Help quails losing feathers

Discussion in 'Quail' started by mckeesbackyard, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. mckeesbackyard

    mckeesbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2013
    White Mountains, AZ
    My Coturnix breeder groups have started losing feathers--there are feathers everywhere! They also have stopped laying. It's cold where we're at and they're on 30% protein feed so I don't really know what's going on., I also inspected them & they have no lice or mites--they're also drinking & eating okay. The only thing I could think of is stress--we moved them from the garage to a Quail Condo my husband built outside. The temperature difference is about 20 degree. Should I be worried about internal parasites? Also, we just brought them back into the garage in wire cages.
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Doesn't sound like bugs internal or external. Sounds like molting. Birds will stop laying during a molt. Look for pin feathers especially around the neck and head to confirm molting. [​IMG]
     
  3. mckeesbackyard

    mckeesbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    TwoCrows--thanks for responding. So birds can molt even during cold weather? Did see lots of pin feathers on several of them on head & back. How
    long does a normal molt last? What can I do to help
    them along this stressful time?
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Birds LOVE to molt in the dead of winter!! LOL I don't know why. But molting is hormone driven. So when ever nature tells them to molt, off come the feathers!

    They will do fine. Feathers are 85% protein, and all needed protein goes to feather making instead of egg laying. They may like some extra protein like mealworms or hard boiled eggs. My chickens crave extra protein during molting, but I have never seen my quail go all that ga-ga over more protein foods during this time. But it does help the feathers grow better. Don't worm them with any fenbendazole (safeguard) during a molt because the feathers will grow in really freaky. LOL Makes them curl.

    There isn't much else you can do other than don't stress them at all during this time. Molting is stressful in itself and the birds can have diarrhea, sleep a lot and look very tired. You can add probiotics to the water or a vitamin supplement to the feed a few days a week if you want to.

    So just hang in there for about 8 or 10 week and soon it will be all over! [​IMG]
     
  5. mckeesbackyard

    mckeesbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No eggs for 10 weeks! There goes the pickled eggs for Valentine's! :p I will give them dried mealworms (just started my farm 3 weeks ago so not ready to give them live ones yet). They do look sluggish & are constantly in the dust bathing box. Thanks for the info I was getting ready to mix Shaklee in their water for deworming. I gave them mushed boiled eggs this morning & will continue them on the 30% protein feed. With chickens, do they only molt during summer or that can happen anytime as well especially at winter?
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Most quail species molt twice a year, usually before breeding season and then after breeding season. Although, these times can be different if the birds are kept under light in the winter and the molt cycle is disturbed, or the weather fools them into an early breeding season. Older birds sometimes skip one of these molts each year and usually the spring time molt is less fierce than the fall molt. Since your birds are molting now, they probably won't molt again til late summer or early fall. You will learn over time who molts when and how many times they molt each year. Each bird can be a bit different. :)
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Oh, and the Shaklee won't hurt the feathers if you want to worm them now. Only the safeguard is the stuff you need to avoid during molts. :)
     
  8. mckeesbackyard

    mckeesbackyard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know there's no withdrawal with Shaklee but thought since they're not laying anyhow might as well. I'm learning so much since we started to brood our very first chicks but still so much to learn! Relieved though that they're just molting and to expect this during certain times of the year. Thank you for sharing your poultry knowledge and wisdom:)
     
  9. aapoole

    aapoole Just Hatched

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    I just hatched 10 Coturnix quail. They are 7 days old. I noticed 2 days ago all of them are losing the feathers on wings. Is this normal?
     
  10. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi :) at 7 days old, they would be growing in feathers on top of their "fluffy feathers" that they were born with? Is that what you mean?

    At first the pin feathers (hard feather shafts) kind of look like the bird is wet :p

    If you have pictures that would help :)

    Also what feed are you giving them? Starter, layer, finisher, etc. and what percent protein does it have?
     

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