In the Brooder
9 Years
May 24, 2010

I have 15 Button Quail chicks that hatched over the weekend. One of them started sleeping on its head yesterday, resembling a cartoon ostrich with its head in the sand. It has spent much of today straddled in a standing position, with the top of its head against the flooring. Gradually it has been tucking its head down more toward its abdomen, which results in a somersault. My husband is calling it rollover syndrome, but I wondered whether anyone has seen this before? I assume that the little guy probably won't make it, but I just wanted to check whether there is something that can be done.

Thank you!
Looks like a weakling to me
what happens when you put it back to position? Does it tuck his head still? Is it eating/drinking at all? Make sure you stick it right under the lamp for warmth. Have a little lid of water and food beside him. You may need to mix the food and water together so he just eats/drinks from the same dish. He needs to get the energy to survive. I hope he pulls through!!!
Thanks for the suggestions. I just made it drink several times, so I'll give it a few minutes to see if its posture changes. After drinking, it passed a stool, so I am hopeful that perhaps that was the problem. (In previous chicks, I have noticed that one will occasionally go crazy peeping, running around backwards, turning cartwheels and such until I massage its abdomen to help it poop.)

When I pick it up, it continues to slowly turn somersaults in my hand. When I reach to pick it up, it skitters backwards and then turns a somersault, so it definitely is holding to the strange position. The chick is otherwise normal and healthy in appearance. I am concerned now because I just noticed another chick pointing its head downward (it is still walking around normally otherwise). I hope this doesn't turn into some obscure disease like "highly contagious avian meningitis"...

They definitely have enough warmth. In addition to the brooder lamp, I've started keeping an extra large reptile heat rock in the tank. The chicks love to cuddle against it and climb on it, so it acts kind of like a surrogate mother. The chick in question has been leaning against the heat rock all day, unlike the other 14 chicks who have been accompanying the adult hen who shares their brooder. She is not their 'mommy' but she hasn't found a way to inform them as such.
It looks like wry neck. Wry neck can be caused by several different things.
But that young I would not give it any hope and if it is a disease, you are putting the rest of the hatch at risk.

I would cull both birds immediately. And hope there are no more.

I just reread you second post. You have an adult hen in the brooder. Why? Adult hen Coturnix or chicken? I would also pull out that reptile rock if it is not brand new.
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Wry Neck In Hatchlings Could Be Your Problem, If So Get Some Poly Vi Sol Without Iron ( Baby Vitamins And Add A Teaspoon Of It To A Qt Of Water And Use It In The Water Font For Them To Drink... If It Is Wry Neck Thats About All You Can Do.

I Am Also Curious About The Surrogate...

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