I'm new to this site and have a question to ask about my Japanese quails.
I usually hatch King (button) quails and have no problems, maybe one will die but usually its a very good ratio of the young that live. However, i recently started breeding Jap quails (in an incubator, since they dont sit on their eggs like the kings do) and they hatch fine, however they seem to have a 50% morallity rate. They live for about 3-5 days and just die. The parents are unrelated, got them from different breeders (some from another state even) so it cant be inbreeding.
The first few died from the heat lamp, sleeping right infront of it at night and in the morning they were burnt to a crisp (all a learning experience) so i moved it up higher so now they just huddle under it. I take them outside an hour a day when it is sunny for some real sunlight which they really seem to enjoy. They get their water changed very often, perhaps up to half a dozen times a day due to they get it pretty muddy. I live in a hot tropical place so it just cant be too cold, but they seem to shiver alot when i take them away from the heat.
Their diet consists of budgie seed, finely diced up bok choy, baby broccoli and occasionally iceberb lettuce (since it really hasnt much nutrients but they love it) and whenever i have time i dig them up earth-worms, find grasshoppers and a woodroach occasionally. The latest one that i found dead today was the oldest at a week+ old and seemed to look like he was constapated (lots of poop around his cloaca) so it might be that they arn't getting the right suppliment food. I just bought a bag of turkey starter like i've read on many forums and am starting some newborns on that to see if there is any difference.
Any idea on why they are dieing so much? I heard that they are very hardy and it doesnt seem like that so far. I also hatched some baby kings in the incubator with them and none of them have died; being on the exsact diet and heating as the rest (living together). It would be lovely to have some help/advice with my problem, I am quite experienced with breeding all sorts of birds from finches, ducks, chooks, turkeys and so on, so this is pretty unfamilar with me.
Thanks for your time.