I have about 40 coturnix quail and in the past 2 weeks I've lost 5 of them. Individuals seem to maybe have a cold? They make a weird little noise sort of like coughing or sneezing and some seem to have fluid around the mouth. I just gave them some Ornacyn-plus (erythromycin + vitamins) because it's the only thing I could find and is an antibiotic for respiratory illness in birds. One that died last night had a sort of bubble of liquid pooled in his neck.... I'm thinking pneumonia? Update: I just found another one with a sort of bubble on the neck over one shoulder, seems to be filled with fluid.
The quail are inside so not in a draft and they don't get rained on. I have a light in each cage to add light and warmth; maybe I should put the heat bulb back in? I totally clean out their cage once a week and spray with a disinfectant and spot clean all week. I wash their dishes in water with bleach and once a week I also spray those with disinfectant. I'm removing any that seem to be sick to a separate cage as well. I also add a power to fight parasites to their food once a week. I can't think of anything more to do to keep them healthy.
Any advice would be most welcome,
PS: I see some put a small bit of bleach in the drinking water and wonder if any of you do that for quail; where I read it was for chickens. I also notice that most of the medications say 'not for egg producing birds' soooooooooo.... can I never eat the eggs again? just not while being treated?
Update: After doing a lot of research I think they may have Quail Bronchitis which is not good. I'm inspecting each bird and putting those I believe are infected into a different pen with an extra heat lamp and medicated water. I hope they don't all die... seems the death rate is high with this disease : ( .... well now I don't know because it says only bobwhites get this but all the symptoms match.. the search continues....
Sulmet? I see a lot of ppl recommending Sulmet but it says not to give to birds that produce eggs for human consumption... I eat and sell the quail eggs so that would be a problem. Any advice on that? I did find 10 days for sulmet on another thread here... so I'm wondering about the bottle saying NOT to use it for egg producers but others saying you can eat the eggs 10 days after they stop taking the medication. Is that the company just covering their behinds?
I've been searching everywhere and can find very little info on when various medications leave the body so that eggs can be consumed. Specifically for erythromycin but for others in general. I called the manufacturer of Ornacyn and they would not tell me anything about egg consumption after taking this medication. He did 'hint' at it being 12 days.
Edited by WinterRoseFarm - 9/7/12 at 11:19am