Injured quail strange behaviour

Discussion in 'Quail' started by quailswiss, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. quailswiss

    quailswiss Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2013
    I was not careful enough when trying to introduce 5wks chicks to an established all-female flock. The one female chick got pecked on so badly she lost most of her head/neck feathers and the skin was cut in two places. So I've isolated it, disinfected the wounds, and am waiting for it to "look" normal before I put it back in the brooder.

    Two days later, is eating and drinking, but every so often it ducks its head in and pushes backwards. Is it trying to rub the sore area or is this some kind of submission behaviour?
     
  2. TwoCrows

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

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    I would say from your description of the wound that there was no damage to the brain to warrant the weird head movements you are seeing. The wound may still hurt or feel irritated at this point and the bird feels something at that spot. I wouldn't be too concerned unless it gets worse. Make sure not to put this one back in until the wound is completely healed. Waiting for feathers to regrow may take 6 weeks or more, so you might want to spray some Blu-kote on the wound so that it hides the lack of feathers and you can put this bird back in with birds of it's own age group.
     
  3. quailswiss

    quailswiss Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice! The other birds are outside now and it's getting cold. Is the lack of head feathers going to be a problem for the bullied quail?
     
  4. TwoCrows

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

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    Unless the head is completely bald and it is going to get down to 20 degrees at night, then I would say no, it is not too cold for this bird. :)
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I'm a chicken person, not familiar with quail, but watch the strange behavior since it sounds a little like wry neck/crook neck. This happens because of injuries sometimes, and the neck can be twisted to the side, looking downward, and up backwards. Sometimes they will walk backward when doing this. Vitamins should be given to treat it, especially E. Wry neck also happens with vitamin deficiencies and diseases, too. Here is a link about it: http://oureggbasket.blogspot.com/2013/04/wry-neck-or-crook-neck-understanding-it.html
     
  6. quailswiss

    quailswiss Out Of The Brooder

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    I tried to reintroduce the injured hen to the brooder but it got bullied straight away by what undoubtedly is the offspring of the offending adult. Fortunately one of the cocks is more gentle and the pair of them are now in their own cage, and since then the strange behaviour has stopped. The wounds are almost healed but the head is still bare.
     
  7. TwoCrows

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

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    It takes about 6 weeks to fully grow feathers back in, and sometimes the feathers wait until the next molt. But I am glad that this bird has found another that gets along with her. :)
     
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