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2-3 day old chicks dying! :(

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone. I recently harched a few quail chicks, they looked active and healthy in the incubator and we're fine the first couple of days in the brooder. But today on day 3, something is going terribly wrong. One of the chicks cannot get up. He's trying hard and wiggling around but he just cannot pick himself up. It almost looks like he is unable to get his head off the ground (as if his head is very heavy). The same thing happened with my last hatch. The chick would be fine till about day 2 or 3, then would have difficulty getting up and would gasp for air before passing away. I used the same brooder both times. Anyone had this experience? What could the problem be, I want to make sure i fix it before the next hatch.
Thank you so much.
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Another thing he seems to be doing is cocking his head a backwards.
post #3 of 13

I'm afraid I'm still new to quail so can't help. However, I think there is some important information that othesr will need to know to help you narrow down the problem.


What kind of quail?

What is your brooder set-up like?

What is the temperature in the brooder?

What kind of heat source are you using? If a bulb, what kind?

What kind of food are you giving?


I hope someone else can come along and offer some real help.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
One possible cause I just realized is that the electrolyte I was giving them was had expired. Could it have been the problem? It was a harlequin quail
post #5 of 13

If it's just one chick from a batch of 10 or more, I'd say it might just be the runt of the flock. More than 1/10 would suggest you are doing something wrong. As it happens on day 2-3 and it seemed fine when it hatched, I would think it might somehow be related to running out of yolk. Maybe he's just not very good at feeding on his own, or something is wrong with his digestion or something.. I know next to nothing about electrolytes, but again, if we are talking 1 of 10 chicks or something like that, I don't think it's you doing something wrong.

post #6 of 13
Are they eating and drinking?
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
He seemed to be eating. I did notice he wasn't actively eating though, it was more like weak pecks at the food. I just want to make sure it doesn't happen with my next hatch since I am going to be hatching some rare colored button quail. Last time this happened, 3 chicks died the same way sad.png just cannot pinpoint what's going wrong. I am going to make sure I disinfect the incubator and brooder.
post #8 of 13
Make sure they are also drinking and have water available at all times. You might even need to dip their beak in water just to show them what it is. Because this is happening on day 3 it sounds like a possible food or water issue. Especially if they were running around crazy the first few days.
post #9 of 13

Sounds like their necks developed improperly.  This is usually due to incubation problems.  Incorrect temps, turning and humidity can all have an effect on the developing chicks.  Read up all you can on incubation, here on BYC before setting more eggs.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks all you guys for your advice. My plan for the next hatch is to disinfect the incubator and brooder, monitor temp more closely, turn the eggs 5 times a day instead of 3, add atleast 2-3 water dishes in the brooder, and give them grogel the fist day to give them a good start. Hope it will help!
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