Coturnix Quail Chick Pecking Own Feet

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Science Girl, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. Science Girl

    Science Girl New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2013
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    I have a week old Coturnix Quail Chick in my brooder. It was the only one that hatched from a clutch of 18 eggs. They were post shipped, so handling while in shipping probably lowered the viability of the eggs. The little thing has started pecking his own feet. Is this something I should be concerned about?
     
  2. Quailsong

    Quailsong Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2013
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    What are you using for the floor atm? (ie, puppy pads, paper towels, etc) Are its feet red/bruised/bloody?

    You could put down shavings if you haven't already. It might lose sight of its own feet for a while & focus on other things. It could also be mistaking its toes for worms/treats, if you've given anything even remotely resembling it. I'd stop feeding such treats for a while (or at least mix it good in its mash).
     
  3. Science Girl

    Science Girl New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2013
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    I am using paper towel for the floor atm. I haven't given any treats, I thought he/she might be too young still for it. Feet aren't bloody or bruised, but mistaking its toes for something yummy to eat makes sense. I will put some pine shavings in to hide its feet from itself. Thank you so much I appreciate it! [​IMG]
     
  4. Quailsong

    Quailsong Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2013
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    At a week old, putting the little one on shavings is a good plan. By now its probably figured out where the food dishes are...save for its feet. :D

    --

    In a slightly similar story, I had the eldest in my first hatch (out of 2doz or so) mistake another quail's toes as food. He was only a day old so was trying to taste everything he could see. He grabbed one's toe, tried running with the other quail in tow & hung on so tightly I had to hold him still so I could separate him from the other chick. By the time he let go, the other chick's toe looked broken; floppy, turned out sideways & very red at the attack point.

    To mend it, I used kid bandages - the plastic ones that aren't super sticky. I placed his toes in their proper order & sandwiched his toes between the two sticky halves (discarding the middle gauze part). Within a couple days I cut the bandage down to conform around the toes & in another day the bandage fell off. After that, I couldn't tell which chick had the broken toe.

    So not to worry about such issues, sometimes it takes a bit of adapting & thinking outside the box. Best of luck with your little one!
     
  5. Science Girl

    Science Girl New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2013
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oh my goodness! They are quite the characters! Thank you for all your help. I have brooded chickens, so this is my first at quail. Got the problem of feet pecking solved with the pine shavings, but now the little thing has started a new fun habit. I have a small water dish in the brooder with marbles in it so that he/she won't drown. But he/she has found it loads of fun to hop in the dish and run on top of the marbles. He/She has found they roll quite nicely under foot and I guess it is quite fun, but it throws the water out of the dish and all over the brooder. Either this little chick is bored, or it is an evil genius. I think I am going to have to get a hanging water with the small trough that he/she can't climb into, just sip out of. I have a feeling it is going to be never a dull moment with this one! [​IMG] I have officially given the chick the name of Mischief.
     
  6. Quailsong

    Quailsong Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm glad the feet pecking issue is solved. On to the next issue...hah!

    At a week + old they don't need really marbles in the water dish anymore. The marbles were a safeguard against newly hatched chicks falling asleep at random (as they are wont to do) in the water dish, and also in case another young chick somehow jumped on their head & dunked it into the water. At your current chick's age, they're old enough to not just pass out like that & their feet/legs are strong enough that if another chick did jump on them, they could push them off or roll quickly. Since you only have the one anyways, you def don't need the marbles now.

    So that gets rid of the extra step of cleaning the marbles twice (or more) a day. I can totally relate to cleaning slimy marbles too, ugh.

    I had a quail I kept indoors for a while. He was the 'runt' of the litter, so to speak. I had him on puppy pads instead of shavings & even then he dirtied up the water like a boss. When I'd walk up to his bin to check on him, he was so excited he'd run everywhere, including his water dish & even tipping it. He didn't care, it was 'playtime' after all.

    My 'solution' was to put him outside with the other quail... (I wasn't supposed to keep him as a pet anyways..)

    In your case, you can try teaching the chick to use a mouse/gerbil/hamster water nipple by keeping it over a shallow water dish. It will begin to associate the bottle with water & eventually use the nipple. Once it figures that out, just remove the dish. This makes clean-up so much easier.

    Hope that helps. If you find a new issue, just let us know! :)
     
  7. Science Girl

    Science Girl New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2013
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    This helps a lot! Thank you so much! :)
     

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