Crusty feet on chicks


5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
Hi Guys, just joined!

We just hatched about a dozen coturnix quails- the baby chicks are running all over the brooder, getting their feet wet and then stepping on the crushed up food so that one of them has built up crusts over his feet. I tried to dipping them in some water to see if i can soften them up but he's struggling too much and it does not seem to help. Is it okay to leave these crusts on? Will he pick it off by himself eventually?

Thanks in advance!
I have never raised quail but have raised plenty of baby chicken chicks. This has happened to me quite often despite my best efforts to prevent it.

The only effective way to get it off without hurting their little feet is to get a shallow pan of warm water and make one stand in the water at at time (you can have two there but do keep an eye out for them so they don't drown) and soak the feet.

After soaking, gently scrape it off with your fingers. If it won't come right off, soak some more. If you don't soak enough they will bleed.

As the feet grow, you risk toe and toenail amputations since this stuff is like concrete and won't allow the foot to grow inside it. It must be removed for their safety. For chicken chicks, after about three weeks of age they stop getting this problem. It helps a lot if they can stop stepping in the water (have to be old enough to not do this).

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