Help ! Winter is coming

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Maxwell Schmidt, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Maxwell Schmidt

    Maxwell Schmidt In the Brooder

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    Hi everyone,

    I’ve had an outdoor coop of coturnyx quails for over a year now and they’ve been doing great. Everyone did well through the winter last year but I’ve downsized from 10 Quail down to 1 male and 3-4 females. All of them are laying and behaving well but I’ve got one that has a decent sized bald patch on her back. Being that we’re coming into another cold Canadian winter I’m concerned she’ll end up frozen without any ass insulation. I don’t think she’s being over mated from what I can tell and don’t think it’s molting either being that my light levels and timing are adequate and she’s been like this all summer.
    Any suggestions or tips to get those feathers filled out ?

    Thanks very much,

    -Max
     

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  2. le_bwah

    le_bwah Songster

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    Is there a way to add extra insulation to their cage (e.g. protect from floor draft)? I'd also check for mite activity, if you haven't already.
     
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  3. DK newbie

    DK newbie Songster

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    If she's not being over mated, she's probably being plucked. Something is preventing those feathers from growing out.
    I suppose you could make one of those vests I've seen people using for chickens for her. That would prevent the others from accessing her back feathers.
    I would bet though, that she would be just fine without the feathers. Birds have high metabolisms that generate a lot of heat, so their body temperature is higher than ours. She would probably eat a little extra to keep the metabolism up, and she might be more prone to sitting next to one of the others to stay warm, but other than that I don't think you'd notice the difference. So don't panic about it, but it's still a good idea to do something.
     
  4. Maxwell Schmidt

    Maxwell Schmidt In the Brooder

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    I have a fully enclosed portion of their cage with an infrared heat lamp and insulation when it’s cold.
    In the winter I usually line the exterior coop floor with straw to keep them warmer.

    I havnt checked for mites but their dirtbath has dietamatious earth mixed in which I was told really helps with pests and parasites.
     
    Little Jerry Seinfeld likes this.
  5. Maxwell Schmidt

    Maxwell Schmidt In the Brooder

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    I’m not much of a seamstress but maybe I could find Somone to make me her a quail vest .
    She also has the option to stay inside the insulated and heated potion of the coop . Thanks for the reply :)
     
  6. le_bwah

    le_bwah Songster

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    I've heard you're not supposed to put clothes on your birds during the winter, because it squeezes all the air out between their downy feathers (bad because that's what's insulating them, like compressing a down jacket). If they have heat and the option of getting out of the elements, I don't see her getting too cold.
     
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  7. Erkenstein

    Erkenstein Songster

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    Once they start plucking, like when one gets injured, it's hard to keep the others from keeping it up, and the feathers grow back pretty slow. Is there a particular bird that is doing the plucking? Do they have enough protein in their feed? Do they have enough to keep them busy?

    I wouldn't worry about the cold issue since you've got some options for heat.
     
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  8. oregonkat

    oregonkat Crowing

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    Please do not put a vest on your bird for the winter. Mites love those vests and there is a strong possibility that she has mites and may be pulling her own feathers out of itchy frustration. DE in their dust baths is OK but will not do much for a healthy mite population, you might want to check her at night with bright flashlight around her vent, under the wings and treat her with a permethrin powder or spray, as well as the coop.
     
  9. HarleyQuailison

    HarleyQuailison In the Brooder

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    I would see if you can get some kind of heat lamp maybe. They will huddle anyways, but I'm thinking it will be a very cold and long winter. Also, do you have a sand bath for them? It could be Mites, and if they have a sand bath (a box with Natures Choice sand without silica). If it is mites, they will naturally go in it if even just one does, and bathe from instinct. May want to put the bald one right in there and pour some sand over it's back and feathers, especially the bald spot, gently, like a baby bath. That will smother the mites out and hopefully the feathers will begin to grow....fast.
     
  10. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    You can get a spray called Vetafarm Avian Insect Liquidator. It's fantastic stuff and gives up to 6 weeks protection from external parasites. It's safe even on delicate finch eggs and chicks.

    Are you supplementing their light? If so, stopping that will cause them to go into a molt and stop laying, meaning they can have a break and recover their resources. This might be a good idea as it will also stop the male mating (and crowing), meaning no more damage will be done. Some girls, if they are the favourite, can become a bit bald on their back, just like with chickens.
     
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