What to do with runts?

JeffersonMYCO

In the Brooder
Aug 24, 2020
38
54
46
It seems every hatch I have a runt who is very far behind all of their brothers and sisters. My first covey I made the mistake of nursing it back to life every morning and holding it and getting attached and well, now I have a quasi-pet who isn't very well developed.

My most recent hatch has another runt, out of 20 the only problem is one is clearly undersized and not getting it's feathers at all.

What can I do about moving the covey outside and turning off the heat?

The majority of them are almost ready, but the runt is still almost always under the lamp. It seems cruel to throw them outside knowing that the runt won't make it, but I can't keep them crowded in the brooder for 1 baby who may never fully develop. I also can't keep making special runt catch up pens for every covey that I move through the brooder.

Any tips on managing the runt in your brooders and coveys?
 

JeffersonMYCO

In the Brooder
Aug 24, 2020
38
54
46
Keep a couple together and sell them as "mini" quail pets? I usually cull mine.
At what point do you cull? My partner made me feel like a monster for wanting to cull a perfectly healthy chick because I did not want it for meat, eggs, or breeding.
 

Kiki

I win every single day. Winners Rule
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 31, 2015
100,074
561,243
2,052
Houston, TX
My Coop
If it is obviously not growing well the sooner the better...for offing it, imo.
I am not a fan of runts.
 

Pandaisy

Chirping
May 30, 2020
155
486
83
Germany
I wouldn't call a quail which is not growing healthy. I raised one and tried to keep her alive because I grew attached to her. She still passed away at only 9 to 10 weeks old. I wouldn't do it again.
 

Tycine1

Crowing
11 Years
May 26, 2009
1,933
4,406
391
David, Chiriquí, Panama
As soon as it becomes evident that it's not going to survive without herculean efforts, I cull. I don't want to pass on poor genetics through eggs or sperm from such a bird, and the likelihood of getting enough meat for a meal is slim, at best, from a birds such as you've described; IF it should manage to survive without becoming a pet.
I started my covey with store-bought, day-old chicks. Genetically speaking, they were bargain basement quality, bred only to breed more so that they could sell chicks. Through rigorous selection I have improved the genetics on this same line of birds (great great offspring) to be healthier, and slightly heavier than the original birds. My first many hatchings from those original birds were weak, unhealthy, and I had an overabundance of spraddle leg issues that I attributed to malnourishment of the parent birds; Half of the hatch was lost before the chicks ever made it to day-2 of life, and most were quitters (dead in the shell). My hatch rate is now in the high 90%, and most that do not hatch are found to have been infertile during egg autopsy. I've not had issues with spraddled legs or weak birds in many generations now.
Long story short, being choosy now with which birds will live to breed will go a very long way in your enjoyment of your flock, and in the health of your flock overall.
 

JeffersonMYCO

In the Brooder
Aug 24, 2020
38
54
46
As soon as it becomes evident that it's not going to survive without herculean efforts, I cull. I don't want to pass on poor genetics through eggs or sperm from such a bird, and the likelihood of getting enough meat for a meal is slim, at best, from a birds such as you've described; IF it should manage to survive without becoming a pet.
I started my covey with store-bought, day-old chicks. Genetically speaking, they were bargain basement quality, bred only to breed more so that they could sell chicks. Through rigorous selection I have improved the genetics on this same line of birds (great great offspring) to be healthier, and slightly heavier than the original birds. My first many hatchings from those original birds were weak, unhealthy, and I had an overabundance of spraddle leg issues that I attributed to malnourishment of the parent birds; Half of the hatch was lost before the chicks ever made it to day-2 of life, and most were quitters (dead in the shell). My hatch rate is now in the high 90%, and most that do not hatch are found to have been infertile during egg autopsy. I've not had issues with spraddled legs or weak birds in many generations now.
Long story short, being choosy now with which birds will live to breed will go a very long way in your enjoyment of your flock, and in the health of your flock overall.
I appreciate the advice and I will make sure and keep my coveys strong. My only problem is being a big softy and not culling them, but I promptly removed it from the main covey to prevent the genes from passing on.
 

Tycine1

Crowing
11 Years
May 26, 2009
1,933
4,406
391
David, Chiriquí, Panama
Fair enough.

There's a product available called "chick booster" that I use with all of my birds, chicks and adults alike.

Quote from their website:

Formulation

Each 1000 mL contains: Vit. A (as retinol palmitate) 2 500 000 UI, Vit. D3 (as cholecalcipherol) 500 000 UI, Vit. E (as alpha tocopherol acetate) 3750 mg, Vit. K3 (as menadione sodium bisulphite) 250 mg, Vit. B1 (as thiamin hydrochloride) 3500 mg, Vit. B2 (as riboflavin 5 sodium phosphate) 4000 mg, Vit. B3 (as nicotinamide) 10 000 mg, Vit. B5 (as calcium pantotenate) 15 000 mg, Vit. B6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride) 2000 mg, Vit. B7 (Biotin) 2 mg, Vit. B9 (as folic acid) 250 mg, Vit. B12 (cyanocobalamine) 10 mg, Vit. B15 (Sodium Pangamate) 1 mg, Vit. BH (as Inositol) 3.0 mg, DL-Methionine 5000 mg, L-Lysine (as hydrochloride) 2500 mg, L-Threonine 500 mg, L-Tryptophan 75 mg, L-Histidine (as hydrochloride) 900 mg, L-Arginine (as hydrochloride) 490 mg, L- aspartic acid 1450 mg, L-Serine 680 mg, Glutamic acid 1160 mg, L-Proline 510 mg, Glycine 575 mg, L-Alanine 975 mg, L-Cysteine (as hydrochloride) 150 mg, L-Valine 1100 mg, L-Leucine 1150 mg, L-Isoleucine 125 mg, L-Tyrosine 340 mg, L-Phenylalanine 810 mg, Nucleotides 5000 mg, Essential fatty acids 500 mg, Sodium Selenite 125 mg, Potassium iodine 500 mg, Cobalt (as Cobalt Gluconate) 500 mg, Copper (as copper edetate) 200 mg, Manganese (as Manganese-edetate) 1000 mg, Zinc (as Zinc-edetate) 3000 mg, Iron (as Iron-edetate) 210 mg, Sodium chloride 10 000 mg, Potassium chloride 8250 mg, Magnesium sulfate 455 mg, Citric acid 3000 mg, excipients q.s. ad 1000 mL.

Indications

Nutritional supplement recommended as growth promoter and as an adjuvant in all infectious diseases, poisoning, convalescence, sudden changes in temperature, pre and post-vaccination, dehydration and stressful situations. When there is insufficient supply of vitamins in feed. Its exclusive formulation based on nucleotides, promotes cell division and regeneration, optimizes biological functions and enhances the productive performance by improving feed conversion.

Dosage and Administration
General dose: 1 to 2 L/1000 L of water.

End Quote:

Please note, that's one liter of this liquid solution for one THOUSAND liters of water. You'll only need a few drops per liter of water to mix this up, and when mixed will be pale yellow. I buy it in the one liter bottle and it's lasted for years; I think I paid $17 (U.S. Dollars) for the bottle.

Their website for more information:

https://www.agrovetmarket.com/en/ve...-os-vitamina-minerales-aminoacido-nutricional (if it comes up in Spanish, there is a button to click to get it in English instead).
 

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