katie_94

Chirping
Oct 14, 2021
55
28
61
Disclosure: first time taking care of quails

Hi again. Yesterday night I went into the adult quail enclosure to collect eggs and I noticed one adult female on her side near the water cups. I picked her up with no resistance from her so I knew something was wrong. Today, her wing she was laying on was stiff. I tried expanding her wings but they only folded back when I let go. She's not flapping them. Tried bending her legs and toes but they just hang there. Her legs have some movement but not enough to keep her standing on her own. She's also breathing out of her mouth but not panting. I checked her vent and I don't see an egg and she pooped (i'm not even sure if she's laying tbh). I dont see any of the other quails affected. I dont see any injuries, feathers pecked out, or swollen vent/legs. Is she egg-bound or calcium deficient? That's what I got from googling. I've tried looking up threads with the exact same issue but they're too old so there's no way see updates on their birds. So far, I've held her up to make sure she drank water but she didnt eat when i held her towards food. She's pretty calm and still not resisting me or making any sounds.

Some background if it helps?:
-there are 11 quails: 2 boys, the rest females. The 2 boys and 1 girl are our first quails and could be 4-5 months old. We got 8 more after who might be 14 weeks old.
-no idea how old this quail is.
-my parents feed them Purina 30% Protein Starter Gamebird and Turkey Feed. no supplements but sometimes fruit and veggies. Just yesterday I found out apple seeds can be toxic to quails so if my parents give them apples, I'll make sure the seeds are taken out.
-we've only been getting 4 eggs a day since they start laying but we have no idea WHO is laying.
-2 days ago I only collected 3 eggs, and yesterday I collected 2.
-they all live outside in their own enclosure: coop + run. Coop is on the ground and 2 ft. Run is dirt ground with some pine shavings and 5.6ft tall so I don't think she bumped her head since i found her far from the coop in the run. i could be wrong.
-even though I warned my parents multiple times to not build their enclosure right next to the chickens bc I read about Marek, they went ahead anyway. So they live literally right next to the chickens. Chicken are not vaccinated to my knowledge as my mom got them from tractor supply. Chickens are 4-5 months old and showing no signs of sickness or fatigue. I let them free-range a few hours a day.

Thank you for reading.
 
Last edited:

vall

DIY
Oct 5, 2020
465
2,153
216
So. Cal.
Adult quail should be on (chicken or gamebird) layer feed for the calcium, or you need to supplement oyster shell. You can probably feed them the same thing as your chickens. The only bird I suspected had a calcium deficiency, I had to cull - she had a prolapse.
 

katie_94

Chirping
Oct 14, 2021
55
28
61
Adult quail should be on (chicken or gamebird) layer feed for the calcium, or you need to supplement oyster shell. You can probably feed them the same thing as your chickens. The only bird I suspected had a calcium deficiency, I had to cull - she had a prolapse.
i heard it's not recommended to feed layer to birds that aren't laying and ours share the same food including the males. I'm not sure if this bird is laying since I can't watch it for most of the day to check. And we're only getting 4 eggs out of 9 females so 5 aren't laying. If i provide calcium on the side, will the ones who need it help themselves to it? Or will I have to mix it into their food and hope it doesn't harm the ones who aren't laying? Is there a ratio to how much calcium per food lb/grams/etc? Sorry I have lots of questions.
 

QuailTail

Songster
Aug 21, 2021
124
119
101
NSW Mid North Coast, Australia
i heard it's not recommended to feed layer to birds that aren't laying and ours share the same food including the males. I'm not sure if this bird is laying since I can't watch it for most of the day to check. And we're only getting 4 eggs out of 9 females so 5 aren't laying. If i provide calcium on the side, will the ones who need it help themselves to it? Or will I have to mix it into their food and hope it doesn't harm the ones who aren't laying? Is there a ratio to how much calcium per food lb/grams/etc? Sorry I have lots of questions.
You can supply it seperately and let them go to it when they want - can't help with your other questions, but hopefully someone else can offer advice!
 

vall

DIY
Oct 5, 2020
465
2,153
216
So. Cal.
They should all be laying at that age, if they have 14 hours of light. If you provide oyster shell I suspect they will all go for it and your egg production may increase.
 

katie_94

Chirping
Oct 14, 2021
55
28
61
They should all be laying at that age, if they have 14 hours of light. If you provide oyster shell I suspect they will all go for it and your egg production may increase.
They're all outside but direct sunlight shines on a quarter of the run since my parents installed a roof to deal with the rain we get (FL). So oyster shells/calcium will encourage those not laying yet, to start laying? Interesting.
 
Last edited:

vall

DIY
Oct 5, 2020
465
2,153
216
So. Cal.
Re: egg production, I've heard that secondhand but not experienced it myself, since I always give oyster shell.

Days are getting shorter so you may need to add some lights after sunset if you want them to lay through the winter.
 

CovidtimeQuail

Highly quailified
Premium Feather Member
Nov 28, 2020
742
1,606
231
Honolulu, HI
This may or not be related to your issue. I usually start giving my birds layer feed by the time they hit 10 weeks. Normally they start at around eight weeks old. Both males and females eat the same layer feed. I find that if my quail continue to eat gamebird feed, they get fat: they look like bouncy balls with heads. As it is, I'm switching them off of the higher protein layer feed they're on and putting them back on the standard Purina Layena crumble -- the current layer feed is also making them fat.

Fat birds are more sedentary, not as animated and it seems like they have a hard time pushing out eggs. When they are fat, sometimes the eggs have a ring of blood around the outside. I can only imagine it's not comfortable for them.
 

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