Coturnix quail, head jerking side to side, twitch, help?


11 Years
Dec 6, 2008

I am so so so sorry if this has been posted about a lot, but I have been looking on here for hours and I cannot figure my problem out.

I have 8 coturnix quail, about 1 week old living in a rubbermaid bin (uncovered, with a heat lamp offset, rocks in the water, and chick starter) until I can get a cage made this weekend. One of them never looked as good as the others, its 'fuzz' wasn't as fuzzy on its head and it was a little on the runty side. yesterday I noticed what looked to be a seizure. It scratched its head fast with its foot then it started jerking its head side to side, up and down. Then wobbled a bit, stood up and appeared fine. This happened a few times in the hour I watched.

I thought maybe it was some problem with its head, size, genetic thing but today, another chick started acting funny. It wobbles a bit then runs backwards. even against the wall of the tub, it runs backwards. Sometimes it falls over a bit then stands up and appears fine. It also only eats sitting down, and appears to 'wipe' its beak on the floor side to side.

Full disclosure, a friend bought them off of ebay on a whim and hatched them. He has raised a lot of poultry before so I have faith in his incubating methods; they all hatched within 6 hours of each other except the first weirdo I described, he was 5 hours later. Basically, we have no idea where the eggs came from, the quality of the parents, the transporting, etc. They could just be 'bad eggs'. I am only concerned because this is only the 3rd day that IIII have had them and I am 1. afraid it is my fault 2. afraid it is a disease and will spread to the others and 3. afraid that this really isn't normal. The two described are separated now and have their own food and water.

Help please? First time quail owner and I am freaking out that my little quail babies are sick!!
I know nothing about Quail, but if you'll click on the index and go down a bit you'll see other backyard poultry from there you will see Quail, there you will meet others who raise these birds and can give you the best advise,, good luck..
Last edited:
Thank you, I'll post there as well. I thought I would start here because of the urgent feeling this folder had.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom