Struggling Quail Chick


Apr 29, 2020
Mission, BC, Canada
Hello and thank you for helping if you can.
I have eight coturnix quail chicks that hatched successfully yesterday and one todayout of a dozen (day 19). The rest are still in the incubator. This is my first time raising quail.
The one quail that hatched today is very weak. He externally pipped on the side of the shell and did not unzip, so I unzipped him yesterday evening and let him hatch on his own, at 7am this morning. One leg was attached to the shell by a membrane and I needed to wet it so he could remove it- I figure he must have had some shrink-wrapping occur when I attempted the unzip.
I put its beak in the water routinely and it appears to drink, unfortunately I don’t have a syringe. I also mixed the starter mash with water and have been trying to ge him to eat but he just keeps falling asleep. It has finally fluffed out on his body but his head is lightly feathered and very bare. I needed to use a cotton swab and some water to help clear out membrane stuck to its eyes and beak, and top of the head.
It is breathing faster (panting at times), has a higher heart rate (it appears) and sleeps unless it is awoken by me to give it water or attempt to eat, or by another chick coming to cuddle. I have it separated from the others because they are all running around and I don’t want it to get hurt.
I am concerned. Does anyone have some advice? I would like to give it a fighting chance to survive the night.
My sincere thanks,


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one of my baby quails had symptoms like that. Try checking your chicks belly. what you're looking for is a small sack like thing on its belly.
Sadly, he passed. I was trying to help him drink and he seized and died in my hands. Poor fellow. I am devastated. He had a clicking sound coming from his chest since hatch so I wonder if he was slowly aspirating. I feel awful for letting him suffer.

I can’t figure out how to delete a thread once I start one. Sorry about that and thank you for your help!

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