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Feather Plucking? Why?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by HidingInTheHenHouse, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. HidingInTheHenHouse

    HidingInTheHenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2008
    Indianapolis
    I'm growing out 27 quail in a 36 square foot pen. They seem to be constantly plucking at each others back side and backs. Only one or two have any feathers there at all, and they are 8 weeks old. Are they missing something? Are they too crowded? They are fed custom milled 20% broiler feed.
     
  2. Emilys3guppies

    Emilys3guppies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2009
    Toronto
    Could be too crowded. What amount of space do they have per bird?

    I know that some feed 20% with no problem but I notice picking problems when mine are on it straight so I give supplemental protein too and the problem corrects itself within a day or so. These are just my observations, although I am not as experienced as others here.
     
  3. pringle

    pringle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Pepperell,MA
    36 sq ft is plaent of space for 27 quail,are you raising them for meat or eggs?They might be missing some type of nutrient,feed them some veggies and boiled egg.maybe throw in some bugs.Oh and I forgot what type of quail do you have?
     
  4. laputa

    laputa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2009
    Santa Clara, CA
    From my experience, usually it is only a few culprits to cause the whole flock to lose back feathers. Try to watch and identify the culprits, then remove them.
     
  5. skywatcher

    skywatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Arlington,Indiana
    Give them some hiding places like 3 or 4 inch plastic pipe cut into sections put a bowl of sand in there pen & put straw in there for them to scratch and scatter. This keeps my quail happy.
     
  6. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 2, 2009
    BROOKSVILLE FL
    Up The Protien. Are You Sure They Are Missing Feathers From Picking? Or Could It Be From Breeding???
     
  7. canter6

    canter6 Cooped up

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Dacula,GA.
    Quote:I'm not sure the species of quail but the better than 1 square foot per bird sounds fine to me.
    Yes, up the protein. 20% is marginal. Something between 24 and 30% is optimal.


    Not sure what is going on here
     
  8. HidingInTheHenHouse

    HidingInTheHenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2008
    Indianapolis
    Thank you for all the suggestions. I have added a couple of containers with dirt and grit in them for the quail to play in, and some hay for them to scratch around in. They seem to like the additions.

    What is an easy way to up the protein? I am only raising these for about 3-4 more weeks, then they will be processed.

    It could be from overbreeding. I've never had quail before, so I don't know what that looks like. I'm sure the male to female ratio is too high. However, the males seem to be just as plucked as the females.
     

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