Quail hen is sick- UPDATE *graphic photos*

Chickety Charcoal

Songster
9 Years
Jul 11, 2011
171
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146
Westchester County, NY
I have a bit of an emergency. Today I found one of my coturnix hens hiding in a corner. She is very listless and when i picked her up she began struggling then coughing up water or mucous. She is missing feathers from her wings and back area where the male tries to mount her and most of her head is bald. It has a black mass on it that may be dried blood. She also has a little blood on the sides of her head by her ears. She's breathing heavy and I am wondering if I should put her down? I am also worried about the rest of my flock if this is a disease or something. I did not notice anything out of the ordinary yesterday morning so this all seems very sudden. She is one of 4 hens in a cage with one male. The male has been very active lately and has been mating primarily with one other female.

I have chickens also but have been careful to not cross contaminate. At least I have tried not to. I haven't been able to take pictures yet but will attempt later.

-Chops
 

TwoCrows

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I am sorry about your bird. Over mating can kill a hen and it sounds like this one may be being over mated and may die. The proper ratio of roo to hen is 1 to 5 to 7. So you might add more hens in the future. Remove this male. Over mated hens do not eat, drink or do much of anything. They become exhausted and perish.

For now, I would remove her. First you might hold her with one hand at her breast where her crop is and tip her forward a bit for a few seconds ONLY. Squeeze a bit on her breast/crop area to help empty her crop. Don't hold her forward for more than a couple of seconds so she can breathe.

Then I would keep her somewhere warm, by herself. Give her some chopped up warm hard boiled eggs. These are good emergency food for birds loaded with protein and all the building blocks of life. If you have any poultry vitamins, I would put some in her water.

She will probably survive if you allow her to heal now. But remove your male from the rest of these hens or the same thing will happen to them.

I hope she pulls through!
 

Chickety Charcoal

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9 Years
Jul 11, 2011
171
10
146
Westchester County, NY
I have removed the male now.

I am concerned that it is Coryza. I noticed another hen getting puffy eyelids. They have all shared the same cage (bedding, food, water, etc). Is there anything I can do to stop the spread of whatever this may be?
 

TwoCrows

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Coryza has a distinct smell at the face. Give the face a good smell and if it really stinks, then it is Coryza. If there is no smell, it may be MG instead. Coryza is usually a lot more gummy than MG. MG tends to have more liquid excretions.

Sulphadimethoxine works well on Coryza. Duramycin works well if this is MG. Some feed stores carry either or both of these antibiotics, or you may have to order them on line from a poultry supply house. These meds are put in the water. Always follow package instructions.
 

TwoCrows

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If one has this bacterial infection, you will need to treat the entire flock. Either of these ailments will leave them carriers for the rest of their days. When they become weak any time in the future, they can have relapses, but generally you can get them healed up enough you may never see this issue again. Any birds you add to this flock may turn up with these ailments and will also need to be treated if they do.
 

TwoCrows

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I wouldn't eat birds that are really sick. Most diseases are species specific, which means bacteria's that they carry can not be transferred to other species. Mycoplasma's are tricky little bacterias however and I personally don't want to mess with those things. Once a human gets a Mycoplama bacteria, they too are carriers for the rest of their days.

However....if birds are treated with antibiotics and then appear to be healthy, I might eat them them. Depending on which medication you use, (2 weeks on the Sulfa drug, 3 weeks on the Duramycin) after this period, the meat and eggs are safe to eat with no residual antibiotics in them. If the birds appear well, I would then consider eating them.
 

Fat Daddy

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Dec 11, 2010
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I wouldn't eat birds that are really sick. Most diseases are species specific, which means bacteria's that they carry can not be transferred to other species. Mycoplasma's are tricky little bacterias however and I personally don't want to mess with those things. Once a human gets a Mycoplama bacteria, they too are carriers for the rest of their days.

However....if birds are treated with antibiotics and then appear to be healthy, I might eat them them. Depending on which medication you use, (2 weeks on the Sulfa drug, 3 weeks on the Duramycin) after this period, the meat and eggs are safe to eat with no residual antibiotics in them. If the birds appear well, I would then consider eating them.

X2.... I aint say'n I would never eat a sick or wounded bird.... It's just as of yet, I aint been that hungry!!!
lau.gif
 

Chickety Charcoal

Songster
9 Years
Jul 11, 2011
171
10
146
Westchester County, NY
The hen who had the issues has died. I found her this morning when I went to check on her. It didn't seem like she ate or drank much, if at all, and there was some green and white diarrhea in the cage. I took some pictures below where you might see the black crust on her head and the feathers missing on the wings. I didn't notice any smell from the face or body.






The other hen in the main cage did not seem to have more swelling around her eyes. It was actually difficult for me to figure out which one had the swelling- so maybe that's a good thing? There are no other signs as of yet. I just want to save the rest of my flock from this.
 
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TwoCrows

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I am so sorry about your bird.
hugs.gif


It is hard to say why she died, however judging from how rough she looks, the may have been simply over mated to death. This does happen. The constant mating wears them down and they die.

So for the rest of your birds, make sure your ratio is correct, 1 roo to 5 to 7 hens. If you have less than 5 hens, remove the male. If you start to see runny noses, sneezing, watery or bubbly eyes, get them started on antibiotics in their water.

If you haven't wormed them in a while, get them wormed as well. Worms drain the bird as they eat all the food in the intestines. Kills them over time. So do this if you haven't done so in the last year.

Make sure they have clean water every day. Don't over crowd your birds with at least 1 if not 2 square feet per bird. If you keep them on wire, make sure they have places to get off the wire. They need to bath daily, so include a dusting pan in their cages with sand or plain dirt.

And keep an eye on your birds. If you notice a bird with injury or feather loss or something that just doesn't look right, do an assessment of the situation to see if it is normal at that time. Things tend to go down hill and don't go away on their own.
 

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