Need Advice on Quail head wound!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Quailgood, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Quailgood

    Quailgood Hatching

    Jul 31, 2013
    Hi guys

    Sorry but I'm new here and not sure if this is the right place to post but I am desperate.

    I was keeping 6 Coturnix Quail in my backyard. They are caged with about 3 square foot each. They are about 7 weeks old and all hatched from the same batch. There are three whites and three browns. One of the whites is a male.

    I moved them into this larger cage on Saturday. They seemed to be doing fine over the past few days.

    I was away in Dublin yesterday so didn't get to check on them as often as I usually do. When I came back I was horrified to find one of them was wounded really badly. It really broke my heart! All her feathers and skin on the back of her head looked like it had be stripped away and there was blood everywhere. It looked like it had happened some time ago as the wound was swollen and the blood really congealed (see pics).

    Right away I suspected a predator though they are really well enclosed. I brought the poor thing inside and got a separate cage ready. Wanting to make sure the others were still okay I took another look outside and found that ANOTHER one now had similar yet less severe wounds and blood was all over the feeder which is nowhere near the wire. I then knew it was one of the other birds. I believe it was the male as he had been getting rather aggressive. So I segregated him right away.

    After doing some research I see that I need to make a few adjustments to lessen their stress. However what I am most worried about is treating the descalped hen. She it really bad. I have put the two wounded hens in "hospital" and stuck the male in solitary. Which leaves three brown hens in he main cage. I cleaned the wounds and applied antiseptic. But I don't know what else to do. I am pretty sure the least injured will be fine but the other one has a lot of flesh missing from the scalp! I heard some mention stitching but there really wasn't anything left to stitch. Should I keep applying cream and making her comfy? Or should I cull the poor thing? I don't want her to suffer more than she needs to. Please help!

    Here are some pics from before I got them cleaned up properly:



    And help would be GEATLY appreciated!!!
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I know nothing about quail, but since no one has responded, I will say that chickens can heal quite well from those kinds of pecking injuries unless the brain is damaged. We use an antiseptic coloring spray called BluKote here, so I'm certain you have one like there that since others have posted pictures. It keeps the others from pecking the injury until feathers fully grow in. Extra protein would also help for feather growth.
  3. Penny Hen

    Penny Hen Songster

    Mar 18, 2013
    Goodlettsville, TN
    I was going to suggest a new antibiotic spray called Vetericyn, then you mentioned Dublin and I knew you were in Ireland not the U.S. so it is probably not available. Normally on a wound I use hydrogen peroxide but because of the nearness to the eyes I hesitate to recommend that. You could dab the peroxide on with a cotton swab to prevent it from getting into the eyes. Then while still damp with the peroxide sprinkle white sugar into the wound. Coat with an antibiotic salve. Here we have Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic (which is neosporin, bacetracyn and a third antibiotic I can't remember). If you have a fly problem try making a hood for her out of gauze. Look up pictures of hawks hoods to get an idea of how to form it for a bird. If you do get fly strike the peroxide will boil out the maggots but you need to be super careful about the eyes because the peroxide can damage eyes.

    The sugar will directly feed the regenerating cells and give them the raw resources to make new cells. It also causes a pH condition that is hostile to many bacteria. Alternately if you don't want to chance the nearness of peroxide to the eyes, mix up salt with pure water until it is like brine and flush the wound with that. The purity of the water is important or you could introduce problems. Ideally buy distilled water. If you use drinking water boil it first with the salt to make sure nothing is left that will cause infection. Salt and sugar for all emergency wounds should always be available. If you or an animal have a fast bleeding wound you can slow/stop the bleeding by pouring sugar into the wound. It will stop everything but a severed artery or main vein. It will slow even a main vein (one that is the same size of an artery). Of course you will be wanting to see a doctor or vet for something that serious, but it could buy you the time to get there.
  4. Quailgood

    Quailgood Hatching

    Jul 31, 2013
    Thank you for your replies Penny Hen and Eggcessive!!!

    It is encouraging to know that chickens are so hardy and recover quickly from such bad injuries. It seems quail are very resilient too. I got home from work to find that they were walking around and eating/drinking okay. They can take some beating, Phew!

    Thanks for the advice. I will see if I can find the equivalent antibiotics here and make sure they get protein supplements.

    So relieved. I will keep them separate until full recovery and will slowly introduce them to the other hens. I think I will cull the hen (which is a real pity since he is a lovely bird) but I am going to buy more eggs in the future and don't have any plans to breed him.

    I just hope none of the other birds go nuts! Been reading differing views on vicious quail. Some saying male are vicious to establish their dominance and then calm down. Other say vicious quail are nuts and should be culled. I am inclined to go with the latter. I couldn't bare the poor hens going through that.

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