HELP!!!

SilkieMomPoof

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7 Years
Apr 22, 2013
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My babies are dying! I woke up to one dead baby quail this morning and now another one is dying. I have the quail starter kit I bought from you guys. I have wild bird game starter feed that they are eating well. They are pooping all over. I have the heat lamp 18 inches above the ground shining on one end of the box at a temperature of about 97 degrees. It is around 85 on the other end of the box where the food and water is located. The box is about 4 feet by 2 feet and the bottom is 1/4 inch wire with newspaper sitting underneath. The quail are 1 week old. Their box is in the house. Five quail hatched one day after the first 20 quail and so are a little "younger."

Do you have any ideas about what could be wrong?!?

Thank you so much for all your help so far. I am so worried and heartbroken!
Joy
 

TwoCrows

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Sounds like you are doing everything right. Go over your entire brooder environment with a fine toothed comb...

Start with the thermometer. Are you sure it is correct? You might try another one to make sure it is reading properly. Are you sure they are eating? Crumbles aren't too big to eat? They may be eating some of it, but not getting enough. Is the water excessable and they are able to get a good drink? Not too many marbles in the water base that they are unable to drink? If you are using marbles, you might want to take them out now. How about the brooder top? Is there anything on the lid of the brooder? It should be open completely or only a wire top just to keep them in. They need good oxygen and heat exchange. How many quail do you have in this brooder? And what do the quail look like right now...are they piling on each other, milling around, laying on their sides panting, etc...What do they look like before and after finding them dead? Any symptoms or positions they are laying in? What color of light are you using?

I have had good luck with McMurray hatchery in the past, however I have not used them recently. If you are unable to come up with any explanations as to why they are dying, it could be from bad eggs. Genetics gone bad.

Look really closely at the brooder environment to see if you can glean any suspectable reasons for the deaths.
 

TwoCrows

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Also...have you ever used this brooder before? How about your incubator? Bacteria and virus's love to breed in warm wet environments. And if you have hatched or brooded other quail or chickens in these units, they would have needed to be thoroughly disinfected after using. Fumigated if you hatched chickens.
 
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birdymama

Songster
8 Years
Oct 25, 2011
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My babies are dying! I woke up to one dead baby quail this morning and now another one is dying. I have the quail starter kit I bought from you guys. I have wild bird game starter feed that they are eating well. They are pooping all over. I have the heat lamp 18 inches above the ground shining on one end of the box at a temperature of about 97 degrees. It is around 85 on the other end of the box where the food and water is located. The box is about 4 feet by 2 feet and the bottom is 1/4 inch wire with newspaper sitting underneath. The quail are 1 week old. Their box is in the house. Five quail hatched one day after the first 20 quail and so are a little "younger."

Do you have any ideas about what could be wrong?!?

Thank you so much for all your help so far. I am so worried and heartbroken!
Joy


I have heard that Quail babies can drop dead in the coming weeks after hatching and vitamins added to the water can prevent this. I would also add honey for an extra boost to their little fighting spirits.
 

underground chickenman

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May 30, 2009
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I think twocrows has you covered. The only other thing I can think of is whether your temp is always 97 at one end and 85 at the other. My temps fluctuate with the house temp. We keep it much cooler in the house at night than we do during the day, so I have to adjust my lamp. What is a good temp during the night can bake them during the day, or what's good during the day may be too cool at night. At one week old, your temps are okay, but there's not much room for error in that range, especially if the house temp fluctuates by more than a degree or two. Could there be periods of time where they are too hot or too cold?
 

TwoCrows

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I was thinking....how many babies do you have in this 4 foot box? 4 feet is a long way for a few tiny babies to travel to get to the feed. And if you only have a few babies in this space, there is going to be a lot of drafts. If you had this space filled with babies, it might be warmer.

So I am thinking that your box is too big, not enough quail babies, the food and water is too far away and there are drafts. They are either starving and or freezing in a draft.
 
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Quailsong

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Apr 20, 2013
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TwoCrows has a lot of good questions/answers here. I'd like to add my own suggestions.


  • To add to TC's comment about box size, try to cut the size in half with panels. When they get bigger you can remove the panels for more brooding room.

  • Make sure you can see every single one is eating/drinking. Some might be feeding so you think all are. Also, make sure they can't eat any of the bedding (if you have shavings, put paper towels over the first week till they are more familiar with food). Play a finger game with them, pretend your finger is a mother hen, showing them around the brooder. Making sure they consume food/water every night.

  • Don't pick them up often, esp if you're in a room with drafts. The sudden hot to cold/drafty, to hot again may shock them.

  • It may help to sprinkle a tiny bit of grit into their food.

  • Lastly, make sure the heat isn't on too high. The older they get the more feathers and the easier they can overheat as well as slow down digestion. This can lead to lower immune systems, sour crops, problem with intestines as well.

  • A little squirt of apple cider vinegar (with 'mother') in their water (1tsp/gallon) can help them with digestion. Better to get them drinking it early than later on.
 
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SilkieMomPoof

Songster
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Apr 22, 2013
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I was thinking....how many babies do you have in this 4 foot box? 4 feet is a long way for a few tiny babies to travel to get to the feed. And if you only have a few babies in this space, there is going to be a lot of drafts. If you had this space filled with babies, it might be warmer.

So I am thinking that your box is too big, not enough quail babies, the food and water is too far away and there are drafts. They are either starving and or freezing in a draft.

well, I have 23 now. used to have 25. I think that those two that died might not have been eating, since they were considerably smaller and still hadn't grown those cute little wing feathers. I think every thing else is right, since so far every one else looks fine. I have put some of the smaller chicks like the two that died in a smaller separate box so that I can monitor their eating and pooping habits. They seem to be doing very well together, and I have seen every single one both eat and drink. I know that the others are eating since they are all huge now. Thanks for your advice, it was very helpful!
 

SilkieMomPoof

Songster
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Apr 22, 2013
86
47
114
I think I also had it a little too hot as well. It is rather hard to control the tempereter in the brooder I have, as it is difficult to raise the heat lamp. But I have now fixed that as well. Thank you all!
 
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