Quail loosing use of legs?

Sachasmom

Songster
10 Years
Mar 1, 2009
567
1
141
Upstate NY
I'm having a problem with my youngest batch of Cortournix Quail, I hatched them about three weeks ago. They were fine until last week. Or last week was when I noticed the problem... they were fine when they hatched out I guess I should say?

I cleaned their tub (which means I dumped out the old stuff and put in clean shavings, so no chemicals) I had them in a rabbit travel cage while I did it, so they were in there like ten minutes tops. Seemed fine to me then anyways. The next day one is dead, and some of the other ones are no longer walking (they were like "scooting" instead of walking) three or four looked fine. I thought maybe they injured themselves in the travel cage, but now the three or four who were fine are now NOT fine, there is only three left alive, two are scooting, one is still walking, but its very unsteady.
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They're eating 24% chick starter from Tractor Supply (non medicated). Still under a heat lamp, so not outside. I have an older batch that is a couple months old that are basically older versions of these guys, and I had no problems there.

I *did* loose two older quail last week too. One from the parent stock, one from older birds. The rest of the older birds look fine still, but the parent stock looked "off" to me today, no enthusiasm for their feed at all, they finally did get up and eat, but they were not acting like they normally do. I'm not sure if it is related or not, they don't look all wobbly or scooting (yet) How long do Quail, errr, last? Are they just worn out already?

Anyone know what I did wrong? Were the chicks too hot in the brooder, so they didn't move around? I had issues getting the temp right this time, they always seemed "hot" to me, like they were hardly ever under the heat lamp? Seems like I could just not get it right this time, I had another tub with a heat lamp right next to it, and I think it might have made the area too hot? The Americana chicks I had did the same thing, lots of laying about? I tried to use just one heat lamp for both tubs, but then both tubs were too cold. I was able to go down to one lamp after I cleaned too.

Or is there mold or toxins in my feed? I'm down to like the bottom of the bag, it looks fine to me, but all my Quail eat the same thing? I also opened a new bag of shavings, is there anything toxic in there that could cause this? My hubby did the "sniff" test and said it smelled fine to him, but I thought its under the heat lamp, so maybe toxic fumes?
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Suggestions for next time? I thought I did the same thing I did for the last batch, but I guess not, since I managed to NOT kill those!
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Campine Lover

Songster
9 Years
Mar 7, 2010
394
2
119
Moss Beach, CA
well, my friends quail (japenese) had a simular problem, except that they would be fine, and then one would stagger around all dizzy then fall over with her legs in the air. then they would die
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. still do not know what that was about.... any info would be great, for me too. sorry Sachasmom. i hope the next batch are ok.
 

pascopol

Songster
11 Years
Jan 6, 2009
1,472
29
204
Tampa Bay
I am not expert on quail yet, but 24% protein is too low for starting quail most experts would agree, 24% perhaps OK for older ones.

My first tought about your quail losing control of their movement is Marek's disease?

I am not sure if quail is vulnerable to Marek's but I had this problem with chickens once. Less advanced cases can be cured with Vit B complex overdose.

I saved some of mine this way.
 

Friend2Fowl

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
463
5
119
24% feed is fine, I start mine with lower percentages than that usually.

Are your older birds in a building? Are there other birds (chickens, pigeons, etc.) in the same building?

It does sound like it might be something with the feed, though the outside birds could have contracted something from another bird, and you've passed it on to the little ones. At 3 weeks old they don't need a heat light. At most, they need some light so they aren't in the dark all the time, but they should be okay temperature-wise.

What kind of shavings are you using? Have you given them any vitamins or electrolytes?
 

Sachasmom

Songster
10 Years
Mar 1, 2009
567
1
141
Upstate NY
24% is the highest protein I can find here. I can get 28%, but its medicated. Thats why they eat the 24%, I don't have any other options for them unfortunely. I know Purina makes a feed, but Tractor Supply won't order it for me.
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They seem to be doing fine on the 24% in any case.

I hatched the Quail first, then chicks hatched. So I did have Quail eggs and Chicken eggs in the same bator, but I didn't have the chicks and quail together in the same tub. I clean and disenfect the tubs and the bator between batches of chicks.

Mareks?
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How would I know if any of my chicken flock has Mareks? They all look healthy and I haven't seen any of these symptoms in any of the chicks I have hatched out. They have come from various breeders, some from a hatchery when I first started two years ago. I raised some of the current stuff from eggs and I didn't see any signs of this in them. The batch of chicks seemed fine, just kinda lazy. No loss of movement like the Quail in any case.

So, cull the Quail? Cull all the chickens?

My Quail are in my rabbitry, and the chickens don't go in there, unless they sneak in of course, but they really aren't exposed to chickens.

Should I be vaccinating chicks? For what? I haven't been because I thought it would be too expensive for someone with a small scale operation.
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
65
303
Was the travel cage cleaned and disinfected before you used it?
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Perhaps it was something in the cage.

BTW, 28-30% protein is recommended as starter by the experts, but you use what you can get. 24% is about as low as you should go until they're older, but it's acceptable. There are lots of threads that give alternative sources of protein for young gamebirds.
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I'm sorry you're having to deal with this... I don't know your whole situation, but I'd be tempted to cull rather than risk spreading the disease, whatever it may be.
 

JJMR794

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
7,584
158
293
BROOKSVILLE FL
Whats the 1 common thing thats absolutely associated with both speces?
















YOU! You may be the contaminating factor here... If your chickens have Mareks you may be transmitter by fooling with the chickens and then going to the quail with out proper cleansing. Or perhaps a utensil? feed scoop? water bucket? etc... As far as chickens not being ill they are carriers for a great many bird diseases that game birds have no immunity against--- all while the chickens themselves are perfectly healthy. This is easily possible because the chickens have natural immunity, so they never develope the active disease, but may infect any bird that does not have immunity. This is a big reason why medicated chick starter is in existance... to help thwart infections at early age, albeit mostly for the enteritis and encephalitis diseases and regular medicated chick starter usually doesnt have much effect on gamebirds as they require different meds than what is in medicated chicken and turkey starters. And as far as feed goes, while protien percentage is important to gamebirds, it is a little more involved than that. They require different formula to get that protien content. Some thypes of ingredients used in shicken feed may not be readily digested and broken down by gamebirds....



Now they're weak and stumbling about as if their legs are loosing function.... ARE ANY OF THEM POSTURING? By this I mean do they arch their heads up over their backs at any time?
 

darkfur

Songster
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
154
3
101
Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Have a look at their hock joints (the backwards knee things). These can be affected by deficiency diseases. If they are swollen and red they may have slipped hocks which is usually due to a nutritional problem. If the hocks are not swollen but the birds are falling all over the place, you most likely have a pathogen such as Mareks or Salmonella.

Just remembered what the hock thing is officially called : perosis. Google and see if it fits, that is if the hocks seem out of whack.
 
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pascopol

Songster
11 Years
Jan 6, 2009
1,472
29
204
Tampa Bay
When I started with quail first time few years ago, my birds developed small balls like nodules on their toes.

Friend of mine, veterinarian, also bird keeper and lover diagnosed it as Vit group B deficiency (B12? I forgot exactly which one of the "B" group by now) and advocated changing feed brand. I was using Purina game bird starter at the time, so I switched to other brand and that fixed the problem within a few days.

Since Purina does not use any "animal products" and they are proud of it too, their sole protein source are soybeans therefore lack of Vit B.

Birds and also humans are better off on mixed diet, that's why I eat meat and veggies not veggies only, and I never feed Purina Gamebird starter to my birds since then.
 

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