Is this just a bad molt or something worse?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by pamelas, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. pamelas

    pamelas New Egg

    Jul 23, 2015
    Hi All! Newbie quailer here.

    I have a Texas A&M coturnix quail that has been looking a bit rough for the last month. I assumed it was just molt, but she is getting worse instead of better. I have 14 hens and all of the rest have finished their molt and are looking beautiful.

    All of a sudden she went from looking disheveled to bare skin on her sides and even a bit bloody on one side (see pic below). I watched to see if anyone was picking on her - none that I could see, but she is definitely picking at herself, almost constantly (poor girl!).

    Here are her vitals:
    . Eating normally - attacked the food dish when I put it back in, just like all the others.
    . Drinking normally - watched her drink after she ate.
    . Acting normally, other than the constant picking - not lethargic.
    . They all have 24/7 access to a sand box for dusting - I scoop it every two days and refresh it with more sand and DE weekly.
    . I use a solid bottom covered with grass hay - I change out the hay every two days and sprinkle DE on it weekly.
    . I have noticed some diarrhea in the coop, but don't know if it is coming from her.

    Anyone have any idea what's going on? Is this just a bad molt or is it something worse?
    Please help me help my girl. Thanks!!

  2. JaeG

    JaeG Flock Master Premium Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    Your poor girl! I have no idea what's causing this but up her protein as much as possible - scrambled egg is a fantastic and easy way to do this. You may have to separate her until she is better so she gets some extra t.l.c. The others may start to pick on her if they think she is weak and they will pick at anything bloody. I wish I had more knowledge to share. Hopefully there's someone else out there who has more of an idea of what is happening. Poor girl!
  3. DK newbie

    DK newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2015
    I second JaeG - don't know what it is, but make sure she gets lots of protein and separate her from the others. If you have a warm place to put her afterwards, I'd probably give her a bath as well. She looks like she could use one, and in parrots frequent bathing has been shown to reduce feather picking and make the birds preen the feathers in a more constructive way. Might help her too. If she keeps pecking herself, you might want to try putting her in a sock or similar to allow the feathers to grow and her wounds to heal.
  4. quail tony

    quail tony Just Hatched

    Jun 19, 2016
    Alnwick Northumberland
    Excellent idea with the sock
  5. pamelas

    pamelas New Egg

    Jul 23, 2015
    Thanks for the help everyone!
    I pulled her from the coop, gave her a shower and a hard boiled egg, and set her up in my quail motel for the night (see pic). Yes, that's my kitchen table. [​IMG]

    She looks much, much better after the shower. I've been keeping an eye on her and she hasn't been picking at herself much since then, so maybe that's what she needed.

    She's not bleeding, so I'm going to give her a precautionary DE dusting and then put her back in the coop. I'll see how she does and use the sock idea if necessary. Think I'll also give her a weekly shower and DE dusting until she fully recovers.

    Thanks again for the info! If there is anything else, please let me know.

  6. robdog

    robdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    To me it looks like the blacks are bullying the white...
    I have a issue that I cannot keep my browns with my whites without the white getting skinned plucked off and scars and scabs all over on just the whites. I have to seperate them back to how they were so i'm think its because she's the only white one.
  7. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Poor girl, I hope she's doing better. DE could be contributing to the problem, perhaps the reason for her self pecking/picking.

    DE is extreeeeemely absorbant (kills bugs by cutting them then dehydrating them and is added to feed to keep it dry) so she could be suffering from very dry, irritated and probably itchy skin as a reaction to too much DE.

    I only use DE when I have a problem, maybe cutting back might help her get those natural conditioning skin/feather oils back so she can finish her molt? :)

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