Mareks in quail?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Sahwithchicks, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Sahwithchicks

    Sahwithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been raising quail for a year now. Never had any big illnesses or problems. I have hatched out five large batches (large to me) this current one being the largest- 67 chicks hatched. I had 18 Italians hatch and the rest jumbo brown. I have lost 14 babies, some sadly drown, even with marbles in their waterers (next time I will stick with my rabbit bottle waterers, so much better. However, the last 3 have been displaying some scary symptoms. They seem to be getting very week, even showing paralysis and wry neck symptoms. I am terrified they have mareks because of the symptoms. Is mareks for quail the same as for chickens? Or is it like the turkey strain? Or it's own strain? Do I have to worry about infecting my chicken flock? If it isn't mareks, what could it be? They have vitamins, apple cider vin and probiotics in their water, and got doses of antibiotic. They are eating chick starter. It has been cold here (in Florida) so maybe I can chalk up some losses to that. I haven't had this high of a chick mortality rate before. I have someone who wants to buy 20 of the jumbo browns once I can sex them, but now I am worried that I shouldn't sell any.

    Any advice?
     
  2. TwoCrows

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

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    Mareks is not all that common in quail, but that does not mean they don't have it. While incubating quail eggs, the embryo's are very sensitive to improper heat and humidity levels and if not incubated properly, they can hatch with all sorts of neurological issues as well as defects in the limbs.

    Quail chicks are also extremely vulnerable to chilling in the brooder and often die if not brooded at the proper temps. Cocci is VERY common in quail chicks.

    Quail chicks should be kept in a very draft free brooder, preferable not outdoors, started at 95 degrees at hatch and lowered by 5 degrees each week. Raise them on wire if cocci is a problem. Add some liquid vitamins to the water for a while to see if this does not help the chicks out.

    If you feel they do have Mareks, I would have a necropsy done on one of the chicks.
     
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  3. Sahwithchicks

    Sahwithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Out of all the chicks hatched, none had defects. I use a hovabator genesis 1588 so temp was good. They are in a GMF metal brooder that I zip tied hardware cloth to so they couldn't escape. this means they are on wire floor. However, it is open on three sides so I guess it could be a draft problem, although would that cause wry neck? There is a chance of cocci since they do enjoy climbing completely in the feeder to eat... I will tackle that problem tomorrow. As I stated in first post they do get vitamins.
    I probably am jumping the gun at the mareks diagnoses. Diseases with my birds really freaks me out.
    I have googled a lot to figure out what could cause stargazing... But not finding much but vitamin deficiency... Is there a disease that could cause this?

    Thanks for the response
     
  4. TwoCrows

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

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    I am not an expert at this, so take all this with a grain of sand. So I am going to think out loud here. :) But generally neck issues with chicks start in the egg from being mispositioned before hatching, keeping their necks in bad positions for a long time. And you would be noticing neck troubles pretty early on with the chicks. But you are saying that they all hatched out without any defects.

    Have you used this hovabator before hatching chickens? If you have, and the chicken chicks were carrying Mareks or any other bacterias and the incubator was not fumigated well enough, these quail chicks could have contracted some virus or bacteria. Usually when chicks carry an incubator disease at hatch, it is about a week later that they start to die.

    Stargazing....there are a few virus's that can cause the symptoms of stargazing (falling over backwards, stumbling, paralysis, etc..) as well as vitamin deficiencies. If the parent birds were not of good health, this genetic issue can be passed down thru the egg. Cross contamination from adult birds can pass it on to chicks as well. Some of these virus's have vaccines and others don't. I don't know enough about each of these virus's to tell you much. But a necropsy would help you determine what is actually going on. Of course the vitamin issue can be addressed to some degree.

    However, you did mention the brooder being open on three sides. Generally this is a big NO NO with quail. Quail are extremely more sensitive to drafts than chickens. They can not tolerate any cool moving air around them and when the brooder lamp is nice and hot, the heat will draw in cooler air around the warmer air making a draft. It kills quail chicks almost every time. Tons of posts in the archives here of quail dying from drafts.

    So, all this being said, start with the draft issue. It very well could be the trouble. The quail brooder needs to have 4 solid sides, solid floor, (along with being on wire), and open on the top. (you can cover the top with wire for protection) If the symptoms and deaths continue, I would get a necropsy done to determine the cause of this issue.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  5. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I brood in a plastic bin. Paper towels changed 4 times a day. With a heat lamp and a sheet thrown over top. The cots are now 3 weeks old and sleeping without the lamp at night and have moved onto shredded paper.. Twocrows is correct drafts are bad.
     
  6. ClassyChicks

    ClassyChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi there-we just hatched our first quail. We hatched 9 babies, 2 had spraddle leg off the bat. We splinted their legs and one recovered within 24 hours, the other was doing just "OK." Within 48 hours after hatch, the same one developed wry neck. I was dropper feeding, administering Poly Vi Sol vitamin drops, Gatorade, and on Day 3 the chick was so bad, we decided to cull. Therefore, we were down to 8, but all seemed healthy. Now on day 5, we have one chick that is noticably smaller then the rest (which are growing rapidly.) We started paying a bit more attn. to this one overnight, and this am he is so weak, laying on his side, almost seems unable to stand on both feet, possibly off balance? Now I'm getting worried that something could be going on.
    Chicks are in a solid wood brooder-no drafts, heat lamp at 95 degrees, nipple waterer that they've all been using just fine with apple cider vinegar added in (so it stays clean), game bird starter non-medicated crumble in feeder and sprinkled around, brooding on paper towels and shelf liner that is changed daily. Your situation sounded so similar to mine-what ended up happening?
    I am brooding 5 baby chicks on the other side of the same box (separated by hardware cloth) and now I'm getting worried if the quail are carrying something that it could also spread to my cochin chicks. Any advise is so appreciated! Thanks!
     
  7. James the Bald

    James the Bald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wait for it.
     
  8. ClassyChicks

    ClassyChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Wait for what?
     
  9. Sahwithchicks

    Sahwithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought I'd update about mine.

    I knew before that quail cots are fragile, but they really proved it at that hatch. The rest all survived and are as healthy as can be, so I am quite certain all the deaths where from the cold drafts.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sahwithchicks

    Sahwithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you are probably just dealing with the normal sensitivities of cots. It's hard cuz you only hatched nine, so a couple losses is a big deal. You probably have to watch and wait ( maybe that's what the other post meant?)
    Are the cochin chicks from your own birds?
    I have had cots in with day old Cochin banties and did not have problems. The January hatch was the first time I had so many deaths, and like the posters above said, it was because I allowed them to be in a drafted environment. I knew better, but I knew the old man would have a fit if he saw how many I hatched out and they where sitting on the counter, taking up our limited kitchen space!!
     

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