Quail Chicks Dying

Discussion in 'Quail' started by HappyQuail, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. HappyQuail

    HappyQuail New Egg

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    Jan 6, 2015
    Hi, I got a king quail pair at the pet shop and the male hatched out 2 chicks and they turned out fine (great feather/fluff, no fighting or any troubles like that). Then the female hatched out another 5 quail chicks after the 2 other grew up and we put them into another cage. The 5 chicks looked fine once born but when they started getting some feathers 2 of them died and we don't know why. When I found them dead in the morning it was almost like they was squashed as they looked a bit flat. From this day I still don't know what happened to them but I really want to find out before another one dies. I'm quite new to quails (I got them because I couldn't get any chickens or ducks).

    Housing:
    I have a triangular cage that's 109cm X 64cm. I keep them outside in the shade of a tree all day and all night (In Australia). I keep a tarpaulin on their cage at night to stop anything from spooking them or any birds from harming them. I also put the tarpaulin on them when I'm not watching them to keep the wild birds from pecking them and causing injury. It's also got a cat-carrier attached to it full with straw so they can sleep in their and lay eggs (the female stopped laying eggs in the box though and lays them outside, in the cage).

    Food:
    I give them a caged bird mix which includes canola, white French millet, fine shell grit and panorama. I also give them small woodlice from my compost bin (which they love) every morning. I probably give them about half a cup full of bird mix in the morning and about 10 wood lice.

    Water:
    I give them a little dish of water which is available all the time for them. I clean the dish and give them fresh water every 2 or 3 days.

    Parents:
    None of the quails are actually tame. The male quail is quite aggressive towards running and shoving as he always pushes the chicks out the way when threatened. The female is gentle but sometimes I see her pecking the chicks, though it looks like she's cleaning the chicks or pecking a little bug off of them.

    Chicks:
    The chicks are getting their feathers but have no feathers on their chest and neck and only has feathers on it's wing. One chick is getting white feathers on it's neck (which means its a male). The dead chicks were quite heavier than I expected so I suppose their being fed well.

    Eggs:
    The female quail is laying a lot of eggs

    Other Pets:
    I have a small Jack Russel but we make sure she's never around the quails.

    I looked on quite a few sites on how to look after quails before I even got the quails. I would be really happy if someone could explain what is wrong with my quails (or if this is normal) thanks! But one thing that I think is that chickens are way easier to handle than quails ;)
     
  2. PurplePartridge

    PurplePartridge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 30, 2014
    Australia
    I have had this happen to me before, but with cokatiels instead. With new parents sometimes I will lose the younger chicks and when I find them dead they look starved and squished, I'm not certain but I think this is because they are inexperienced, they feel the need to reduce the number of chicks they raise because they always stop after a few times of raising chicks.

    However, quail are very different to cockatiels because they don't have to constantly sit on or regurgitate food for their chicks. This leads me to the only other reason I could think to be possible, I remember reading somewhere that if the king quail parents (mainly cock) were incubated they will often kill their chicks, whereas parent raised ones won't. So if this is the case I guess the only solution would be to take the chicks out and put them in a brooder.

    Hope this helps, and good luck! ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  3. HappyQuail

    HappyQuail New Egg

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    Jan 6, 2015
    Yeah, I fixed the problem :D I think it was because they didn't have a lot of space and the father was very aggressive so he was trying to kill the chicks due to a lack of space. But anyway, these quails were new to me and I didn't really know what to do with them. They were A LOT smaller than my coturnix quail so I figured I would just put them in a small run. They got a bit stressed because they had a lot of chicks in a small cage so that's why they decided to kill the chicks. What I did was build them a bigger square cage and put them in that, ever since then they are so happy and always dust-bathe, peck around and all sorts. They hardly chase each over and if they do they have a couple of hiding spots to retreat to so that's great! Thanks a lot for your help though :)
     

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