Falling Baby Cheepers

Discussion in 'Quail' started by FowlPlay1, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. FowlPlay1

    FowlPlay1 New Egg

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    So this is my first post on the Backyard Chickens forum, and I'm sad to say it's not a very happy topic. I just received a shipment of baby quail in the mail today--I've been shipped chickens, ducks, and guineas (all fine upon arrival)--and the quail are dying off at an alarming rate! We've lost 23 altogether so far. They begin stargazing and then fall over on their sides and seize. Is there anything I can do to immediately stop this tragedy? I have them in indoor brooders with heat lamps over them. They have wood shavings with little piles of feed spotted around, and I've shown them how to peck, which most are doing fine. I have been supervising their watering because they kept getting in completely and then those cheepers would act ill, so now i'm putting the water in the tub and watching while they drink then removing it every half hour or so. Most seem to be doing fine now, but the ones who were on their sides are separated out and seem to still be having trouble. Any ideas? I've hatched my own before and never had this issue, but this is my first time receiving these cuties in the mail...well, cuter if they were doing well...
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  2. dougjefferson

    dougjefferson Out Of The Brooder

    What sort of feed are you giving them? Medicated or not. I would lose the shavings and put a towel down instead. You might try a 1/4 of a cup in a quart of water. What temp is it in your brooder?
     
  3. chrishw

    chrishw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2013
    A quarter cup of what? Humm


    You might put rocks/marbles in the water so while they always can drink they can't swim. What temp is it? Do they have space to get out of the light (heat?)
     
  4. dougjefferson

    dougjefferson Out Of The Brooder

    Oops sugar
     
  5. FowlPlay1

    FowlPlay1 New Egg

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    the brooders are roughly 90-95 degrees. i'll definitely put some marbles in the water, great idea. and our starter feed is medicated. i know that overcrowding can spark cannibalism, and when we came in this morning, there were about 16 more dead, some with the tips of their wings raw, others with their tail picked out, and one little guy was dragging his dead cohort across the tub! i'm wondering if they felt too crowded during shipping and are now taking it out on one another? they've been strangely aggressive towards one another, something that has never happened with the ones we've hatched ourselves. they're always really sweet and even a bit skittish of one another.

    i'll definitely add marbles to solve the drowning problem, and a bit of sugar to the water. maybe if they take their aggression out on their food, it won't manifest in war :/
     
  6. chrishw

    chrishw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Makes ya kinda wonder about their genes... and if they should spred them? My guess wouldn't be that being crowded during shipping isn't it. But at these losses, just how many do you have and what sized area are they contained in?

    Any disease experts out there know if there is a Mad cow/rabies type virus or anything that could case this?

    Your not watering from bottles that could have once contained pesticides/fertilizers? Nor a tub that once contained... the shavings are new/clean from a store/known source (I used my wood shavings til I recalled they contained pressure treated lumber)

    I hope I'm not offending you, rather just brainstorming . I had chickens like this once growing up, we never could figure out why they where such cannibals but the where full grown? I was too young to recall many details (its been a long while)
     
  7. Zrcalo

    Zrcalo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I understand, medicated chick starter can kill baby quail. But I only know from my experience with button quail. Either the medication does nothing or it kills them.

    Also make sure they're drinking and eating. every. single. one.

    And dont take the water away! that may be your biggest problem!

    are they huddling around the light or moving away from the light? They may either be too cold or too hot.
     
  8. FowlPlay1

    FowlPlay1 New Egg

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    They're brooding tubs are 50 gallons with about 23 chicks in each. We had to separate them into more manageable numbers when we noticed the aggression. They are all eating abd drinking fine but then one or two will start acting like a bully and pecking and picking at the others. They huddle up to sleep, but not in a tight group like they were cold...just kinda loosely standing together for comfort I think. I double checked with my coworker who bought yhe feed and it isnt medicated after all. Our water containers are cleaned regularly and have only ever been used for watering chicks/keets/cheepers/ducklings. I called the place from where we ordered them and the owner thinks it was pribably stress during shipping--that perhaps they were stored in locations that were too hot or too cold for an extended period. I'll let you know how its going later today![​IMG]
     
  9. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    what is the protein content of the feed?.. also how finely is it ground?

    I use at least a 28% protein feed then grind it to a fine powder ..(coffee grinder)..

    by the way they are acting it tells me there has been a lack of vitamins (the star gazing would point to a lack of B vitamins) and the cannibalism would point to over crowding or too low of protein.. even if the feed is high enough in protein if they aren't eating enough of it (grain size is too large) they will basically be starving.. I found that with my new hatchlings that they ate more and did much better when the feed was ground to a fine powder for that first week and a half



    edited to add...
    since they were shipped I am assuming they didn't get proper nutrition within the first 24 hours after hatch.. which is what compounded the starvation / lack of nutrients issue...
    quail aren't like chickens.. they really need food within 24 hours of hatch to do well since the amount of retained yolk is so small....
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  10. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    birds are cannibalistic by nature.. chickens especially so and production eggs layers are the worst since their protein demands are much higher than a DP bird..
     

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