HELP! three day old button quail: balance issues, getting stuck on his back

Discussion in 'Quail' started by AlyssaJane22, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. AlyssaJane22

    AlyssaJane22 Just Hatched

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    One of our three tiny button quail chicks seems to be having trouble staying on his feet today. Yesterday, he was up and zooming around--possibly the most active of the three. Today, he can only zoom in short bursts, then falls over and rolls onto his back. Most of the time, once he's on his back, he can't right himself without help.
    We found him this morning on his back, pressed against the base of the waterer--I think he flailed himself to sleep last night.
    My current thoughts are (and granted, I have basically no idea is any of this is even plausible):

    -injured leg or wing? He seems to get stuck on his left side most often

    -exhaustion? He might just still be tired from last night and so keeps falling again

    -ear damage? our second hen pecked him right on his ear within minutes of him hatching--there was a *tiny* speck of blood, and now there is a tiny scab

    -brain damage? from ear injury, if it was worse than I thought (he has been totally fine until today)

    -genetic issue? we did notice yesterday that he was walking much more upright than the other two, like a chicken chick, where the other two already had the classic quail posture. When he sits down, today, he sticks his legs straight out in front of him. He seems to be having trouble keeping them bent, even when hes walking, which inevitably flips him on to his back, where he gets stuck.

    Does anyone have any thoughts? This is our first round of babies--we had to take their mom away during the first day because she started being agressive towards the chicks when we separated her from her mate (who was also being agressive towards them in the main cage). Two chicks died shortly after hatching (one had a swollen, watery looking lump on the back of his head and had a seizure within 10 minutes of hatching; the other was too weak and died pretty much instantly.)We lost a baby yesterday morning who had gotten "stuck" (confused) in a cold back corner.
    Now, this little guy, who had been doing so well!, is now worrying me terribly. If you have any thoughts or advice, I would love to hear them.
     
  2. AlyssaJane22

    AlyssaJane22 Just Hatched

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    I just realized I posted this twice! Deleting the other--this one didn't look like it posted on my end. OOPS
     
  3. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wish I could help you, but in my experience, if a chick has seemed weak it'll end up dead before it's 1 week old. I've never lost a chick that was older than one week though. Mine are parent raised, which means they need to be able to keep up, but I have occasionally removed weak chicks and put them under a lamp in an attempt to save them. They've all died none the less. I have read success stories on here though - something about dissolving feed in water and dripping it onto the beak of the chick to make it eat every hour or so. It might work, but as for me I've pretty much given up on the weak ones by now.
     
  4. AlyssaJane22

    AlyssaJane22 Just Hatched

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    thanks for the response! I feel so bad for the little guy--he was probably the most active of the trio yesterday, so it was a big surprise to find him not doing well today.
    I don't think he's gonna make it--I have gotten him to take some sugar water and some plain water, and I have seen him pick at food a few times today, but hes getting progressively less and less active. Now, as soon as he stops moving, his head droops down and his wings start to tremor, like even just staying on his feet is too much for him. I've got him propped in the corner where he can sleep without falling over for a bit. He seems most comfortable when I hold him.

    My husband and I have had a rough couple of days. I've raised baby chicks before, and so I knew I couldn't count on all of them making it. But my poor husband has been pretty blindsided by his sadness--we've both shed some "surprise" tears. If this guy doesn't make it, he'll be the third we've lost. I know not to get attached so soon, but DARN IT the little buggers are just too cute and so it's impossible not to.

    Luckily, our last two are fat and sassy and seem to have grown noticeably since yesterday. They already run into our palms and snuggle up against them when we put a hand in the cage. Fingers crossed for no more losses.
     
  5. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I got pretty attached to the first few ones as well. And then I made the mistake of having my boyfriend warm one of them in his hands, getting him attached as well. And with him being a city boy (I'm a farm girl) he's not that used to nature taking it's course so he was pretty sad as well. It gets better though. The last time I even resisted the temptation to try to save the weak chick - I knew I'd just be prolonging its misery (and my own). Can't quite bring myself to end their misery yet, but I'll probably get there too.
     
  6. QuailCo Eggs

    QuailCo Eggs Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I agree...I as well have not been successful with weak chicks. they more than likely will die.


    Chad
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2017
  7. AlyssaJane22

    AlyssaJane22 Just Hatched

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    In a surprise turn of events, the little dude (or lady, who knows!) seemed to regain his balance last night after a long, long nap in the corner of the brooder. I thought he was on his way out, and then next thing I know, he's up and buzzing around the brooder again, eating and drinking and paling around with the other two. I do think he has some issues--he's still more stumbly than the others, but he's not getting "stuck" anymore. He can run and sleep and eat without tipping over.

    A couple of times now I've watched our little yellow chick (Sunny) help the weak one back to his feet when he rolls--maybe this is not the intention, but it's pretty adorable regardless. Sunny will just get real close to him and hug in tight so the little dude has something to push off to right himself. I haven't seen him get stuck at all since yesterday afternoon.

    We did accidentally name him, which we had decided not to do because of the sad times. He's got a mostly yellow face and chest, with chipmunk stripes on his back, so we're calling him Half&Half. I do hope he pulls a miracle and comes back from this, but I'm tempering my hope. Frankly, I'd still be quite surprised if he makes it--his appetite still isn't where it should be (the other two eat CONSTANTLY), and he is now very visibly runty. Our other two, who hatched within an hour of him, are at least 1/3 bigger than him. He has a LOT of eating to do today if he's going to make it through the week. We will see how he's faring when I get home from work in a couple hours.

    At the very least, he seems to be having a grand old time with his pals in the brooder. He doesn't seem to be uncomfortable or in any pain, so for the moment, I'm happy for however many days or hours he gets. He's a good little bird.
     
  8. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope he continues down the right road! I'll keep my fingers crossed for him.
     
  9. AlyssaJane22

    AlyssaJane22 Just Hatched

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    Thank you!
    Half&Half's current status: eating aggressively and visibly chubbier than he was this morning[​IMG]
    Fingers crossed that things continue in this direction! I appreciate the advice and feedback on the situation that everyone has offered.
     

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