Why Aren’t My Quail Developing?

CovidtimeQuail

Highly quailified
Premium Feather Member
Nov 28, 2020
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Honolulu, HI
I think you may have had subpar hatching eggs. If they make it through to adulthood though, their offspring may be fine. Or, maybe something in the hatching. My first set (coturnix though) were less than perfect, but their offspring are fine.
 

Cazook

Songster
Nov 24, 2019
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Quail starter is near impossible for me to find. Every viable looking source is in America only, and don't even allow orders - they ask you to find your local retailer for them. I can only find the German product Gra-Mix, which only has a measly 9% protein (and it dares to be listed as quail feed), and homemade eBay starter feeds, which is the only thing I can fnd with high enough protein. I currently use Watchel Gold, sourced here https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07P8TGDTJ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A3L5ML3ATNF0W4&psc=1

heygates superstarter crumbs for quail (27%) are great. 20kg sacks of it can be gotten from many places but if you only need a smaller amount there's people who separate into smaller amounts on ebay. i've had lots of healthy quail using that stuff.

is there a date on the bag of feed you are using? it definitely seems like a nutrition issue... like others said i would stop feeding the treats and focus on main feed only until they are grown.
 
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MadamContrary

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 22, 2013
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Very South Texas
They were from eBay being sold as button quail eggs, so I know it was already a scam. I was told wry neck was a vitamin E deficiency, hence why I started adding supplements to try and raise their intake, but it didn't do anything for Plum's poor neck.
Wry neck can be due to vitamin deficiency, but it's not always the cause. I would suspect excessive inbreeding or perhaps just a very poor diet in the breeding stock.
I have been searching for similar situations to yours, it seems most only have a single bird with stunted growth, not the entire brood. Although it very well could be that super low protein food, what makes me think genetics is the shape of the skull relative to the beak size. Have they always had those proportions or has that developed over time?
 

pterry97

Songster
Apr 5, 2021
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Wry neck can be due to vitamin deficiency, but it's not always the cause. I would suspect excessive inbreeding or perhaps just a very poor diet in the breeding stock.
I have been searching for similar situations to yours, it seems most only have a single bird with stunted growth, not the entire brood. Although it very well could be that super low protein food, what makes me think genetics is the shape of the skull relative to the beak size. Have they always had those proportions or has that developed over time?
I’ve also been searching for similar issues, but it’s like you said there’s only ever the odd one and not a whole brood.
The beaks have grown a lot since they hatched, here’s some comparative images:
C730CF5D-1BD9-4A83-801C-0F1CA0F4ABC5.jpeg
B386E68D-1E5E-46AD-8512-0F976C162540.jpeg
47C67D90-DC51-4A48-ADF3-A3D6D335FACB.jpeg
C96C209C-2D6D-4D89-8DD3-3659BAE5A9BD.jpeg
 

MadamContrary

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 22, 2013
1,331
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401
Very South Texas
Okay looking into journals and studies that are freely available doesn't yield a ton of current information. This is a link to an old paper from the late 60s regarding crooked neck and dwarfism morphs. I'll go log into my university library and see if I can access more recent information, the university pays for the fees required for most professional journals.

https://academic.oup.com/jhered/article-abstract/58/1/44/775472?redirectedFrom=PDF
 

MadamContrary

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 22, 2013
1,331
3,934
401
Very South Texas
Ok so a potential feed related culprit could be Fumonisin contamination of feed, it is a group of mycotoxins that infect cereal grains. It causes stunted growth, rumpled and reduced feathering, and has a mortality rate of about 12%.

Lead exposure in the breeding stock can also can cause some issues with development of offspring, but Fumonisin contamination sounds more like it matches what's going with your babies. I'll keep looking and see if I can't find something in regards to treatment, but you should definitely look into that other brand of food recommended by the other poster in the UK.
 

MadamContrary

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 22, 2013
1,331
3,934
401
Very South Texas
https://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/are-fumonisins-a-real-threat-to-the-poultry-industry

According to the above article the acceptable level Fumonisin is much higher in Europe versus the U.S. 20mg v.s 2mg per kg of weight of livestock. Some use an active clay ( such as bentonite) in the feed to help bind up the toxins so they pass through into the feces and not stay in the animal. I'd assume something like activated charcoal would also be a viable alternative of you cannot find bentonite. That's a preventative though, I can't find much on treatment after exposure.

Hopefully switching to another feed helps them, they may just be tiny birds. As long as they are not suffering any other health issues, it sounds like you'll be giving them the best possible quality of life, definitely don't breed them!
 

FloorCandy

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
3,634
7,399
441
I believe many people feed more readily available chicken starter, and they up the protein with meal worms or other insects. Making your own feed is difficult due to the various vitamin supplements needed, but perhaps you can find a decent chicken starter as a base.
 

birdnoob

Chirping
Mar 21, 2021
63
117
68
CoCo County, CA
Although it very well could be that super low protein food, what makes me think genetics is the shape of the skull relative to the beak size. Have they always had those proportions or has that developed over time?
The beaks actually tip it towards nutrient deficiency in my opinion. I'm not sure its a general caloric deficiency or a specific nutrient but features developing without weight gain is textbook malnutrition in my experience with other animals, unless the genetic defect is with their metabolism, in which case I doubt they would have hatched at all.
 

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