Sick Quail - HELP!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by cotekim, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. cotekim

    cotekim Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2013
    Buffalo, NY
    Hi, I'm new to raising quail. I think one of my birds has the flu or something. What do I do?

    We had a covey of 10 birds. One bird died ("Propecia" was her name) from what looked like was the same thing when she was just a few days old. I felt like this was probably normal to lose a couple of chicks in those first few vulnerable days of life. It could have even been a birth defect. She died in her sleep.

    Then last night "Filet-O" died in his sleep. I didn't notice him sick at all. He was 2 weeks old yesterday.

    Now, "Galadriella" is sick. She has what I call the "Katherine Hepburn" shakes. She is uneasy on her feet. She looks a little drunk, like she's going to fall over sometimes. She is still drinking and eating, which is good. And I put some "Save-A-Chick" probiotic and electrolyte solution in there for her to drink. She is drinking some. But she does the same thing that "Propecia" did. She will sit, not lie down, and close her eyes and just kind of look miserable. It almost looks like she has chills and a fever. And she sleeps away from the rest of the crowd, like she doesn't want to be touched.

    I've taken a short video:

    She is 2 weeks and 1 day old. Jumbo Coturnix Quail. Any advice would be welcome.
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Are all these birds the same age in your video, 2 weeks? What is the temp in this brooder? What is the dimensions of this brooder and how many birds are in it? What is the color and consistancy of their poop?

    The other birds that died...were they all in this bunch together? What is the position of the bird right before death and right after?

    When birds get really sick, they can refuse to sit or lay down. This could be a case of cocci or some bacterial or viral infection. Try to answer these questions and maybe we can get down to the bottom of this.
     
  3. cotekim

    cotekim Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2013
    Buffalo, NY
    She's doing much better today. I upped the temperature about 5 degrees and put a little apple cider vinegar in their water. I'm still providing the electrolyte-probiotic solution as an option for them to drink.

    But, for future reference, which I'm sure I will need, Yes, the birds are all the same age except for the other golden. He is 2 days older than the rest. There are 8 birds now. I keep them in a dog crate that I've tricked out for the birds. The crate is 27" H x 25" W x 38" L and I've attached 10" of cardboard to the bottom edge along the floor to keep out drafts. I have a heat lamp over the top of one end to give them a hot side and a cool side so they can manage their own body temperature. Plus, I put towels over the cage to help maintain the temperature and keep out drafts. Right now only the end with the door is partially uncovered from the towels. It's a wire cage.

    Since Monday was the youngest bird's 2 week birthday I brought the temperature down to 85 degrees F since we are going into their third week of life. I started the brooder at 95 F, then week 2 was at 90 F, and week 3 was going to be at 85 F, but it doesn't look like they are ready for that temperature change. I don't want to make it cold in there for my sick one, so I brought it back up to 90 F. I was going to separate her from the rest of them, but as I am new at this, I am not prepared with a second cage and heat lamp. I'm working on that now.

    On the day of the video all the birds were 2 weeks + 1 day old. The larger golden was 2 weeks + 3 days old. All the birds that have died are from this same covey. I'm keeping them all together. Both dead birds died in the night. The first one, "Propecia", was so little - 5 days old. She was shaky and would sleep standing up like "Galadriella" was doing yesterday. She wasn't growing like the others were. "Filet-O" seemed fine the day before he died. I saw no symptoms at all. Both birds were lying on their sides, beak in the floor, when I found them in the morning.

    I have been rotating adding different things to the floor of their cage - leaves from outside, pine shavings, timothy hay, sand, dirt and sod from my lawn. They poop on it and I add another layer to cover it. Once it gets a few layers thick, I compost it, clean the cage with apple cider vinegar, and start again. Right now they have leaves on the floor, so it's hard to see the poop. Its all brown. I let them fly just outside the cage about once a day. They are in my basement. The poops they have left on the basement floor are brown, watery and smell like diarrhea.

    Could they have cholera or something? I am concerned about the watery poops. What do I do?
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Ok....Good that you have upped the temp back up. Sick birds need more heat than healthy birds. And should this bird continue to be sick, you may need to separate this one to keep it under more heat as the others get their heat lowered.

    As for your brooder set up, it all sounds good. However I would be suspicious of all the material you are bringing in for litter. Babies do not yet have a properly working immune system. It is very weak and grows stronger as the bird ages. Birds are able to become immune to bacteria and virus's in their environment however, but it takes time. And because you are always changing the litter to something else, and with weak immune systems to begin with, it is possible you are introducing bacteria's and virus's that some of these babies are unable to handle. In the wild, only 50% of birds ever survive to adulthood. And these factors come into play in the wild as will as in your brooder.

    Another thing is cocci...this is very common at 2 weeks of age. That is when it usually begins and bird start to die. They can show symptoms of being fluffed up in the corner with head tucked in, not eating or drinking, or no signs at all.

    All this being said, I am going to lean toward Cocci. The bird in your video looked a bit like a bird that has cocci and the age accompanied with diarrhea leads me to believe that they are suffering from it.

    Are you using medicated feed? If you are NOT using medicated feed, then cocci is quite possible. So if these were my birds, I would start using Corrid. It is put in the drinking water for 5 days. If they are ON medicated feed, then I might suspect a bacteria and would administer a broad spectrum antibacterial drug, like Duramycin or Oxytetracycline for 7 to 10 days. I would dose the entire flock of babies because what one of them has, they all have as well.

    Keep us posted. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  5. cotekim

    cotekim Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2013
    Buffalo, NY
    Thank you so much for the advice! I thought putting stuff from the yard was helping prepare their immune systems for when I put them outside in my "quail tractor". I thought, "They are wild creatures! They need to be in nature!" So, I brought the nature inside to them. It completely makes sense, though. You don't put infant humans out in the world without expecting them to get sick. Usually, as soon as you send your kid to day care, they start coming home with the sniffles. Looks like I've brought the day care inside to my birds! I'm gonna chill out on the outdoor bedding.

    I have not been using medicated feed because I read somewhere that it can cause kidney failure in quail?! I will go pick up some Corid today and see if that works. Thanks again!
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    I understand what you are thinking about bringing in things from the outside for them, and it does make sense. However being that you are raising them in a quite artificial environment, it doesn't always work. HOWEVER, on this note, I think a bit of this method is good for them, but not so soon in life. At about 4 weeks old, the immune system is a bit beefier than it was at one or two weeks and I will start to bring in dirt from the outside. Only a tiny bit and always from the exact same spot each time. Make sure no wild birds, rabbits or other critters have not had access to this dirt, at least on a constant basis.

    My opinion is that they are suffering from either cocci or a bacterial infection. Generally with a bacterial infection, you can get runny noses as the respiratory system is the weakest link besides the GI tract. If they are not suffering from any respiratory ailments, then it is probably cocci. Cocci is a parasite that is present in all birds GI tract and is also can be present in soil. If allowed to multiply and the young bird can not handle it, it can over take the birds system and kill them. At some point, if they survive, the bird develops immunity and is able to handle this parasite without it killing them. Dirt also can contain parasites, (especially internal worms like round worms, so be aware of this as well. These worms too can eventually be controlled by a healthy adult quail. Babies have a harder time with any parasites)

    So I think something is being brought in with this litter. I would pick one type of litter you are bringing in and stick with it. Since you are not using any medicated feed, then I would try the corrid first. Medicated feed has low levels of Amprollium. It is not necessarily harmful to use it on babies as it does allow the bird to develop immunity to cocci slowly. I don't personally use it, although I had a big cocci outbreak on my first hatch of quail. Since then, I only raise hatchlings on wire. Always. Cocci is passed thru the poop. With a wire floor, the poop falls thru the wire, and the birds only come into contact with tiny amounts of poop. Hence, they are able to develop immunity to cocci slowly. I never lost another baby to cocci. Corrid is Amprollium, but in higher doses. Medicated feed does not contain enough Amprollium to cure an outbreak and Corrid must be used.

    If after 5 days, birds are still showing symptoms and more birds are dying, then I would try antibiotics on them. One of these drugs will cure what is ailing your birds.

    Keep us posted. :)
     
  7. cotekim

    cotekim Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2013
    Buffalo, NY
    This is what they had at my feed store:
    [​IMG]
    Do you know how much I'm supposed to use? The birds have a 1 quart waterer.
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    It is mixed 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water. So for quart waterers you would mix 1/8 teaspoon per quart of water. Use for 5-7 days. Do not mix anything else in this water while using it and mix a fresh batch daily.

    Keep us posted. :)
     
  9. cotekim

    cotekim Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2013
    Buffalo, NY
    You're a life saver! Thanks so much!
     
  10. echo acers

    echo acers New Egg

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    May 16, 2014
    did you find out what was wroung with your quails mine are doing the same thing----I gave then pedilite---we ll see--let me know if you found out anything---ill tell you how I make out with the pedilite
     

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