Should button quail be moulting at 10 weeks?

ButtonBag

Songster
Jun 23, 2020
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London, UK
I'm a bit concerned about one of my males, as he used to look in good condition, but over the past couple of weeks has started to look a bit "frizzy", and there have been a few feathers scattered around. I know this is the right time of year for birds to be moulting (I'm UK based), but they seem very young for that. He lives with his bonded female in ~4.6 sqft of space indoors. I wondered if it was lack of protein, but I have two other pairs on the same diet and they look quite tidy as usual.

The female he's with has a bit of a bald patch on the back of her head, but no irritated skin at all. He doesn't seem to grab that part to mate, but I have seen him preen it quite a lot. Is there anything I can do to help her grow back those feathers, as it seems to be expanding?

Here he is today:
humbug-feathers-1.jpg

humbug-feathers-2.jpg
 

ButtonBag

Songster
Jun 23, 2020
175
348
146
London, UK
I hope that's what this is. I haven't kept any birds before so unsure what a normal moult looks like. They still eat their poop too, which I'm not sure if I should be worried about.
 

TwoCrows

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I hope that's what this is. I haven't kept any birds before so unsure what a normal moult looks like. They still eat their poop too, which I'm not sure if I should be worried about.
Has the lighting changed in their area at all? A sudden change of less light will cause young birds to molt. But the frizzy look of this bird could be from over preening. Why the over preening, I am not sure...a nutritional need, stress, bugs, bullying, some sort of genetic health issue, not enough dust bathing, etc...

As for eating poop, very young birds can actually benefit from eating poop and gain immunity to certain things. However as they age, they do that in search of probiotics. You might use a vitamin/probiotic supplement in the water that might help with the feathering and the poop eating. The feathers will remain frizzy until molted out.

Good luck!
 

ButtonBag

Songster
Jun 23, 2020
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London, UK
Thanks for your reply! They have a light set up to fade in with the sunrise and out with sunset, so their lighting is on now for about 2 hours less than it was a month ago, but it has been gradual.

It's definitely not bullying and I'd be surprised if it's mites as they are indoors with artifical plants. He hardly ever dust bathes although his mate likes to (they have a big bowl of sand).

That makes sense that they might be short on probiotics if they're eating poop. I've added some Net-tex Nutri Drops (rebranded to Poultry Power Drops now) to their water today and will try to find something with probiotics. Do you happen to know of anything that would be safe for these tiny quail? I've been looking at Avipro Avian.
 
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TwoCrows

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Thanks for your reply! They have a light set up to fade in with the sunrise and out with sunset, so their lighting is on now for about 2 hours less than it was a month ago, but it has been gradual.

It's definitely not bullying and I'd be surprised if it's mites as they are indoors with artifical plants. He hardly ever dust bathes although his mate likes to (they have a big bowl of sand).

That makes sense that they might be short on probiotics if they're eating poop. I've added some Net-tex Nutri Drops (rebranded to Poultry Power Drops now) to their water today and will try to find something with probiotics. Do you happen to know of anything that would be safe for these tiny quail? I've been looking at Avipro Avian.
Fabulous on the Nutri Drops, this should help greatly! Probiotics are probiotics, I have used parrot probiotics on my poultry too, its all the same stuff.

I'd use both of these things daily for a couple of weeks then drop down to a couple times a week. And after the next complete molt, you should hopefully see better feathering. :) Enjoy your quail!!
 

Green Bean Quail

Songster
Nov 13, 2019
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I'm a bit concerned about one of my males, as he used to look in good condition, but over the past couple of weeks has started to look a bit "frizzy", and there have been a few feathers scattered around. I know this is the right time of year for birds to be moulting (I'm UK based), but they seem very young for that. He lives with his bonded female in ~4.6 sqft of space indoors. I wondered if it was lack of protein, but I have two other pairs on the same diet and they look quite tidy as usual.

The female he's with has a bit of a bald patch on the back of her head, but no irritated skin at all. He doesn't seem to grab that part to mate, but I have seen him preen it quite a lot. Is there anything I can do to help her grow back those feathers, as it seems to be expanding?

Here he is today:
View attachment 2343861
View attachment 2343863
This is late, but you should be good! Mine molted for the first time when i had them outside for a week when the weather was nice-they are molting again now that it’s cooling. I thought I had done something wrong too when mine first molted! They always look so rough!
 

ButtonBag

Songster
Jun 23, 2020
175
348
146
London, UK
That's good to know, thanks. I'm trying them on some probiotics for a bit as TwoCrows suggested to see if they stop eating poop so much, and hopefully will see some improvement in his feathers soon if it is a normal moult!
 

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