So sad


Jul 6, 2018
I had three California Valley quail that hatched last week. They were all doing great. No problems at all. Got up this morning and one of them was dead. Nothing looked wrong with him. He was just laying on his side, legs stretched out and gone. I am so so sad.
The other two seem to be fine.
What could have happened. I sure don't want to loose the other two.
I'm so sorry. I lost one like that, when it was a few weeks old. Stretched out lying next to the heater, nothing visibly wrong with it. I was terrified of losing another every night after that. I don't know what the problem may have been. Double-check the temperature, proximity of food and water, and keep an eye on the other two for signs of anything abnormal. :hugs
Thanks! Everything is exactly the same as it's been since they went into the brooder. Temp is the same, same feed, etc. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Nothing to indicate there was something wrong with him.
I know what you mean about being terrified about loosing another one. I keep checking on the two that are left.
Be advised that quail are the most creative creatures on Earth when it comes to finding ways to die.
So many reasons that this could have happened. Quail sleep as if dead, and their brood-mates aren't delicate about getting from Point-A to Point-B. If their buddy bird is sawing logs and won't move... right over the top they go. This could cause internal damage. A chick could drink funny and have the water go down the wrong way, and aspirate (drown). Drowning like this can be quick, or long and drawn out. The chick could have been born with a congenital defect or nutritionally deficient due to the health of the parents. The list goes on and on, as I said... it's not uncommon for quail chicks to be fine and then drop dead... cause unknown unless you wish to have a lab do a necropsy.
That said, check your heat source for teflon (coated) anything; even a teflon coated (some red) bulb in a light socket is toxic to birds. Confirm that there isn't cedar in their bedding. Examine whatever bedding you're using for moisture, as that could breed mold; the chicks breathe in the spores and blammo, sick or dead chicks. Put marbles or stones in the bottom of their shallow waterer to give them some traction to climb out of the waterer when they get into it... Trust me, they WILL get into the water. Double check the protein levels on your feed, chicken feed is NOT the same as gamebird feed nutritionally. Grind or crush the gamebird feed a bit more before serving to chicks as it's not quite as fine as they need it to be; they have tiny mouths.
Long story short, don't beat yourself up over the loss of the chick, with quail it happens. It's likely that there was absolutely nothing you could have done differently to prevent it.
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Thanks for the reply. Everything is as you suggest. They have all been perfect for 9 days until this one died. One other one is looking a little 'off' He has been eating and drinking and hopping around but his feathers are a little ruffled. My daughter suggested I give him some electrolytes. She has some from her chicks. Is that a good idea or not. And if so how much.

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