Quail acting tired - is she molting or ill? Bare skin on belly?

cippibirdie

Hatching
Jan 25, 2016
4
0
7
Hello everyone, my lovely Coturnix quail started to act slowly and seems to sleep a lot for the last 3 days - had laid her last egg 5 days ago (before she used to lay once in every 3 days) and today I noticed a bare patch at her lower belly - i know that before it was never too full of feathers but the skin seems dry and she keeps scratching there and all over in general.
Could this be a partial molting starting or is it more likely an illness? Her living conditions haven't changed recently other than the days getting shorter, and she's still eating but just doesn't seem to have as much energy..
I know many others here will understand how worried I am even at the smallest sign of illness but it's my first time raising a quail.. thank you all for any information or experiences you could share.
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DK newbie

Songster
Apr 20, 2015
1,772
1,059
241
She doesn't appear egg bound? She could be picking the feathers due to pain in the area below.. If she is 'scratching all over', I guess she could have mites too.
 

cippibirdie

Hatching
Jan 25, 2016
4
0
7
Hi and thank you for your response, I have been trying to figure out if she might be egg bound but she doesn't really have a loss of appettite and I haven't seen her straining or making the chirpy sounds that she usually makes when she decides to lay an egg..
-she did her little pop-corn dance to me this morning so I'm trying to keep positive and hope it's not a very bad condition-
But I'm not sure if there are any specific symptoms to check to be alarmed about her being egg bound, should I put her in some warm water just in case? I read that can be a help for chickens but I don't want to upset her with that if it's not necessary..
Thank you for any input, it's comforting to find a site and forum like this..
 

cippibirdie

Hatching
Jan 25, 2016
4
0
7
There's been no risk of predators reaching her but I've been looking into the areas that she scratches more in detail today, I think she might be molting, for I could see some new feather stems coming! I understand that it's natural for her to be more sensitive to be handled and a bit scratchy too if she's molting, but can I do anything to help her with any discomfort she might be feeling?
The area that seemed dry, can I put a little bit of olive oil on it? I read somewhere that some people do that but I would like to be sure that olive oil won't be harmful to the little beauty..
 

cippibirdie

Hatching
Jan 25, 2016
4
0
7
So, after about a month since my precious birdie gave me a scare with the bare patch on her lower belly, finally everything is almost back to normal.

It was so strange seeing her skin exposed like that, but it turned out to be a molt in the end after all!

She was acting tired for the first 10 days or so, then slowly picked up her energy with extra vitamins and high protein diet..

Just wanted to post this good ending for anyone else out there getting scared of the amount of feather loss that scared me, and here's a picture of the same bare part after about 3 weeks too.

Thanks to everyone in this lovely community for all the support!
 

Mhays

Chirping
Apr 28, 2020
129
117
93
Thanks for this thread! Am seriously worried about my favorite hen, who looks just like this (although we did have eggs yesterday) Am still doing some treatment for mites and lice (diatomaceous earth in the sandbox, and apple cider vinegar in the water) just in case.
 

shrimpsilkies

Chirping
Feb 1, 2020
136
247
91
Thanks for this thread! Am seriously worried about my favorite hen, who looks just like this (although we did have eggs yesterday) Am still doing some treatment for mites and lice (diatomaceous earth in the sandbox, and apple cider vinegar in the water) just in case.
While that picture is a little extreme, Coturnix are surprisingly bare under the wing and on the belly during the summer season, presumably to brood chicks and release excess heat. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere it is molting season for quail and their belly may go a little more naked as they trade their summer feathers for fluffy winter ones.
 

LJHC

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Aug 29, 2020
84
249
76
Thanks for this thread! Am seriously worried about my favorite hen, who looks just like this (although we did have eggs yesterday) Am still doing some treatment for mites and lice (diatomaceous earth in the sandbox, and apple cider vinegar in the water) just in case.
Please keep us up to date on how well this works. The DE was recommended to me and I read another post from someone using a 50/50 vinegar and water spray.
 

Mhays

Chirping
Apr 28, 2020
129
117
93
I think they are just molting (a couple other hens are also losing feathers) but have been giving them DE in their sandbox every day, and vinegar in their water; seems to be helping. Everybody is eating and laying normally, so I'm just going to keep a close eye.

I did buy the vetermycin just in case - if anybody gets worse, I'm going to use it...
 

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