Bobwhite quail some questions and concerns

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Three Bird Stew, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. Three Bird Stew

    Three Bird Stew Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2014
    In the ZONA!!!
    So I hatched some Georgia Giant Bobwhite quail with a friend. Had a rather poor hatch out of 13 eggs only 6 hatched and only four lived. Out of those Four two of them have some foot issues that have improved. I am going to do what I can do further improve them. These birds are the cutest things I have ever seen also by far the dumbest. I had to show and teach them how to drink and eat multiple times over the course of several hours before they finally got it. Also I dont know if they have imprinted or what. But, they have no fear of being picked up and handled. This is a good thing because I had to had give them some electrolytes and sugar water by hand because they were so weak. They are only two to three days old. Is this normal for these beloved God creatures to be so f-up? No wonder they are having some difficulty in the wild in several states. I am new to Bobwhites how fast do these things grow?
     
  2. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ks
    Good morning.... No it is not "normal" to have to work with Bobs to find food and water..... In fact I have raised a bunch and never teach them anything..... It could be the out of season eggs you hatched just yielded weak birds, or you did'nt give them time..... They will mostly just sleep the first few days, sometimes falling asleep while standing..... I line my brooder floor with paper towels the first few days, usually on top of chips or pellets. I put a shallow lid filled with GBS under the light in warmest part of the brooder. Then spread a handful of GBS all around it.... No matter where a chick falls asleep, he should be able to wake up and peck at the first thing he sees without moving..... It will eat..... Put the water fount at the coolest end. They will find it. Nature will drive them to water.... In all the years Iv raised birds, I have never made a practice of dipping beaks, or grinding GBS.... The curled toes are a sign that the chicks stayed in the shell too long. this could be several issues from genetic to humidity in the bator. Most often its from opening the bator to remove the first chicks and losing the humidity. It makes it hard for the last few to hatch..... I find that game birds hatch better with higher humidity just as they hatch, The dry hatches I have tried with game birds just never seemed to work well. if i can get the windows of my bator steaming up, I usually have a easier hatch. At 4 or five days, your bobs should be faster than you can catch. At 10 days they should be able to fly out of your brooder.... The tame will likely not last...... In smaller groups the tend to be a little tamer. But they will always remember their wild nature.... Good luck with your birds...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
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  3. Three Bird Stew

    Three Bird Stew Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2014
    In the ZONA!!!
    Thanks for the info they are doing allot better this morning. The other thing that was driving me nuts is that they enjoyed pecking at each others feet. At least that has subsided for now. I honestly thought that one would not make it through the night and it did and is doing better. I have them in a large plano Tupperware case lined with paper towels, and heat lamp. Anything I can do to get them to stop pecking at each others feet if it picks back up?
     
  4. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Toe picking is also very common with bobs..... Isolation is sometimes needed.... dont feed meal worms to bobs for this reason. The first thing i do is a red bulb for your lamp..... bright light causes them to notice anything different or moving. If you have a large watt heat lamp, drop wattage or raise the light so they are just a bit cooler..... not enough to make them pile up, but they should be cool enough they want to stay under the light. A cool bob wont be think'n about drag'n his hatch mate across the brooder by the toe..... If anybody has bloody toes, "Blu Kote" is your friend. Paint everyones feet blue so no one stands out..... a bloody spot on a buddie's toe is impossible not to pick at when you're a bob....

    EDIT TO ADD: If you have a heat source other than a light bulb. (Think heat pad like used for amphibians.) Dim them down and leave the heat alone. A yellow, 25 watt "party bulb" is perfect for this. They need to see to find food and water but not bright enough for everything to catch their eye.... Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  5. deserthotwings

    deserthotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stay away from giving your birds tap water. It contains too many and too strong chemicals that will kill baby quail. The bottled water does great with a little chickgro for the first couple days. Curled toes are caused by poor incubating practices or poor genetics. If your sprinkle a little starter on a paper towel it will help keep them from being bored and toe picking and avoid bright light. Also stay away from feeding your chicks medicated starter. Use Game Bird or turkey nonmedicated starter.
     
  6. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've raised many thousands of quail chicks on big city tap water with only vita-sol added to it. I've never lost a chick that way, but having experience in water treatment and distribution and working in remodeling for so long I can easily imagine fouling in either city transmission or distribution lines or corrosive metal fouling from aging pipes or improper use of dielectric pipe fittings causing mortality. A lot of people in the trades dont get taught well enough and far too many don't realize that copper and galvanized steel must be joined by a brass fitting or electrolysis will occur and can acidify the water as well as releasing heavy metals. I almost never work on an old house that has plumbing a person would drink out of if they saw the inside of it first and I find missing dielectrics far too often to keep track.

    Make sure to never use cold tap water though as it causes shock or hypothermia and you will have mortality.

    ETA:If the picking and squabbles are minor enough sometimes all it takes to curb it is turning the light off for a minute. Just don't go too long if it's cold in the room. They get much easier to deal with as you get experience with them so dont' get discouraged about the cannibalism or aggression if it gets out of had your first try. This always sounds mean to say but you are the reason you are having problem with them, because you're still learning them. Thats actually good news though because you can fix that without money or medicine. We all went through that phase and no quail breeder can say they didn't lose birds to inexperience along the way. As you learn the ropes you'll see a big difference in the stress level of the birds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ks
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    1 person likes this.
  8. Three Bird Stew

    Three Bird Stew Out Of The Brooder

    12
    1
    24
    Sep 10, 2014
    In the ZONA!!!
    So just to give an update. My delinquents I mean quail have been a great deal of work worse than my kids. Every problem one runs into I have had. So I had mentioned the toe pecking. I tried everything preemptively, I had red heat light, blue kote, and even an anti pick loation all did not work to prevent them from pecking each others or there own feet. I even did not feed them meal worms or bugs. Isolation was the only thing that worked. One had a crippled foot I had to create a brace to fix that and it actually worked in four days. I had to treat feet and amputate a toe because all that was left was mangled up beef jerky. I had one die for no reason that I could find. Another I have now had to spraddle the legs because one leg needed it. These things also act like drunken delinquent teenagers trying to mess with my sanity by finding anyway possible to cause havoc, and cause harm to oneself. By the end of this experience I shall be a quail master veterinarian.
     

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