Button Quail Disaster Hatch! Help newb with singleton??

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Skink, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Skink

    Skink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2014
    DFW Texas
    I've been hatching eggs for a few years now but this was my first go at buttons. I have over 50 eggs sitting in my incubator and a single chick here on day 16. I have no other movement in the incubator. I know this does not mean they are necessarily dead and this one could just be early! However it has been about 13 hours since I found them hatched and they have not taken a single sip of water or a speck of food as far as I have seen... they have just cried and cried for company, and only make happier peeping or lay silent when they're cradled in or under my hand! This is my very first quail, and as such + with no other chicks I have 0 frame of reference for what they should be like!

    Brooder set up is a 10 gallon tank, fine feed in various sizes spread across a paper towel floor (game bird startena) and water in a tiny lid, heat source is an EcoGlow 20 which I am worried may not be enough without additional teensy bodies to huddle up. They sleep under it and whenever they are quiet them are usually contently under there, does this mean they are warm enough? The bulb I could have swapped it for EXPLODED (excellent sign, not foreboding at all) so I put a soft stuffed animal under one part of it to absorb heat and for them to snuggle under, but they have not taken to it yet.

    I have poked at the food and water and dipped their beak multiple times but all they want to do is throw themselves at my hand and try to scramble up my fingers. Nothing I tried to teach them. They've been this clingy since I reached in to the incubator. I am most worried about getting what they need in to them. On that note while they seem very mobile, they fall over a lot and have since I viewed them in the incubator, like so:

    [​IMG]
    I was not alarmed at first. They're doing way better at this whole walking thing than I did at a day old after all, and even big chicken chicks fall while learning. In the last half hour or so however it seems to have increased dramatically. Any time they try to move they do a full tumble at least once or twice, and I cannot for the life of me tell if these wee legs are spraddled.

    Are they going to die from dehydration/starvation if they don't eat in the first 24hrs unlike chickens? Is it normal for them to be so tumbly? If they are spraddled, does anyone know a material I could use to band them as I imagine many things used for chickens are simply too heavy! My first instinct would be veeeery thin strips of vetwrap but they are so tiny I don't even know if my shaky hands can wrap them.
     
  2. clawstar

    clawstar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lake Stevens, WA
    Hello! I have not raised buttons but I raised coturnix. They are social birds and will want companions. I suggest putting in a duster it calms the chick down much better than stuffed toys. My first chick fell over so often and would get stuck on her back. She was expected to pass before the 6 week mark but made it just fine. Does your chick need help flipping over? Does it look like they need more traction? If so a change in bedding is needed, try shavings or something. They have the same 24 hour period of yolk I believe. 'Peck' at the water and food with your finger to get the chick to drink/eat. I find it works better than dipping beaks. If really worried you can place a few drops of water on the end of their beak and they will drink it, just keep it as far away from their nose as possible!
     
  3. Skink

    Skink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for answering! I usually don't get answers when I have questions because they tend to be unusual LOL. I appreciate it since I'm prone to newbie panic.

    I sadly don't have a duster so that will have to wait until I can make a shopping trip. For now they have finally figured out that the plush is nice and have both shoved under it and climbed it to get a bit closer to the ecoglow's panel, but every now and then they decide it is not good enough and come crying for me again. They have actually gotten steadier on their feet once more! I have not had to help them flip upright at all, thank goodness. I have been doing the finger pecks at food and water, but it hasn't improved their interest at all.. when my hand is nearby their whole focus is on climbing in to it for company.

    I water candled my remaining eggs and have 11 hopefuls so fingers crossed at least one of them hatches to give this poor little thing company before they land themselves in truly dire straits!
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  4. Skink

    Skink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DFW Texas
    A second baby has hatched! I am hoping with each other's company things like eating and drinking will become more of a priority than crying from loneliness.. though at the moment they are both crying for me to hold them. Whoops. Do they imprint very easily? It sure seems like it.
     
  5. clawstar

    clawstar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lake Stevens, WA
    The less the # of chicks the easier they imprint. Do they stay under the heat 24/7? How close is food + water to the heat? I find placing plastic water bottle lids filed with water (with a large bead, rock or marble) can encourages drinking. Bright shiny items get lots of attention so placing them in water encourages pecking, therefor drinking. AFTER they drink I just scatter food on the floor, they peck at it happily.
     
  6. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

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    I found button quail to be challenging. I'm used to chicken chicks and I experienced the same things you are experiencing. I had two hatch, both had issues with their legs/feet (not my eggs) which didn't help. I crunched a paper towel and they seemed to feel comfort being able to stand on or hide under it. Eventually I cut a paper towel roll and made a couple of tunnels...but that wasn't until later.

    I found they had issues slipping on paper towel...so I put a layer of cheap cushion grip type liner and that helps immensely. I couldn't use a plastic bottle cap, it was too big. Instead I used a tiny lid from a small plastic container for crafting. They weren't interested in my showing them food or water...but they seemed to catch on and I eventually caught them eating. As far as heating, I use a 65 watt flood light and I made sure one end was toasty and warm, the correct temperature measured with one of my incubator thermometers. The rest of the enclosure was gradually cooler so he could escape the heat if he needed to.

    My story doesn't have a good end unfortunately...the largest chick herniated after a couple of days and died. The second one got out of his enclosure and I found him dead beside it. He was close to 6 weeks and it was room temperature.

    I wish you the best of luck with yours. Yours at least are healthier to begin with. Eventually they have a pretty amazing appetite for such tiny birds.[​IMG]
     
  7. Skink

    Skink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not unhappy with the idea of imprinted quail and was hoping to tame them if possible so I guess this just makes it easier, but man. They've sucked up the whole start of my week! They move under the heat to nap, then right out from under it once they are awake. Whenever they are crying they are pacing the glass trying to get me to pay attention and half the time just talking to them calms them down. The water was right beside the heat, but I moved it beneath the ecoglow in the last hour or so. Food is scattered all over. I'm getting some marbles to try in a few hours and will put down more water sources!
     
  8. Skink

    Skink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2014
    DFW Texas
    I'm very sorry you lost your quail :( I hope you have a better experience with them someday! I raise mostly serama, so I was hoping the jump to tiny quail wouldn't be too drastic since on paper it looks a lot like brooding chickens.. man was I ever wrong.

    I have one who is tumbling a lot but not really slipping, the other might as well be a mountain climber! I get the super thick, super textured paper towels for brooding. Expensive but they strike a good balance between grip and hygiene! Luckily the newer baby took right to pecking at food and I saw them both eat a bit. I hope they encourage one another's appetites. I think I am going to take one leg off the ecoglow so they can get even closer.. I don't think they are acting cold, but their tiny feet feel a bit chilly to the touch
     
  9. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

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