Help. Birds hatching but dying within 24 hours.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by CrazyQuailLady, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. CrazyQuailLady

    CrazyQuailLady Out Of The Brooder

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    I am not sure what is going wrong. This is my second time hatching coturnix quails. I don't know what information would be relevant so I will just provide all the info I can and hopefully someone can tell me what is happening.

    Incubated 48 eggs from my own birds. I hatched the parent birds also and they all seem healthy but I am unsure how closely related they are. 1 silver male, 1 gold male, 2 brown males, all females are brown.

    I fumigated the incubator 2 months ago but did not think to clean it again right before putting in a new batch of eggs 19 days ago. Not sure if necessary.

    Incubation temperature: 37.8 Celcius
    Incubation humidity (first 14 days): 40-50
    Incubation humidity (15 days onwards): 50-62

    13 hatched on day 17. 12 looked healthy, 1 I thought looked a bit weak so left in incubator. A brown one. Around 12-24 hours after this first lot hatched I transferred to brooder and they were eating and drinking fine and running around and not piling on top of each other and not trying to get away from the heat either. Got silvers and all the rest brown.

    Day 18 some more hatched. The 13th bird was still in the incubator and looked really weak with eyes closed but legs seemed to be seizuring. Left it in there. Took out the other birds. All brown.

    Day 19 (today) almost every single egg leftover hatched. Some are still in the process of hatching. No deformities. Cheeping really loudly. But within a matter of hours (when I returned to check on them again) they were just laying there with eyes closed and weak chirping. I checked again and saw that almost every single one was dead. If it matters, they were all golden and browns.

    In the brooder, each morning I have found 1 bird dead, all dying in the same spot under the heat lamp. The other birds just seem to be normal. My silver birds especially seem to be thriving and more energetic than the rest if that means anything. Could something be affecting some birds but not all? Is there something contagious from the later hatching birds suddenly infecting my first birds? Could it be genetic? Bacteria in incubator? Something I am doing wrong?

    I am not sure what to do. Does anyone know what is wrong and how to stop these birds from dying? I have birds that are hatching right at this moment and I'm afraid they will all die as well.
     
  2. cruisermedic

    cruisermedic Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2014
    Are they cooking under the heat light?
     
  3. CrazyQuailLady

    CrazyQuailLady Out Of The Brooder

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    The thermometer shows the brooder is 31-32 degrees Celcius at the warmest end, and their water is at the other end where it is cooler but I haven't checked the temperature there. They seem somewhat evenly spread out, but most of the time towards the warm end. The incubator is 37.8 degrees Celcius and they are dying in there too.

    The late hatching quails have died. Some of the earlier hatching ones seem to have been "infected" too, because one by one they are getting weaker, sort of gasping, legs twitching like they are having a fit, cheeping but unable to get up, and then dying.

    I gave them some sugar water. Not sure what else to do?
     
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Put the thermometer right under the heat lamp and see what temp it is. It gets up to 110 or higher really quick directly under the light. Make sure they also aren't getting wet when they walk in the water or consuming little bits of plastic or other things they shouldn't have.

    Losing this many you could have cocci or enteritis going on so read these and see if the symptoms fit.

    www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/162/ulcerative-enteritis-quail-disease
    http://teamquail.tamu.edu/files/2010/09/Common_Gamebird_Diseases.pdf
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  5. CrazyQuailLady

    CrazyQuailLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the links.

    Yes I think they possibly have ulcerative enteritis (quail disease). Went to the vet/pet store and all the antibiotics available said not for use on birds produced for meat and eggs, which was the point of me hatching them. And I also read on various sites not to ever eat eggs or meat from birds that have been medicated on antibiotics.

    I was running out of time (approx. 40 down to 16) so I tried to go a natural method of antibiotics. I ground up garlic and added it to their drinking water. I also cleaned out all the quail housing and equipment. The birds that have stayed alive include the ones that hatched on that first day plus just a few from the later hatches, and they seem to be fine right now, getting bigger and eating and drinking and running around. Another egg just hatched, I separated it into a separate brooder but it looks to be almost dead also now.

    I guess I'll see if feeding them garlic and having cleaned out all the quail equipment has helped. Fingers crossed.

    Also, I have tried to be super careful about washing hands after touching the chicks because I don't want to spread anything to my healthy adult quails.
     
  6. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can eat anything once its been cycled off antibiotics for a couple weeks. In fact if you buy chicken at the grocery store you are eating poultry that has been fed medicated feed in the past.
     
  7. CrazyQuailLady

    CrazyQuailLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Is it possible that the early hatching chicks were from different parents and the later hatching chicks were inbred? Is weakness typical of being inbred? I'm just confused why the early hatching ones are still doing ok but the others died really fast. And that's good to know about the antibiotics. That was actually one thing that came to mind, if the labels on the antibiotics say not to give to poultry that humans will eat, what about chickens from the supermarket.
     
  8. CrazyQuailLady

    CrazyQuailLady Out Of The Brooder

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    I have good news. This is the first morning I've woken up to find all my chicks still alive and not sick looking. Hooray.
     
  9. azer

    azer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Moreno Valley , CA
    You could try giving them medicated game bird crumble... Just blend it for them a little...
     
  10. CrazyQuailLady

    CrazyQuailLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Tg
    Thanks for the suggestion. It's hard to find medicated gamebird feed where I live unfortunately. My remaining birds have reached the one week milestone now and growing fast. It's a relief. Whatever went wrong I'm just so glad it's going well now.
     

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