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Button Quail - First Time!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Nuttsy, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Nuttsy

    Nuttsy Just Hatched

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    Mar 13, 2017
    Hi everyone! My name is Jonathan and I am new to hatching and raising chicks. My job as an aviculturist at a zoo/park is slighly different than just raising babies as most are wild. But my manager throws button quail eggs away, and I never had the heart to follow suit.....so I took several home. [​IMG]

    After 17 days, 4 eggs pipped and 3 have hatched so far. Here are some photos:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    So I am posting here with a few questions. I have been researching and reading that these little guys need lots of protein as babies. I hard boiled an egg, whipped it, and put a little in the brood box (as seen under the light). I have sprinkled crushed/powdered finch food all around the brooder, and in the tray. I have seen one chick drink water, but I have seen none eating! I am a little worried they won't eat and starve to death :/

    Also, are chicks supposed to be pretty quiet or always chirping?
     
  2. CascadiaRiver

    CascadiaRiver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2014
    Pacific Northwest
    Most babies will do quiet content chirping, especially when they're very young. We feed our button babies high protein game-bird feed with some other high protein treats too, and they wont really need to eat for the first while since they absorb their yolk for nutrients. If you want them to eat go ahead and try to get their attention by (I know it sounds silly but it works for us) making baby sounds and peeping and while using your finger and poking a pile of small feed (small enough for them to fit in their mouths) and make it seem REALLY exciting and the babies will come over and at the very least investigate it. We started doing this after we noticed our mamma hens doing it to babies and it seems to usually work when we're trying to get our babies to start eating :) You can also (very carefully since they're tiny buttons) forcefully dip their beaks in the water to give them a jumpstart and so they know "Oh hey, thats where the waters at!"
     
  3. Nuttsy

    Nuttsy Just Hatched

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    Mar 13, 2017
    Ahh! 5 have hatched out of 7 that I picked up!

    - Perkins (Helped Hatch)
    - Chip
    - Kevin
    - Strider (Helped Hatch)
    - Wilber (Helped Hatch)

    Okay I know you are NOT supposed to help them hatch, but so far 3 out of the 5 are doing fantastic. However, Wilber and Strider (The two newest ones) are not doing well at all. It has been 2 days since I put them in the brooder. Here is a picture of Wilber...

    [​IMG]

    For the first day he was doing very well, but now he lays on his side and barely stands on his right leg. I'm not too sure what has happened, but Wilber (above) and Strider (the only dark one) seem to be quite weak. Wilber can only seem to stand when he leans against something? I would hate to see a baby die, or even worse live in misery. Any ideas?
    I have also added a little bit of sugar to their water in hopes of energy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  4. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2012
    Colorado
    You have learned why we say not to help them hatch. as I am sure you know form working with wild animals, sorry but there is not much you can do to help. You can try adding electrolites to the water and making sure to give them high protein game bird or turkey crumbles 22-28%. The smallest one looks bad to me but you might be able to save the other one. Do the tapping on the dish with the food and softly talking to the chicks to get their attention. be sure they are warm enough as well. good luck.
    Save the seed until they are 3 weeks old as it has little protein and they need as much as 28% protein when very young.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  5. Nuttsy

    Nuttsy Just Hatched

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    Mar 13, 2017
    Just a quick question about feed? I have ordered "Manna Pro Gamebird/Showbird Crumbles" from Amazon (LINK) as I have read it is a decent starter food. It should arrive tomorrow. I have been using 50% finch seed and 50% natural catfood (has 35% protein) blended up to small bits. I have also been giving them some hard boiled egg every other day.

    Will this be okay for them?

    Thank you!
     

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