Quail laying broken eggs [UPDATE: it has gotten worse]


6 Years
Apr 29, 2013

I have a two laying European quail, around new years we had a string of 40C+ days (what's that, like 100F?) and ever since then they have been having problems :(
the latest thing is that for the last ten days or so one has been laying eggs that have a section of shell that is soft and inverted, the eggs are also much darker in colour than they have been previously. They don't seem to be in any danger of crumbling away, it is just one section has no/very thin shell.
I have upped the calcium in their feed after the third day (even though I was pretty sure there was plenty already) and that hasn't seemed to solve it, as well as treating for parasites.
I haven't been able to work out who it is as they get stressed when I separate them so then don't lay. One of them has a bald patch where she plucked her feathers during the hot weather and subsequently had probably had mites but they are starting to grow back now, I don't know if that could be related?
Hope someone can help me out and thanks in advance :)
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There are several reasons for thin or shell less eggs:
1. lack of calcium, phosphorus or vitamin D check the feed for proper amounts of each and plenty of natural light to help absorb the vitamin D

2. antibiotics given or medicated feed - change to non medicated feed

3. disease like bronchitis or egg drop syndrome - need a vet

4. kept too warm or not enough ventilation - you said it had been very warm so might stop after temp goes back down

5. eggs passed through system too fast and failed to form correctly - normally corrects itself soon

6. older hen - nothing you can do to help

also can be stress. good luck hope this helps.
I was trying to keep the birds outside in their run more to try and help with potential vitamin D or ventilation issues and decreased their light time so that both can have a break laying for a while (which seemed to be having a neutral to positive effect on their overall cheeriness)
But when I got home today the quail that had issues with feather loss on her back had her face covered in blood and there were sprays of it across the wall of the pen, there is no visible cut and her nostrils appear to have some blood crusted around them
I have cleaned her up as much as I can and separated her from the other bird but other than that I have little idea what to do and am very worried, I probably won't be able to take her to the vet until Friday at least
She doesn't appear to be too actively distressed and is settling down well enough after her inspection
is there any advice as to what might be causing this and anything I can do to either help or make her more comfortable?
Are the temps still hot there? I'd try to find ways to cool them asap. Sounds like heat stress with a combination of other things (that get worse with stress)

Water: Freeze some big water bottles & toss them inside your water/nippling bucket. Change them out every day. This gives them access to cold water.

Ventilation: Make sure their pens have lots of ventilation so that you don't create a stuffy 'greenhouse effect'.

Roos: Seems like the boys may be taking their stress out on the females (feathers missing on backs) and the girls are already stressed. This could be causing a fight between them. Might be good to separate them if you've the extra room.

Shade: If you've an outdoor run for them, make sure it has lots of shade. Use an old blanket/sheet to cover the top if you have to. Or cut up a large white kitchen bin bag and tape that on top. White is best as it reflects the sun's rays whereas dark colours will absorb the heat.

Nutrients/Electrolytes: Make sure the quail are getting enough to replenish themselves. You could add ACV into their drinking water, fresh (cold or frozen) fruits for them to pick at & so on.

Those are just a few ideas at the top of my head. Hopefully they will help out!
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Thank you very much
It's cooled down well enough the last few weeks, the temperature is now mostly around 20C
I don't have any males (just two females) but one of them gets quite aggressive so I have separated them out to try and stop any potential further picking now
I will try adding in some fruit anyway, it's hard to go wrong with having a bit more variety in diet etc. right?
When I got up this morning she is looking happy enough and pottered around, so hopefully it is on the improve and with a bit of time alone she'll be all right
Clover, I'm glad some things are improving.

If you have an hour or two to spare, take the time and watch your quail. Don't interact with them, let them forget you're there. (You may need a good book and comfy chair). See what they're doing, how they're acting.

As you watch them, ask yourself a bunch of questions:

Do they look upset all the time? Do they pant? Is there an area they go to frequently or avoid? (ask yourself why that might be) Does that aggressive one start the fight or is it the meek one that riles her up first? Are they acting like quail or just fuzzy statues?

After you're done watching them, take a good close-up look at their pens. Look over whatever they went to more, or avoided, check for any rough spots (metal upturned that could cut them), or signs of infestation (blood suckers sandwiched between grooves), and so on.

You may find new issues you didn't see before, or things you could improve upon that they already enjoy. And besides, watching little critters enjoy their day is rather fun, isn't it? :)
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