Bought 12 eggs online.

Incubated with correct humidity and temperature.

5 eggs hatched.

1 died after two days.

The other 3 survivors has no symptoms of anything – they grow, eat, jump and sound as they should.

The half-lame chicken is kept separately.

They all have heat, food and water all the time.


Phew, looooong first post and also sorry for bad grammar.

I hope someone can come up with some tips or knowledge.


Kind regards,



post #2 of 4
Hi firstly coturnix quail aren't chickens. Secondly I suggest culling the chick as it has shown no improvement. I think you may be right about it being brain damage, shipped eggs tend to have problems like this occasionally.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

As she's not getting worse though, I will look around a bit more to find anything that can help her.

She's kinda more of a pet now, than anything else, so culling is a last resort, tbh.


But thanks for the advice, da1Goth2.

post #4 of 4
I doubt you will find much about info as most chicks with problems like this don't make it to 5 weeks old. I was wondering if the chick reaches adulthood how will it lay an egg on its side? Could be an issue. I think theres very little you can do as the quail still can't stand on its own and because the problem seems to be neurological I doubt it will ever improve. Good luck though
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