Quail with mobility issues


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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 9, 2013
My Coop
My Coop
Our quail hatched 9/17 so they're almost 4 weeks old. When they were in the brooder I wasn't sure if it was just one chick or maybe two that were kind of stumbling or seemed to scoot a bit sometimes, even backward like they couldn't make themselves go. If I reached in to pick it up it would run away fine though so I waited.

Over the time they've been outside in their pen I've found possibly the same quail laying on the ground on its side or back. I flipped it over, off it went, stumbling at first, then ok. It's growing like the rest, not stunted. No one else is having any issues.

Honestly, I wasn't impressed with the breeder and I'm thinking about culling all the same color birds because of it. Am I over reacting? My plan is to breed from whatever I keep.

Definitely 2 and things have progressed to this. One is almost completely immobile and the other was stumbling.
I tend to think it's a neurological issue. I'm not that familiar with silver cots but if they have a particular gene that is either "turning on" or not "turning on" in early development it could be the cause....it could also be related to the parents nutritional health, if they are not receiving vitamins and minerals vital for producing a healthy offspring, it would show up in the developing embryo. It's hard to give a accurate answer due to the fact, you don't know how the parent birds have been kept, what kind of feed they have been fed and living conditions.
I have some chicks that hatch from time to time with similar conditions. Only difference is I know that the nutritional needs are met, so I tend to think it's a gene that didn't get the correct sequencing to turn on or off.
Thanks for your responses! The claims I see in the sellers craigslist ads now are that his birds are from Greek stock.

We didn't discuss food, I already knew what they need, but I saw a Dumor bag there, couldn't read what it was. The birds were all in 3' x 2 'x 1' bird cages, 1 or 2 males with 5 or 6 females. I have no idea if he's letting brothers and sisters mate but I suspect it's a possibility. Some cages were in a shaded area but others were in an outdoor room constructed from tarps that he ran a mister in. There was standing water and some mosquitos. The bird cages weren't especially clean and their water was dirty. Can I say those are their constant living conditions? No. The guy had been in the hospital recently, he cared enough to try and keep them cool in our summer heat and their water constantly needs dumping because they're messy little things.

I still have his number though, in case I happen upon his ad again, so I can skip it. I'll be adding new dna in Spring from somewhere else just to be sure.

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