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Coturnix Quail Dieing not long after hatching.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by LyrebirdJacki, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. LyrebirdJacki

    LyrebirdJacki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2012
    Darwin Australia
    Hello there,

    I'm new to this site and have a question to ask about my Japanese quails.

    I usually hatch King (button) quails and have no problems, maybe one will die but usually its a very good ratio of the young that live. However, i recently started breeding Jap quails (in an incubator, since they dont sit on their eggs like the kings do) and they hatch fine, however they seem to have a 50% morallity rate. They live for about 3-5 days and just die. The parents are unrelated, got them from different breeders (some from another state even) so it cant be inbreeding.

    The first few died from the heat lamp, sleeping right infront of it at night and in the morning they were burnt to a crisp (all a learning experience) so i moved it up higher so now they just huddle under it. I take them outside an hour a day when it is sunny for some real sunlight which they really seem to enjoy. They get their water changed very often, perhaps up to half a dozen times a day due to they get it pretty muddy. I live in a hot tropical place so it just cant be too cold, but they seem to shiver alot when i take them away from the heat.

    Their diet consists of budgie seed, finely diced up bok choy, baby broccoli and occasionally iceberb lettuce (since it really hasnt much nutrients but they love it) and whenever i have time i dig them up earth-worms, find grasshoppers and a woodroach occasionally. The latest one that i found dead today was the oldest at a week+ old and seemed to look like he was constapated (lots of poop around his cloaca) so it might be that they arn't getting the right suppliment food. I just bought a bag of turkey starter like i've read on many forums and am starting some newborns on that to see if there is any difference.

    Any idea on why they are dieing so much? I heard that they are very hardy and it doesnt seem like that so far. I also hatched some baby kings in the incubator with them and none of them have died; being on the exsact diet and heating as the rest (living together). It would be lovely to have some help/advice with my problem, I am quite experienced with breeding all sorts of birds from finches, ducks, chooks, turkeys and so on, so this is pretty unfamilar with me.

    Thanks for your time.

    Jacki
     
  2. Kwartel

    Kwartel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2010
    Oklahoma
    They need 28% protein crumbles, 24% at the absolute minimum. And if you feed that same thing to them for their entire lives they will be happy and healthy for a very long time. Also, you would be better off not taking them away from the heat lamp at all until they are fully feathered. As babies they need a stable environment without a lot of change. They'll have plenty of time to enjoy the great outdoors when they are adults. If they are healthy they will be able to move away from the heatlamp if it gets to hot and go to it if they get cold. If they are piled up shivering, you have it too high up.

    ETA: If you meet these basic needs while they are young, they will grow up to be the hardiest bird you own. Mine are darn near invincible.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  3. LyrebirdJacki

    LyrebirdJacki Chillin' With My Peeps

    103
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    Feb 16, 2012
    Darwin Australia
    The turkey starter crumble says it is 28% protein so at least I got that right. The newborns that just hatched are going fine on it so far (only hatched this morning, maybe 6+ hours ago) so hopefully i have luck with these ones. I have about 10 or so already established ones with another from yesterday that was looking a little groggy and signs of diarrhea (i think he will die soon, but the rest are very healthy). Ill stop taking them outside like you say and see if that helps.

    They huddle not directly under it, around 5cm away and spread out it so it must be at a good height; getting closer when it's night time.

    Sounds like my kings, very hard to knock them off with a mere storm or heat wave once they get going, they are quite the invincible birds (and breed like rabbits...)
     
  4. Kwartel

    Kwartel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2010
    Oklahoma
    Our winter before this current one had epic snowfall and temps of -10F and the quail spent most of their time playing in the snow instead of in their warm, dry quail-house. Our last summer had temps over 100*F for weeks on end. They could not have cared less. Food and water and shelter from predators is all mine have ever needed. The babies get babied, but the grownups are made of steel.
     
  5. LyrebirdJacki

    LyrebirdJacki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2012
    Darwin Australia
    As i can see by that happy looking quail in the snow in your picture! Never gets colder than 10 degrees celcius (50 fahrenheit) at nights where i am, but extreemily hot and humid and sometimes we get monsoonal rains that come with strong cyclonic winds; funnily enough it never floods. The only time my kings seem to die is when the males fight :p
     
  6. LyrebirdJacki

    LyrebirdJacki Chillin' With My Peeps

    103
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    Feb 16, 2012
    Darwin Australia
    Hello,

    You've probably forgotten giving me advice until you read the title of this thread again, but thank you so much for your advice.

    My baby jap quails have not died since i've placed them on crumble, their legs looking lovely and strong, eyes look more active (and actually, i had some that whined alot and now they just often make noise which is good for my sleep) and they just overall are looking and hatching to be healthy birds. EVERY single newborn since then has not died, which is a great turn from coming to check on them every day after work to find a few stiff on the ground.

    Thank you so much for helping me out.


    Jacki
     
  7. Kwartel

    Kwartel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2010
    Oklahoma
    I'm glad things are working out better for you. Hopefully they all grow up to be strong, healthy birds. They are definitely little loudmouths when they want something. That's why our incubator stays upstairs so we can sleep in peace on hatch days.
     

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