Are these mites/nits on my button quail?

ButtonBag

Songster
Jun 23, 2020
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I have a male button/CPQ I've posted about here before who's been looking scruffy for a long time, although his mate looks fine. We changed their food and he went through a molt, but after a few days, he started getting frayed feathers again.

We managed to catch him tonight after they'd settled down in the dark, and looked under his wing. I spotted something at the base of one feather — could it be a tiny cluster of eggs? (Sorry, the photo isn't super sharp). He left a few feathers in my hand after we released him but there was nothing obvious on them. I haven't been able to look anywhere else on him, because he's a little escape artist, but will try to check his vent tomorrow.

Any thoughts are hugely appreciated! I'm not very experience with birds yet and really want to get to the root of this ragged feather problem.

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ButtonBag

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Jun 23, 2020
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That is a good question. I’ll have to check him again as I only spotted this on the photos after we let him go. Does you think his skin looks ok? It seemed a bit dry to me but maybe that’s normal.

They live inside and we clean their homes regularly, so I don’t know if it even could be pests. I’m just baffled about his feathers.
 

Hybridchucks

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I have a male button/CPQ I've posted about here before who's been looking scruffy for a long time, although his mate looks fine. We changed their food and he went through a molt, but after a few days, he started getting frayed feathers again.

We managed to catch him tonight after they'd settled down in the dark, and looked under his wing. I spotted something at the base of one feather — could it be a tiny cluster of eggs? (Sorry, the photo isn't super sharp). He left a few feathers in my hand after we released him but there was nothing obvious on them. I haven't been able to look anywhere else on him, because he's a little escape artist, but will try to check his vent tomorrow.

Any thoughts are hugely appreciated! I'm not very experience with birds yet and really want to get to the root of this ragged feather problem.

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I don't see any mites, they're pretty easy to spot. And his skin looks just fine :)
 

Kiraeh

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Jun 8, 2020
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Mite eggs sit more on the feather shaft, and I agree, you'd be also seeing mites if you had eggs. You'd be sure.
Do quail have the same types of feather quality genes as chickens? Could he have the quail equivalent of the shredder gene? If he's scruffy all over, that could do it.
 

ButtonBag

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Jun 23, 2020
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Thanks for the help everyone, they are so hard to check over being so tiny and fast so I appreciate your thoughts.

I've never heard of a shredder gene equivalent for quail, especially Chinese Painted ones, but perhaps it exists. His head and neck are very neat though, and he looked tidier for a few days after he finished moulting last month.

Perhaps he is over-preening? He definitely seems to mess up his girlfriend's head rather than making it neater…
 

ButtonBag

Songster
Jun 23, 2020
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London, UK
So I found some tiny white dots crawling all over the table next to the vivarium today. I’m assuming they’re grain mites, which wouldn’t have anything to do with their feather condition. What a nightmare.
 

FloorCandy

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Apr 15, 2020
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So I found some tiny white dots crawling all over the table next to the vivarium today. I’m assuming they’re grain mites, which wouldn’t have anything to do with their feather condition. What a nightmare.
Ive seen people recommend putting a ring of diatomaceous earth outside the cage so any mites that get out have to cross the line to be free, and it will kill them. Same thing with meal worm farms, put a smaller container holding the worms inside a big container, and ring the little one with DE. That way the mites don’t spread.
 

aart

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Ive seen people recommend putting a ring of diatomaceous earth outside the cage so any mites that get out have to cross the line to be free, and it will kill them. Same thing with meal worm farms, put a smaller container holding the worms inside a big container, and ring the little one with DE. That way the mites don’t spread.
I used to do that while isolating grain mite infested feed bags, didn't always work.
 

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