Jumbo Quail chicks suddenly dying at 2 weeks old

Discussion in 'Quail' started by GD91, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started off with 6 chicks, in the past 3 days we have gone down to four. They are just over 2 weeks old.

    The symptoms were:

    12 hours before death:

    Lethargy, "fluffed" appearance.

    6 Hours before death:

    Lethargy, sleepiness, "fluffed" appearance, complete loss of appetite, lack of interest in surroundings & general weakness. Also noticed crop was quite empty at this point.

    1 Hour before death:

    Increased heart rate, "gasping" Completely lethargic, very weak & noticeable weight loss, no interest at all in surroundings, drooping wings, fluffed appearance, Standing up straight however looking cold as though lacking heat (was moved from brooder to the quarantine incubator at first signs of illness), would not really eat or drink even with assistance. managed to get some water in the second bird, but it vomited it up when it died.

    I have moved the surviving birds into a large rabbit hutch in the living room.

    Their previous brooder was only 1ft x 2ft & the water was constantly running dry from the heatlamp.

    Now their brooder is 2ft x 6ft for four chicks, I have lowered the ceramic heatlamp (gives off zero light, only heat) down one end & provided a larger waterer with vitamins & electrolytes + a larger feeder. They are being fed quail mix.

    They have spent time outside in a large run the past few days when I have been cleaning them out, we do have chickens roaming nearby, however it is a small backyard flock of 6 birds only aged about 10 weeks in the middle of a town. I'm thinking it may be more the outdoor temps here, the quail are fully feathered aside from their heads but it is about 6 - 7 oC. I thought they were ok though as they didn't huddle or complain much & they had a nesting area to go in.

    I've never lost a chicken chick, but now I'm starting to realise quail are much more fragile.

    And yes, I am aware poultry can spread certain diseases to quail & we were going to deal with preventive measures, but these symptoms have appeared long after the quail were exposed to the chickens. The chickens, em, kind of sneak in the house alot & basically the quail chicks were unwillingly exposed from day 1 to chickens.
    Not my choice, believe me. Especially when the chickens began to view the quail as snack pieces.

    Any advice?
     
  2. TwoCrows

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

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    From the description of the ill chicks, sounds like they may have cocci. A parasite that is present in the intestinal tract of all birds. Babies do not have the immune system to control these things yet and it over whelms their systems and kills them. 2 weeks is about the right time to strike, fluffed up in the corner and dying is exactly what a chick with cocci looks like. As they age, they are able to handle this issue and it rarely effects adult quail.

    First...are they on any medicated feed? If not, get yourself some Corid from the feed store. It is put in the water for about 5 to 7 days. Do not put anything else in the water when using Corid.

    If you are using medicated feed, you can not use Corid. You will need it get them onto wire so they have less contact with their poop and will arrest the cocci outbreak.

    Keep us posted!
     
  3. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I considered Cocci.... I've read up on the different strains. No bloody poo ( I know that is limited to only one or two strains).

    What about the chickens, would they be at risk?

    I've found Cocci medicine, but from what I've read it won't arrive on time & is not available locally. I'm still going to order it though just so we have some stored.

    I was thinking, could the low heatlamp & lack of water overheated & dehydrated the quail to such a point it made them ill?

    I was filling their tiny dish 3-6 times a day & they would go berserk over it to the point a lot of it got thrown out of the dish in the rush.
    Same with their food, that ran low or empty constantly to.
    I would wake up & the dishes would be empty & the quail were always quite noisy.

    They seem much happier in their new brooder, they now have a much bigger brooder & I have noticed they are much quieter & happier. Before they had their little faces pressed up against the wire.

    Oh, and if anyone is wondering why I was using such tiny dishes it was because I was concerned about the chicks drowning. How ironic....

    If anymore die they will all be separated into different brooders to prevent the spread. I keep a lot of brooders :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  4. TwoCrows

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

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    There is not always blood present with cocci. But many times there is dark poop.

    Being that these are only babies at 2 weeks old, being cold, running low on water or feed, would definitely kill them. Chilling is very common for deaths in babies, especially running low on food and water at the same time. So this is probably the problem and now that you have moved them to a new brooder and they seem happier and warmer, I think you have solved your issue. No cocci :)

    I will bet you will not have any more deaths. Good luck with your babies!
     
  5. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    This is what I would recommend a big (X2) this you need to do and you really need to re think the brooder a bit bigger would hot hurt as it sounds like a little bit more than crowded and the rabbit cage ok but make sure no drafts and plenty of warmth


    gander007 [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I examined the poo from the sick babies. It wasn't dark at all, completely the opposite. It was clear with an eggwhite texture with a little white in it.

    I have chickens & rabbits too, never had any cocci before. I know its in the soil though. I'm monitoring the chicks closely, they are perky & one is actually lying under the heatlamp with a leg stretched out enjoying the heat. That's the first time I've seen that. Before as I stated, they were always desperate to escape the brooder & would race out the moment the door was opened. They were always pressed up against the wire door cheeping.
    Maybe they were cold out in the run & then overheated in the brooder.

    I hope it isn't cocci after all too :( I probably can't treat it in time if it is. I've been trying to buy the medical supplies for weeks, but we have just recently moved & the moneys just not been there for me to spend. I tend to home make everything these days for the animals including toys, treats etc.

    The only things bought are the main feed which is bought in bulk as its cheaper. Also the vitamins & the electrolytes.

    Don't worry though, I don't make heatlamps :) our coops & runs are unlit & unheated.

    > Update:

    Just checked the poo from the other chicks & it all normal, medium brown & solid. Also Chicks are still showing signs of improvement. Fingers crossed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  7. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Could you please explain your brooder set up
    size of cage
    wire floor
    water ... is it a bowl full of marbles or is there a little jar with water for dispensing water ...
    feed .. 1.. what kind 2 what kind of container do you dispense the feed with ?????
    heat 1. what is the source and how are you controlling the temp ...


    gander [​IMG]
     
  8. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its a 6 x 2 ft LxW Rabbit hutch (not a cage) indoors, on legs on the floor in the living room, with a black bulb ceramic heatlamp running at around 95 degrees at one end & a 1 kilo chicken feeder & 1 1/2 kilo chicken waterer (dispenser types) at the other end. The bedding is soft dog blankets which I have always used folded over & never had any problems with, just take out, wash at 90 degrees & put fresh blankets in.

    That is the new set-up.

    The old set up was a pet carrier on the kitchen floor. The carrier was 2 x 1ft LxW with the heatlamp going in through the top & 2 tiny plastic clip - on dishes about an inch each across & a centimetre deep each clipped on the wire at the front..

    I don't have a wire bottomed cage or the wire to make one, we just used the last of the wire building the run last week :(
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  9. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright that will work just fine for some reason I got a picture in my mind of just a cardboard box with
    a light bulb for a heat scours .... Quail are funny at times they need heat and to be kept clean and
    dry and if you haven't dune this before try a little sugar in the water for a couple of days to get them
    to jump and run around the new space your quail are going to enjoy very much now the feed you
    are using is it some kind of chick starter ...........


    gander007 [​IMG]
     
  10. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm feeding them quail mix.... That's just what it says on the bag.... They have also had some access to chicken chick starter before I got the quail mix & then I slowly switched them over.
    Hatched plenty of chickens before, first time with quail.

    And no, gave up on the cardboard box style brooder months ago :D it got too messy. Don't like using cardboard boxes anyway, not with a heatlamp. The heatlamp I use is designed for heating reptiles & gives off no light so it doesn't disturb chicks at all. Can certainly recommend them.
     

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