Button Quail - Gasping chick? Please help!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Kedreeva, May 20, 2011.

  1. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    I'm going to up front admit that I know next to nothing about quail and give you some backstory about this problem. A friend of mine gave me some button quail eggs after her male died, and told me she wasn't sure if they were fertile and wasn't sure her incubator was working right so could I hatch them please? She told me "They have a 14 day hatch cycle, so it'll be really fast!" Trusting her... I didn't even look up the incubation time and killed one of the good eggs on day 16 when I cracked one to find out why they didn't hatch *facepalm* But in any case, I did have two hatch, a little chinese painted and... a something else yellow. Quark and Hadron. They're a little less than 3 weeks old now.

    Now, Quark is doing great. Getting in all his feathers, talking CONSTANTLY to Hadron. He's very interested in everything I am doing (if I am putting fresh water in he's examining it to make sure it's not poison, if I poke at the food he's there making sure I'm not taking the best crumbles etc). At this moment, he's incredibly excited about the water dish I just put in because it's big enough to get into, so he's jumping in and out taking a water bath and then a shavings bath and back again (looking an awful lot like my peacocks when they take dirt/sand baths).

    Hadron, on the other hand, despite hatching less than a day later than Quark, still looks like a just-hatched chick. He's got a few wing pinfeathers, but the rest is chick down. He doesn't make any noise. He follows Quark around, drinks when Quark drinks, eats when Quark eats (and sometimes more often). He runs around as much as a normal chicken chick does, but not as much as Quark does.

    The thing that's got me concerned is that after he drinks, he starts making the choking gasping dying face and goes to lay under the heat lamp. It's like when he drinks, he suddenly can't breathe or something. I picked him up today and felt around his crop, but he had nothing in it so it wasn't clogged up. He made some garbled cheep noises when I was poking at his throat, but they weren't cheeps like Quark makes, it was like... smoker's cheep! No one in the house smokes and they aren't on bedding that has dust (they're on paper towel with a little bit of carefresh hypo-allergenic bedding to push around and nest in).

    Anyone have any idea what is going on with this kid? Is there a sort of button quail that just goes slower? Is the gasping a common problem for them? Is there anything I can do?
     
  2. joe125

    joe125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2010
    I don't usually comment on buttons, because I do not raise them, but quick action may be needed. Quail chicks of most (if not all) species should never get wet. I know 3 weeks is pretty grown for buttons, but they are still suicidal chicks.

    Sounds like hypothermia to me. The chick gets into the water, gets cold, then goes to the hot spot. This really isn't a good thing. I would replace the water dish with a game chick fount, or other type fount that doesn't allow them to get wet. You can also put marbles, gravel, or small stones in the dish to keep them from getting wet. If you want to give them something to bathe in then use a dust pan with sand in it. Just make sure they always have feed in their dish, or they will eat a bunch of the sand and stunt or starve out.

    That's just my best guess. Good luck.
     
  3. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    They couldn't get into the water dish before- this has been going on since he hatched, so I know it's not hypothermia (also hypothermia wouldn't cause him to not grow for 3 weeks). And anyway, the one getting in the dish wasn't Hadron (the one having the issue), it's Quark, and he's fine. Hadron, standing outside the dish, will take a drink and then start gaping/gasping. He'll take a few beakfuls, and then go sleep under the heat lamp.
     
  4. joe125

    joe125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2010
    Then you need a button expert. I'm sorry that none have stepped up!
    Shame on them.
     
  5. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    I just found this thread...

    SO the bird just drinks and starts gasping right off? Is it wet in the brooder at all?
     
  6. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    The only place in the brooder it's damp is under the water dish when I put water in- and I specify when I put it in because the heating pad under the cage dries it out pretty quickly. Is Hadron maybe doing something during that time that adversely affects quail?
     
  7. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    Some buttons drink too fast and start coughing. but you are mentioning gasping...I am thinking a genetic disorder of some kind. Some birds develop slower than others, and also environment can cause birds not to function normally. His lungs may not have developed properly. There will always be some weaklings in a batch. Is he smaller than Quark at all. They should be the same size if developing right.
     
  8. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    He does sneeze sometimes after drinking, so it could be drinking too fast, but he's about half Quark's size, so I figured something wasn't going 'right'. If it's genetic that's kind of good news because it means I wasn't screwing him up somehow. I've had slow developers in ducklings before, and I'm ok with 'they make it or they don't'. If it's not some weird quail disease Hadron has that Quark can catch, then I'll just quit worrying and do what I can. I'm gonna go with the lungs theory, since he doesn't make noise most of the time (and when he does you almost can't hear it it's so quiet).

    Thanks for the response!
     
  9. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

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    If he is half the size of Quark, I think he is a weakling and he can catch up in size or... [​IMG] But just do what you are doing and hope for the best [​IMG]
     

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